Essay on Constitution: African American and Equal Rights Clause

Submitted By norzom
Words: 824
Pages: 4

‘Constitution’, the term that always lets us form an image of fair treatment in our mind. The reason why is because, it is designed to protect the people’s freedom and if such laws didn’t exist then the U.S. would be upside down. However, back in the time of the American Civil War, the constitution had to be changed because the issue on slavery during that time was very severe. Slaves at that time-preferred north than the south, thus many escaped from the south. However, the south were against it, and made the fugitive slave clause which states that slaves should return back to the south if caught by the government. Apparently, 99% of the population of the south was filled with slaves, which is why there were some problem between the north and the south. It gave more seats to the south in the House of Representatives, and the north were against it, thus, the 3/5th clause was added to the constitution. This clause sates that only 3/5th of the slave will be counted in the House of Representative. The African-American were dehumanized whereas the whites were treated superior to them. This discrimination and unfair treatment was strongly supported by the south but the north was against it. Thus, this caused the civil war and later the north defeated the south. Right after the civil war, the 13th, 14th, and the 15th amendments were included to the constitution to change the African –American life. Despite of adding all these changes to the constitution, it still didn’t protect the rights of African-Americans. Provided that the 13th amendment clearly says to abolish slavery, 14th to grant citizenship to all the former slaves, and the 15th to give access to all the citizens to vote, no matter what race, the discrimination was still present. Rights had been taken away indirectly after the civil war, for example, the poll tax, grandfather clause and Jim Crow Laws. As a citizen you must be eligible to vote, but the grandfather clause states that it only allows those to vote whose grandfather could vote. Which indirectly stops the Africans to vote because their ancestors were slaves when they first came here. Likewise, the poll tax is also a similar case because you must pay to vote and no African-Americans were that rich enough to spent money to vote. In addition to it, the Jim Crow Law segregates public schools, places, transportation, restrooms and restaurants for whites and black even after the civil war. Cases like Plessey vs. Ferguson had also taken place after the changes to the constitution. This case was held because Plessey was arrested for refusing to sit in the black railway car. Later, the case was brought up to the Supreme Court and it legalized racial segregation. As a matter of fact, the African-American stood up against all these amendments that were directly, or indirectly violating their rights. They wanted to end this hatred and discrimination. Thus, they attempted boycott, Civil Rights of 1984, equal rights clause, and Little Rock, AK. During the Civil Rights of 1964 they targeted to provide equal rights to all color, and any