Wed | Dec 8, 2021

Time for US to reform Civil Rights Act

Published:Saturday | April 24, 2021 | 12:08 AM


On April 4, the world watched in anticipation of the outcome of the verdict of the trial of George Floyd. The verdict was delivered, and the world (or most persons who supported the Black Lives Matter movement thankfully) breathed a sigh of relief.

It was one of the most defining trials in the course of black history and its struggles, especially within the United States of America. One thing is certain, the outcome does not signal the end of race relations in that country, and the struggles will continue for some time.

President Biden and Vice-President Harris, in their speech after the verdict, stated that things will have to change in terms of race relations quickly. My guess is that they will turn to the Senate to convince the Senate to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in a timely manner. However, in my opinion, they should not hastily make that decision because there are so many other issues other than racial profiling that exists within the police force that has to be settled once and for all.

Therefore, it would be imperative that the United States government take this dilemma as an opportunity to fix the racial, and by extension the social divide, once and for all.

I think the time has come for the institutions of the US government to reform the US Civil Rights Act of 1964, they can repeal and replace it by amending other provisions of the Act. For instance, the act which was passed in 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, colour, religion, sex or national origin. This act could be extended to include provisions for racial profiling within other institutions, not only law enforcement and other related agencies, but others such as immigration and other agencies that deal with social issues such as housing, health, water, and education.

Although the act captured the main essence of the older issues at that time because it was designed to end the Jim Crow Laws which was upheld by the case of Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896, it should be amended to reflect more contemporary issues facing the nation today because the act was only centred on discrimination in employment on the basis of race, colour, and religion, and later expanded to include sex or national origin.