Civil Rights Act Of 1964 Passed 60 Years Ago, But Trump And Republican Majority Supreme Court Could Reverse Progress

In the summer of 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The most sweeping legislation on civil rights since Reconstruction made it illegal for anyone in America to face discrimination on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. 

The act also outlawed voting schemes to prevent Black people from voting such as literacy tests and poll taxes. 

But 60 years later, the Civil Rights Act is being threatened by the Republican majority Supreme Court and judges who could become more embolden if Donald Trump is re-elected in November.

The ripple effect of Trump being elected President in 2016 continues to impact the nation. 

During his term, Trump was able to name three Supreme Court justices which created a 6-3 Republican majority in the highest court in the land. Since 2016, there have been several key rulings that have been overturned or gutted. 

In the summer of 2023, the Supreme Court dismantled Affirmative Action in higher education, ruling that race-based admissions is illegal. However, there was no action taken against legacy programs that assist mostly white students who are provided points if a relative attended or worked at an institution. 

Several Republican-led states such as Alabama, Florida, and North Carolina have issued severe laws against diversity, equality, and inclusion which is now under attack. 

Moreover, the attack on Affirmative Action in education has trickled down to the business sector. The Fearless Fund, a fund created to help Black-owned, women led businesses, is facing legal pressure after two Trump-appointed judges on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the fund violated the Civil Rights Act of 1866. 

The Trump-appointed judges sided with Edward Blum, president of AAER. Blum is on a racially-charged mission to destroy the progression of Blacks in America. Blum has filed three lawsuits since August challenging grant and fellowship programs designed to help Black, Hispanic and other underrepresented minority groups achieve greater career opportunities.

Arian Simone, founder of Fearless Fund and Fearless Foundation, released a statement on her organization’s legal hurdles on the anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. 

“It’s with a deep sense of commitment to completing the unfinished business of the trailblazers who came before me that I lead the Fearless Fund and Fearless Foundation,” Simone said. “Today, sixty years since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed, and 158 years after the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, protections designed for us are being weaponized against women of color entrepreneurs. Women of color are the fastest growing demographic of entrepreneurs, but receive only a fraction of a percent of all venture capital funding that is allocated in our country each year…Despite the persistence of this outrageous disparity, there is a snowballing campaign to reverse more than 150 years of statutory and constitutional protections for historically marginalized people, including eliminating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other Civil Rights Acts dating back to reconstruction. Last month, the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that our Fearless Strivers grant program for Black women violates a civil rights law that was explicitly intended to protect the rights of Black people in entering contracts…On this anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, I call on the Biden Administration and our elected leaders in Congress to double down on the protection of our economic freedoms and demonstrate a tangible commitment to giving women of color and all Americans an equal footing in our economy.”

Indeed, a return to a Trump presidency would strengthen the Supreme Court, judges, and state lawmakers who are working overtime to make discrimination great again.  

 

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