Student: Discrimination and Civil Rights Act Essay

Submitted By sholmes00
Words: 991
Pages: 4

Discrimination and Harassment Discrimination can be best defined as an individual or a group being treated less favorable than others mainly in part because of their race, national origin, sex, age, disability, religious beliefs and sometime sexual preference. Harassment on the other hand is a type of discriminatory act or conduct where an individual is singled out and unwillingly subjected to unwanted behavior by another because of their race, sex, age, national origin, religion, and disability. Discrimination and harassment are both illegal and unwarranted behaviors or treatments that have been imposed on specific individuals or groups for many of years since 246 years ago before slavery was abolished to Hitler’s Nazi Germany anti-Semitism era (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2009, p.98). People from all walks of life have endured discrimination and harassment in one type of form or another rather it be race, sex, or national origin. For this reason alone many lives were sacrificed in creating and enacting the single most powerful piece of legislation as Bennett-Alexander et al stated, “ that has helped to shape and define employment law rights in the history of the United States” , The Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (2009, p.97). The United States is a “melting pot” and because of this all people who live in here should be treated equal, not according to race, sex, or national origin. Discrimination and harassment of any form is not only illegal, but intolerable as well. The most common form of discrimination is race and dates back as far as 264 years ago till the beginning of the 20th century when blacks were treated unequal and with disrespect as oppose to whites. Race discrimination is not specifically limited to one race, blacks. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has stated five racial categories which are the following: American Indian or Alaska native; Asian; Black of African-American; Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; and White with only one ethnicity category, Hispanic or Latino (Bennett-Alexander , 2009, p.268). This type of discrimination as well as new forms are still very prevalent today, not just in the United States amongst blacks but interracial marriages, increased immigration and racial demographics as well and in other countries around the world. The laws that prohibited certain races from having the same rights as others caused their civil rights to be denied (e.g. voting, employment, education, home ownership). Even after the passage of Brown v. Topeka Board of Education many blacks were still being subjected to harsh acts of harassment. It was not until after the historic March on Washington led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during his famous “I Have a Dream “speech that things took a dramatic change in the acts of discrimination. In 1964 legislation passed and President Johnson signed Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which set a precedent for other anti-discrimination laws all over the world (Bennett-Alexander et al, 2009, p.101). Although the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 pertains mainly to employment, it also represents a much greater legislative law (Bennett-Alexander et al, 2009, p.101). Race was the primary reason for the passage of this law and therefore it is the first prohibited category in the Title VII (Bennett-Alexander et al, 2009, p.258). It also applies to on the legal basis of discrimination that education, public accommodations and federally assisted programs are equal made equal to everyone and not based on the race, sex, religion, national origin, and disability (EEOC, 2011). An employer can be held liable for racial harassment just as so with racial discrimination. Racial harassment is considered any conduct that is unwelcomed and based on race. Employer can be held liable for this type of behavior if the employee can prove that based on race the conduct was undesired, so severe or pervasive that is changed the