Sample History Essays on Fighting Racism: An American History

Fighting Racism: An American History

Section I

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was established in 1909 with the sole purpose of fighting for racial inequality in America. Critical to the discussion is the fact that the organization tried to persuade the Congress into passing laws that would protect African Americans from racism in the first 20 years. However, the organization turned to courts in a bid to fight racism because of cases that had been ruled in favor or against African Americans at the time. For instance, an African American (Homer Plessy) challenged racism in court after he was arrested for refusing to give up a sit for a white man in 1892. Mr. Plessy argued that separating African Americans from Whites violated the “equal protection clause” of the 14th amendment of the American constitution. However, the Supreme Court ruled against Plessy citing that the court could not put African Americans and Whites on the same plane because African Americans were inferior.

In a different case (1936), Thurgood Marshall challenged the University Of Maryland School Of Law for rejecting to admit a qualified Donald Gaines Murray just because he was black. Critical to the debate is the reality that the Baltimore City Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff. The University appealed to the Maryland Court of Appeals, which still ruled in favor of Murray, who was then admitted to the institution. Similarly, the court ruled in favor of Lloyd Gaines in 1938 that had applied for graduate studies at the University of Missouri and was rejected admission based on color. It is notable that Gaines solicited the aid of NAACP and Marshall in the case. The university also appealed to the American Supreme Court, which still ruled in favor of Gaines. Similar cases include the Sweat vs. Painter (1950) and the McLaurin vs. Oklahoma Board of Regents of Higher Education (1950).

The cases mentioned above, occurred prior to the Brown v. Kansas caseand set a legal journey to a point where NAACP could with the Brown v. Kansas case. For instance, Mr. Plessy’s case changed NAACP’s strategy for fighting against racism in the country. Specifically, the case helped NAACP realize that, aside from persuading the Congress to implement antidiscrimination laws, the organization could use the constitution to fight against racism. Further, the some of the cases were ruled in favor of African Americans, which changed the perception of judges on the need to uphold in education among all Americans. This owes to the reality that cases, which had been ruled in favor of African Americans made judges of the atrocities of denying African Americans equal opportunity in education. As a result, the judges felt the need of acknowledging that African Americans should have equal access to education.

Section II

Kilpatrick was against the desegregation of Virginia schools owing to the articles he published in the Richmond News-Leader. For instance, Kilpatrick wrote that the Supreme Court repealed the Tenth amendment of the constitution, twisted, and distorted the Fourteenth amendment. In addition, Kilpatrick believed that the Supreme Court did not inscribe to the South’s sociological ideas. Critical to the discussion is the fact that Kilpatrick wrote the article after the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Brown vs. Board of Education case. This clearly indicates that the author of the article was against the idea of desegregation in public schools, because only the southerners understood the need for racial segregation. As result, Kilpatrick advises Virginians to renounce the sovereignty of States as the solution to desegregation of schools in Virginia. It is notable that Kilpatrick also argues that Virginians should set an example for the Southern States because the South is in a desperate need of leadership.

In a different article, Dabney provided reasons why Virginia should oppose the integration of schools in Virginia. Specifically, Dabney argued that the Supreme Court misinterpreted the Fourteenth amendment, which guarantees equal protection before the law. As a result, the author specified that it would only be illegal for should to deny opportunities to qualified African Americans, but separating black and White schools based on qualification would not be illegal. Further, Dabney was against the idea of desegregation in Virginia schools because it would result in intermarriages and a mixed race. The author was specific to Virginia because the number of African Americans present in Virginia was very high. Ultimately, Dabney believed that integrating schools in Virginia would cause chaos in schools to the extent that it would destroy learning in schools. This owes to the reality that African Americans were believed to be violent than whites. This implies that mixing the two races in schools would easily disrupt learning.

It is notable that both Dabney and Kilpatrick provide convincing arguments, but that depends on whether points used in their arguments are facts or opinions. For instance, Kilpatrick argues that the Supreme Court comprise of humans who are prone to error. Additionally, Kilpatrick mentions some of the Supreme Court office holders who were unqualified for their positions. Specifically, the author mentions people such as the chief justice, the senior associate, and two other associates citing reasons for their under qualifications. However, the said unqualified office holders still made qualified decisions on the subject in question. Analogously, Dabney cites the high rate of violence among African Americans at the time as a reason to oppose the integration of schools in Virginia. The same author further asserts that the court misinterpreted the constitution. Therefore, Dabney and Kilpatrick provide convincing arguments, but their opinion on the Court’s misinterpretation of the law is not based on facts.

Section III

Martin Luther King wrote the Birmingham letter to fellow clergymen with an aim of explaining the rationale behind his actions. As a result, King expected his fellow clergymen to understand why he was not remorseful for his actions. Critical to the discussion is the reality that the letter would even convince his fellow clergymen to join his course owing to the moving philosophies present in the letter. Further, the letter was communicated in an objective fashion that could not spur hatred among the moderate clergymen. This further highlights the truth that was not lamenting of his arrest, but Martin Luther King sought understanding. Further evidence indicates that Martin Luther King addressed the audience of his letter with respect. As evidenced,

King addressed the audience of the letter as “fellow clergymen”. Thus, King wrote a letter to fellow clergymen persuading them to understand his actions in an objective and friendly manner.

In a different letter, Malcolm X addressed fellow African Americans and the entire American nation with an aim of eliminating racism in the country. Critical to the debate is the reality that Malcolm expected America to put an end to racism in six main areas. To begin with, Malcolm wanted America to allow African Americans to defend themselves. This owes to the fact that the law had room for self-defense, yet African Americans were not allowed to own weapons. Further, Malcom intended to persuade America using any means necessary into allowing African Americans access quality education. Further, Malcom wanted America to allow African Americans equal participation in politics, besides empowering African Americans economically. In addition, Malcom intended to persuade Americans into allowing them establish “The Organization of Afro American Unity” and upgrade the African American’s social status.

It is vital that the letter from Martin Luther king and Malcom X have both differences and similarities. For instance, both authors appeal to America’s sense of justice by discussing human rights that should otherwise be protected by the constitution. However, the two letters address different audiences. Specifically, Martin Luther King addresses white moderates while Malcom X addresses African Americans. This difference is further highlighted by the language used in the letters because Malcolm’s letter insights while King’s letter persuades. Nonetheless, both letters critic and shame the audience because King shames the moderates for failing to stick to their religious morals while Malcom shames the audience by mentioning the laxity on the issue in question. Ultimately, both letters intend to achieve the same objective: empowering African Americans even though tactics used by the leaders are different. This owes to the fact that Malcom is aggressive while Martin Luther King is conservative. Therefore, both letters have similarities because they have similar objectives, but have differences because of the tactics used by King and Malcom.