The Erosion of Our Hard Won Rights

Since white people don’t experience racism, they can easily ignore our complaints. Photo by James Eades on Unsplash
by Ebony Emerson –

The belief that racism no longer exists is enabling the dismantlement of civil rights.

Many conservatives tearing down civil rights legislation and policies designed to address racial disparities are white supremacists who believe that America is a white nation made for white people who need to be able to defend themselves against non-white people. All their talking points—immigration, pro-life, anti-woke, anti-DEI, book bans—have their roots in white supremacy.

The bottom line for all their policies is that white people need to secure their status in the US, for themselves and for their children, by stopping the flow of non-whites into the country, by teaching that God gave America to white people, and that the country is the greatest country in the world because of white heroes.

They believe that anything the federal government does to level the playing field or ensure equal justice is counter to their agenda. And since they don’t experience racism or discrimination, they can easily ignore our complaints, backed by data, on the persistence of discrimination and violence.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is under attack. As we approach the 60th anniversary of its passing, white supremacists are working to revoke any laws protecting us, essentially opening the gates for a re-emergence of Jim Crow. As Black Americans, we have yet to enjoy equal access to resources and opportunities. We continue to feel the impact of systemic racism and discrimination in health services, housing, jobs, and the criminal justice system.

Without laws to protect citizens from discrimination, states could easily replicate the racial injustices perpetuated throughout the Jim Crow era. With conservatives embracing colorblindness, they are actually allowing racial hostility and bigotry to thrive. We have seen how easily diversity scholarships and other diversity-oriented programs designed to mitigate racial disparities have been banned.

In our society where Blacks are routinely deprived of opportunities, a repeal of the Civil Rights Act would strip away any tools we have to mitigate racism. Maintaining freedom and safeguarding our rights requires constant awareness, diligence, and active participation. We must remain vigilant, constantly questioning the actions of those in authority as we work to create a society that upholds the rights and freedoms of all.

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