Free Essay

Equal Rights

In: English and Literature

Submitted By sld0169
Words 816
Pages 4
Stephanie L. Davis
Professor Randall Gordon
English Composition II 10428
22 February 2014
Equal Rights: Action or No Action
In the article “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” the author Martin Luther King Jr., is responding to a minister’s opposing comments to King and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference organization’s actions in Birmingham, Alabama. The author reflects his point by portraying the fear of the residents of Birmingham and thus evoking the same emotion in the reader to justify the actions that were taken. King also adds further detailed information explaining the time and situation along with various activities occurring in the same area which explains the feeling and temperament of Birmingham. Although King was attempting to explain the call to action, the article rambles and addresses so many topics that the reader becomes lost and by the end has forgotten the actual goal of the correspondence.
The article was written with a very passionate and disgusted tone for how colored people were being treated in the southern states. His choice of words that include “intolerance”, “injustice”, and “racial” stress both his deep pain and personal anger for the way that he and other colored people are being segregated and reacted to by whites, law enforcement, merchants, and various people in the community. Each term causes the reader to pause and contemplate the feeling of prejudice, how it would feel to be judged by the color of your skin, and have laws created not for everyone but just for a specific population again because of the color of your skin.
King uses pathos to evoke fear in the reader of the lynching of their mother and fathers at will, the killing of colored people at will, and then your own child seeing an advertisement of an amusement park on television but having to tell her that she cannot go because it is closed to colored children. The quote that King adds coming from a possible five year old son “Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?” (King 215) making the reader emotionally connect with a parent who wants the best for their children and not have anyone treat them unfairly is heartfelt. Each of these comments by King arouse emotional connection using the technique of pathos and the reader is likely to follow a call for action from an emotional reminder of situations that have occurred or could occur to their own family.
The author discusses the negotiations in the past for the merchants to remove the stores’ humiliating racial signs. As part of the negotiations, it was decided that demonstrations would be postponed but it was soon determined that this was a broken promise because few signs were removed and what few had been removed were soon replaced. This particular example given by the author addresses the situation at hand and indicates a call for action since negotiations have failed in this particular instance.
King addresses the mayoral election occurring during this specific time period and the change in mayors. While the mayors may have changed, it is King’s determination that Boutwell, the new mayor, is “dedicated to the status quo” (214). He further reminds the reader that actions by oppressed is seldom conducted at perfect times since there is never a perfect time. The author asks the reader how long are we supposed to wait for equality and reminds that other countries are moving faster when the United States is almost at a standstill. Each of these comments causes the reader to pause and consider how long do you wait but does not provoke as much action as the author’s prior and later comments in the article.
Although King was attempting to explain the call to action, the article rambles and addresses so many topics that the reader becomes lost and by the end has forgotten the actual goal of the correspondence.
However King makes several strong arguments concerning the unfair treatment to colored people, the fact that the article contains so much information that does not relate to the call for action it makes the argument very hard to follow. There are several positive comments made by the author which did identify excellent reasons like the failing of the merchants to remove the signs as agreed. While there are times that King addressed situations such as the churches and Christians, these were points that may have been important to the writer but not necessarily important to the support of the call to action and did provide provocation for those individuals to join the call to action. The author’s argument would have been more convincing with direct examples showing the failure to progress to fair treatment without action when negotiations had taken place.

Works Cited
King, Jr., Martin Luther. “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Reading Literature and Writing Argument. James, Missy and Alan Merickel. 4th ed. Boston: Longman-Pearson, 2011. 212 – 223. Print.…...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Equal Employment Opportunity and Employee Rights

...Equal Employment Opportunity and Employee Rights Luis Carrasco, Jade Hadfield, Jo Hemenway, Stafford McClendon, Emily Sementilli, Misty Wightman November 4, 2012 HRM/300 Timothy Turcotte Equal Employment Opportunity and Employee Right Over the course of history in the United States there have been many laws put in place to protect employees and employers. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 are two such acts signed into law. Each of the laws protects workers from termination for causes outlined in the acts. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits, under certain circumstances, discrimination based on disability. It affords similar protections against discrimination to Americans with disabilities as the Civil Rights act of 1964, which made discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, and other characteristics illegal. Drug testing has become popular in many businesses in today’s society.  This upsets many employees because they think that what they do on their own time does not affect what they do at work.   The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was put into place to make it easier for American’s that have disabilities to navigate. There are five different categories of this......

