Opposition to civil rights laws is widespread. Following the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, there was opposition to the application of its provisions. George Wallace, Alabama's segregationist governor, performed well in the 1964 presidential primaries in Indiana, Maryland, and Wisconsin. In all three states, he promised to "stand up to Lyndon B. Johnson" on issues such as school desegregation and would not enforce the new federal law against discrimination.
Wallace's stance on racial issues helped him to win the support of many Southern Democrats who did not want to see their state's political status changed by an increasingly liberal national government. As a result, Wallace was able to stay in office for eight months after being elected on a platform opposing the Civil Rights Act. Although he did not use his power to block enforcement of the act, he did not assist victims of discrimination when they tried to file complaints either. Wallace claimed that he could not be expected to do so while he was in office but said that once he left office he would work with private organizations to help minorities.
In addition to resisting efforts at school integration, the South's white community also resisted other measures intended to improve race relations. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) had been trying to get rid of segregated schools in the South since the early 20th century.
Civil Rights Movement Milestones
The Civil Rights Movement won numerous notable victories, including the abolition of Jim Crow segregation in the South, the passage of federal legislation prohibiting racial discrimination, and widespread recognition of African American cultural heritage and its unique contributions to American history. However, there are also many examples of violence throughout the country as white supremacists attacked blacks who tried to exercise their right to vote, attend schools, or use public facilities.
In conclusion, the Civil Rights Movement resulted in significant advances for black Americans.
The act was passed into law by Congress on April 9, 1964.
Before the passage of the Civil Rights Act, many Southern states had already begun to integrate their schools. However, poor facilities, lack of funding, and resistance from local officials made this process slow. As a result, blacks were often relegated to inferior education systems. This discrimination took place in both white and black schools - yet it was much more prevalent in black schools. Segregation prevented blacks and whites from learning about each other's cultures and values, thus inhibiting their ability to understand and respect one another's rights as citizens.
The act was intended to address these issues by prohibiting discrimination in employment practices, creating a federal agency to enforce anti-discrimination laws, and providing for equitable treatment of racial groups in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
These provisions effectively forced Southern states to end their policies of segregation. Between 1964 and 1970, approximately 450 discriminatory practices were found to be illegal under the act. These included prohibitions against hiring or firing someone because of their race or denying people access to hotels or restaurants because of their color.
The attempt capitalized on Reagan's opposition to the 1964 act as well as his Klan sponsorship, which he later denounced. Reagan also stated that he no longer opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, stating that it had not worked as he had anticipated, but rather had worked fairly nicely. He added that he didn't believe there was a need for further legislation regarding racial equality.
Reagan's views on race were complicated. He often expressed support for African-Americans' right to vote and to be treated equally by law, yet at the same time they enjoyed fewer rights than whites. For example, he argued that "states' rights" prevented the federal government from banning segregation, but many of these same states enforced segregation through their laws. In addition, while in office Reagan signed into law a bill establishing January 26 as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Day, but he also signed legislation prohibiting any form of affirmative action based on race or gender.
Reagan's views on civil rights changed over time. As a Hollywood actor who played various roles on screen, he was expected to play different characters with different attitudes toward race. Yet despite this fact, Reagan maintained a popular image as America's leading anti-Communist during his second presidential term. By contrast, his first presidential term was defined by his fight against federal intervention in local affairs, which made many liberals feel he wasn't liberal enough.