Historical Events on Social Liberty

Historical Events on Social Liberty

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Civil Liberties

The Jim Crow Laws versus the Supreme Court

The Jim Crow Laws marks an event that saw a strenuous process in fight for liberty take place between the 1890s and 1900s. The Jim Crow laws sought to legalize discrimination of blacks in the South and the need to re-subject them to slavery platforms. For example, the Fifth Amendment allowed all Americans to vote but, in the south, the governments used all tactics to prevent the blacks from voting. Other discriminatory acts include the creation of private schools that were for whites only. To vote, you had to be subjected to a literacy test. In other States, blacks were supposed to pay poll taxes to vote (Urofsky, 2012).

In 1867, the grandfather clause was enacted which allowed anyone whose grandfather ‘s eligibility to vote could be proven, would not pass through the literacy test. This was in bad faith since the democrats knew that no blacks were voting during that time. All these laws were meant to deprive the rights of African Americans. For example, the Plessy v. Ferguson case of 1896 ruled that the separate-but-equal doctrine should be enacted; public transport, restaurants, public places, hospitals and other amenities could be separated, the whites on their own buses and blacks on others (Urofsky, 2012).

Civil rights activists continued fighting for the liberty continued and the decision on separate but equal practice came to be overturned in 1954 during the Brown v. Board of Education case. It was ruled that it was unconstitutional to separate children in schools based on their race. The “separate but equal” rule was overturned, and a better social setting was established in all states whereby the blacks could now use the ruling to overturn the voting injustices on them.

Court Ruling on Trump’s Deportations Policy

One of Trump’s promises was to ensure that all illegal immigrants are deported. However, this policy has seen many immigrants, legal or non-legal being deported by the immigration department at a high-speed rate. However, the federal courts have become the stumbling block to Trump’s deportation orders. For example, an immigrant from Trinidad and Tobego, activist Ravi Ragbir, was one of those whose deportation was halted by the court to determine whether their rights are being violated (Robbins, 2018).

It is the social responsibility of the government to protect all Americans and immigrants, but it has been noted that their rights are being violated. The deportation of fifty Indonesian Christians, 92 Somalis, and many other sets of forceful eviction was halted by judges from various States such as Miami, Boston, and New Jersey (Robbins, 2018). What the court is doing is giving people a chance and time to fight for their rights, but they have not overruled the deportations. The American Civil Liberties Union led by Lee Gelernt has advocated for the immigrants to be given a fair chance to defend themselves against the deportations and that the abrupt deportations should stop.

Halting such deportations and giving people a chance to legally defend their staying and presence in the United States has given the immigrants a temporary relief. The use of courts by the American Civil Liberties Union was ethically acceptable even though the immigration department was furious about the stoppage.

Media Events

Myriads of past media events that have provoked the public opinion by focussing on government’s successes and failings exist.

Media Event 1

In 1992, during the Ruby Ridge incident, a standoff existed between the States’ federal agents and the Weaver family at their Idaho residence. Randy Weaver had been charged with possessing illegal weapons and making them and thus an arrest warrant was issued against him. Weaver insisted that he was not going to surrender himself and was going to resist at his home. The standoff took ten days and Weaver’s son, wife and a US marshal lost their lives (Bower, 2010). The death of the unarmed wife and child led to the media and the public condemning the government for the ruthless force used by the Federal agents. They outlined that the federal agency forces were not keen on preserving the lives of American citizens. This created distrust between the public and the government, an aspect that the media contributed greatly.

Event 2

On November 5th, 2017, a man was killed during a shooting incident at a church in Texas. The media coverage of the incident reported a lot of blames being directed towards the US department of Défense as well as the US Airforce. This incident was blamed on the two parties because the failed to report the criminal record of the shooter who ended up killing the young man called John Bryan. The shooter was a convicted marine who had been discharged from the forces and when he decided to buy a forearm, there was no background checks done to show his criminal records. The mass shooting done by a person with an abysmal record which was not reported was blamed on the government’s failure to act on behalf of public’s safety. A total of 26 people lost their lived during the attack on the church. The media and the public cited that the shootings could have been preventable of the Department of Défense could have acted on time (Kestler-D’Amours, 2017).

Democratic versus Republican Parties

The Republicans and Democrats have been actively involved on almost all-American Issues and deliberated on most of them. However, there are some that have had great ethical impacts on the American people.

Issue 1

When it comes to social issues, the Republicans are more conservative and tend to oppose gay marriages. They advocated for a marriage between a man and a woman; they also do not favour abortion at all. On the other hand, they promote gun ownership for American citizens. On the other hand, democrats take a more progressive approach as they advocate for gay marriages, advocate for gun control and regulation, and are in favour of abortions as a personal right (Clum, 2012). These aspects have brought both positive and negative ethical concerns based on the angle of view each party presents to the public and on constitutional arguments.

Issue 2

When it comes to tax cuts, both parties agree on the issue but differ when it comes to its execution. Republicans argue of a fair cut tax at an equal rate on all Americans while democrats believe that the cuts should be made low for low and average income earners and high for the rich. According to democrats, if taxation was made equal to all groups, then the richer will continue being rich and the poor will become poorer.


Bower, B. (2010). Massacre at sacred ridge: A violent pueblo incident sparks debate regarding prehistoric genocide. Science News, 178(10), 22-26. doi:10.1002/scin.5591781023

Clum, J. M. (2012). Gay Playwrights, Gay Husbands, Gay History. The Drama of Marriage, 189-207. doi:10.1057/9781137013101_9

Kestler-D’Amours, J. (2017, November 29). Family blames US Air Force in Texas church shooting. Retrieved from http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/11/family-blames-air-force-texas-church-shooting-171129145042840.html

Robbins, L. (2018, February 9). Not So Fast on Deportations, Judges Tell Immigration Agency. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/09/nyregion/federal-courts-deportation-ragbir-indonesians-stays-ice.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FAmerican%20Civil%20Liberties%20Union

Urofsky, M. I. (2012). Supreme decisions: Great constitutional cases and their impact. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

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