Words: 1862 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

Equal Consideration

...Animals deserve the right of equal consideration. There are two sets of characteristics that represent how beings are treated differently; the first way is by rationality, having the knowledge of what is right and what is wrong, and the second way is the ability to feel pain and pleasure. As Peter Singer says in his article, “the basic principle of equality, I shall argue, is equality of consideration; and equal consideration for different beings may lead to different treatment and different rights.” The important characteristic that Singer points out is the ability to feel suffering, which gives beings the right to equal consideration. What gives beings the capacity to experience pain and pleasure is the idea of sentience. So in the case that animals do feel emotions like pleasure and plain, we must give them equal consideration of our interest. To help understand Peter Singer one must be familiar with the ideas of utilitarianism. There are two moral principles when talking about utilitarianism; the first principle is equality, in which everyone is treated with the same rights, and the second principle is the best balance of satisfaction over frustration. As discussed in class, human beings have the tendency to favor the interest of human beings themselves over non-human beings. Along the same lines, human beings also have the tendency to favor the interest of higher animals over the interest of lower animals. In Singer’s eyes, since animals have the capacity of suffering,......

Words: 290 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Equal Treatment

...Dr. Light English 102 15 October 2012 Equal Treatment for Those with Criminal Histories All states should require equal treatment for all individuals with criminal records and the expungement of criminal histories for non-violent offenders after a certain period of time in order to reduce employment discrimination and the unemployment of qualified individuals. With the great proliferation of technology in today’s society, it is very easy for employers to obtain almost any information they desire regarding an individual or potential employee. Because this information is so easily obtain, more employers are now requesting background checks for potential hires. The need for background checks is clearly a valid one; however, in many instances employers are not looking beyond the fact that an individual has a criminal history. There are many times when an individual is arrested and charged, but not convicted of a crime. Employers are not even bothering to look any further in lots of cases. To make matters even worse, a great many of employers that use temporary employment services or recruiting agencies don’t even see the application as it is never forwarded to them once the agency discovers the individual has a criminal history. This denies many individuals, who are otherwise qualified, the opportunity to even be considered for the job. In his article, A fair shot at a job, Brent Staples states, “The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled......

Words: 1490 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Equal Pay for Equal Work

...In the 1800’s women were held to a higher moral standard then man which enabled women to enter the workforce. American culture expected women to preserve the family values not become “money makers” or head of the household. Women were unable to enter the workforce, vote, or get an education until the 19th century and even after they had received rights their rights were not equal to a mans. Institutions refused to allow women in educational programs and since they were economically dependent upon men, women had a poor socioeconomic status. Until the World Wars, that demanded women’s help in all areas of the labor market did society start to accept women as more than Susie-Home-Makers. The role of women drastically changed after the World Wars yet pay for women remained unequal to that of men, this led to the equal rights movement were women demanded “equal pay for equal work” (4). Working women ranked equal pay as a top priority for Congress in 2001 and the issue reemerged under President Barack Obama when he signed an amendment to the Fair Pay Act last year. The consequences of not acting on this important issue is plummeting tax revenues and further widened income inequality during an already starving US economy. Personal income taxes, child care taxes, earned income tax credits, payroll taxes, and state and local taxes all have aspects that affect the majority of women. Most of the tax system was drafted during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s when most women were not in the......

