Civil Rights and Liberties and Government Essays

Submitted By mfynn3
Words: 1129
Pages: 5

Third Reading Reaction
The most interesting reading to me that we have done since the second reading reaction is the reading we did about Civil Rights, which is in chapter six in the textbook. This topic in particular interested me because of the long process our country has gone through in an effort to try and get every person regardless of race or gender to have equal rights. I’m a big fan of United States history so learning more about Southern Reconstruction and everything Lincoln did to try and help the slaves was very eye opening. Another interesting part of the reading was learning about the different types of discrimination because I did not even know these forms of discrimination had names. Now that I know the difference between dejure and defacto discrimination I feel like my understanding of discrimination is broadened. It was also cool to read about all the different peope who made efforts to end discrimination like Jackie Robinson and Rosa Parks, their bravery is such an inspiration and I believe they deserve all of the recognition they get.
I believe that this reading is somewhat relevant to current events but more so over seas than in the United States. In the United States I feel like we have done a pretty good job to make sure that everyone is treated equally, but in certain countries like Iran and North Korea still fall behind in this category. Personally, I think this is a travesty and countries like this really need a civil rights movement like in the United States to get away from what they currently are. The way the government handles civil rights now is debatebly the way the founders wanted it handled. The founders believed that all men should be treated equally but then again they also had slaves so I am not sure how they would react to the equality that is exists in the present day. Purely based on what the founders said about everyone being treated equally though I would have to imagine they would be pleased with the way civil rights are now. There were a couple parts of the chapter that did confuse me. For example, the part about how courts decide cases involving civil rights really confused me. I do not understand why the government needs to have “compelling interest” to for legislation when if there something wrong they should just fix it. Another part I did not understand was the part about legal approaches and how an entire class of people can file a lawsuit. I do not understand how a select group of the class of people can determine what the overall desires are for the class and make decisions for the class as a whole. Overall I agreed with the points made in the lecture and in the reading.
The reading we did on civil liberties, found in chapter five, was also of interest to me. I think one of the greatest parts of living in the United States is that we have limits on the government, being able to freely excercise our rights is what makes our nation so great. I love that our country has laws like the Establishment clause and the Free Practice clause because everyone should have a right to be able to pracitce their religion and be free from people trying to change their religious views. Stuff like that made this reading very intereting to me because I believe passionately in people having rights and that no one should be able to take these rights from them. It was intersting to learn the difference between libel and slander, both of which I did not know were actual crimes. It was also really interesting to read about things like “Clear and Present Danger” and “Fighting Word” because I had never hear of these before.
The topic of civil liberties is very relevant in today’s society because citizens of the United States must still fight to make sure their civil liberties are upheld. For example, the NSA spying on citizens is breach of our right to privacy but the government still allows it. If we do not stand up for civil libertites they will slowly be taken away