Why Did Belligerency Replace Nonviolence as the “Dominant Ethos” in the Civil Rights Movement in the Mid-1960’s? Essay
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Why Did Belligerency Replace Nonviolence as the “Dominant Ethos” in the Civil Rights Movement in the mid-1960’s?
The civil rights movement made lasting contributions to the nation. Above all, it helped eliminate the legalities that had dogged the United States since its earliest days. It also created a national expectation that individuals and groups had the right to petition their government to right legal wrongs affecting them. In its wake there developed a broad base of constituent interest groups—women, the elderly, children's rights advocates, the handicapped, homosexuals, environmentalists—that emphasize the rights of affected parties to be a critical part of the decisions affecting their interests. Indeed, the dominant ethos of the sixties, racial integration and equality, has given way to an implicit but insidious assumption by many whites and blacks today that voluntary racial isolation and segregation are acceptable even among those whose fundamental interests are similar. After the war African Americans became increasingly restive. During the war they had challenged discrimination in the military services and in the work force, and they had made limited gains. Millions of blacks had left southern farms for northern cities, where they hoped to find better jobs. They found instead crowded conditions in urban slums. Now, black servicemen returned home, intent on rejecting second-class citizenship, as other blacks began to argue that the time was ripe for racial equality Black-white inequality persisted in income, education, health, housing, technology access, and safe communities. There was racial profiling against the African Americans from the whites. In an age of nonviolence belligerence came to forefront. Many non-blacks saw change coming and I believe were stuck in a fear of change. The blacks had a vision of what could be