Words: 1556 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Soc 315 Week 5 Learning Team Assignment Equal Rights Proposition Presentation

...Sociology - General Sociology Learning Team Assignment: Equal Rights Proposition Outline Select a current social issue related to the rights of ethnic or social groups. Research the subject and existing action plans designed to solve the issue. Develop a 1,050- to 1,500- word comprehensive outline of your proposition to promote equal rights. Be sure to include the following: The issues, challenges, and opportunities experienced by this group in the labor force How society has constructed this group’s identity The legal framework relating to this issue Summary of existing or proposed solutions of differing groups. Consider the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, corporate human resource departments, state or federal laws and regulations, political strategies, government agencies, religious groups, and grass roots organizations. Whether or not this issue exists in other countries, and if so, how it is handled by differing groups Your team’s compromise or alternative to existing solutions Outline your proposition in Microsoft Word. Include at least five academic references in your research. Format your outline consistent with APA guidelines. When it comes to succeeding in college, there are many influential factors. In fact, even your choice of seat can make a difference. Try to score a seat near the front of the lecture hall rather than one right next to the exit. You are more likely to stay engaged......

Words: 372 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Womens Equal Rights

...It is engraved in our constitution that “all men are created equal.” It is something we learn about at a young age. Yet it only states that men are created equal, not women. Many activists have been fighting for women to have equal rights and many are still fighting. Years ago, women were not allowed to vote, not allowed to hold jobs, and were simply thought of being the ones who stayed at home to be with the children. Now women can vote, have jobs, and do things men can do. With all the advancements towards equality, women seem to be taking a step back, because women are treated unfairly today. The United States Federal Government should re-ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), making sure all the 50 states accept it, because it will insure everyone will be treated equal. In this essay, I will briefly trace the history of women inequality and explain why it is a problem. Next, I will provide evidence as to how women are treated unfairly, and explain what the Equal Rights Amendment is. Lastly, I will explain how re-ratifying the ERA will guarantee equality for all, by eliminating women inequality. It has been over 100 years since the first women’s rights convention was held in 1864 and there have been so many advancements for women rights. The first Women’s Trade Union League was established in 1903, women gain the right to vote in1920, and Equal Rights Amendment was finally introduced in 1923. The ERA was what women in America were fighting for; something that would......

Words: 2214 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Equal Protection

...The Equal Protection Clause what is it and how does it affect you? So how many people out there actually know what our Constitution entails? This would be the part where we hear crickets. Why because unless you are super passionate about politics or want to eventually run for congress at some point in your life you, like so many other American citizens have no idea what laws and amendments are set in place. This is where I seek to educate at least on one small faction of the fourteenth amendment. Now I know that for some learning about our government is probably high on the list of things you would rather not do however, there is a lot that we could all stand to learn about protecting these rights we hardly know anything about. The Equal Protection Clause is part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The clause, which took effect in 1868, provides that no state shall deny to any person with its jurisdiction “the equal protection of the laws”. In other words it is the constitutional guarantee that no person or class of persons shall be denied the same protection of the laws that is enjoyed by other persons or other classes in like circumstances. With the amount of problems this country has faced and is facing dealing with discrimination and inequality I believe it holds a very valuable place within our Constitution and more importantly our society. The Equal Protection clause was the center piece of the Civil rights movement and it......

Words: 1343 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Equal Employment Opportunity and Employee Rights Review

...Equal Employment Opportunity and Employee Rights Review Learning Team B HRM 300 May 18, 2015 Professor E. Hardin Equal Employment Opportunity and Employee Rights Review The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in all employment decisions on a basis of race, religion, ethnicity, sex, and national origin (DeCenzo, Robbins, Verlhurst, 2013). Not only does it protect in employment decisions but it also ended unequal application of voter registration requirements. When the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was put in place it ended segregation in schools as well. If this law would not be in place equality in the workplace would not have been possible and many would not be in the place they are in their careers now. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information (EEOC, 2015). EEOC also makes it illegal for anyone to discriminate against a person who has filed a discrimination complaint or someone that was involved in a discrimination investigation or law suit. With the law in place it gives the EEOC the right to investigate charges discrimination against employers that are covered by the EEOC law. When a person exposes any information or activity that is considered......

Words: 2071 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Equal Employment Opportunity and Employee Rights Review

...Equal Employment Opportunity and Employee Rights Review HRM/300 C******* ****** June 4, 2015 Mr. M****** S******** Summary Equal Employment Opportunity laws are in place to prohibit any job discrimination in any workplace. In The Department of Labor they have two agencies that deal with EEO monitoring and enforcement, one agency is the Civil Rights Center and the other is Office of Federal Contract Compliance. For the rights of employees the federal, state and regulations protect them. Any employee is protected under few of these federal laws, that team C will be going over. First will touch base on Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1978, Family and Medical Leave Act 1993, and Employee Monitoring. * Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1978 * Enacted to protect employees ages 40 to 65 from discrimination. In 1986 amended to eliminate the upper age limit altogether (DeCenzo & Robbins, 2007) * Congress decided to pass the ADEA because of an oversight about the older working force, there was a case in 2008 Gomez v. Potter that allowed federal workers who experienced retaliation for filing a claim based on the law to sue the company for damages. * Family and Medical Leave Act ...

Words: 921 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

The Equal Rights Amendment

...Merrit Duke History of American Women May 27, 2015 Equality: Too Much to Ask For? The Equal Rights Amendment has been the source of much debate for almost an entire century now. Since first purposed by Alice Paul in the 1920s one’s stance on the potential amendment has been a dividing factor in the political sphere. Though the amendment was shut down in the 1920s there has been discussion about adding the Equal Rights Amendment into the constitution today. If the potential amendment was to be brought back up my stance on the debate would be in support of the amendment. For some background on the debate on the Equal Rights Amendment it would be good to look back and see where activists in the past were split and what about the Equal Rights Amendment has divided them. The Antebellum era gave two different types of women activists, the true women and the Early Feminists. The True Women argued for gender distinctions, separate spheres, domesticity, and women as moral guardians in their natural role as a mother. The True Women would be the women who be apposed to the Equal Rights Amendment and would be active in the fight against it. Arguing against the True Women were the Early Feminists who stressed gender equality, suffrage for women, equal education, human rights, and saw women as rational beings. This group of activists would be in support of the Equal Rights Amendment. Next would be the Progressive era where the two parties in the debate would be the Early Feminists......

Words: 1205 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Equal

...Equal Have ever consider a world so huge and immeasurable can be so unjust. I mean Problems of the past still affect the future. Women have always been the scape goat in term of blame or in adequate of men. This shape power that if women were to have a good or great idea it would be dismissive In the following are some topics that regard gender and some refers from "killing us softly 4"from Jean Kilbourne. She talks about adverting ads that sexually women and make or trying to turn them in to object rather than a human being. I saw an old navy commercial about woman in pants by presence them in different size and made look appeal to the male audience. One can say that we live in a male dominate socially. I'm not trying to sound sexist but it is true. From history has told from the begin regard of era that woman were in to be homemaker and servants. In the world women working side by side with can make a difference but inequity such as wages, treatment, and having a say. Today people are define by sociality by gender and how they are act towards one another. First ads affect people perceptive on how to live and want to do. A quote from Kilbourne “saying that don't look like there prefect but are made from four different woman's parts”. In most to all advertisement woman look at these ads and fell insecure and try to imitate that way they look. To them an out ward appearance is a primary feature that is important to maintain “prefect” image they are going for. One of the...

Words: 1910 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Equal Rights

...English 1101 Essay #2 October 9, 2015 “Equal Rights” The ethical principle of Equal Respect and the Golden Rule are often forgotten in today's society. It is never okay to feel that someone is of lesser value than yourself because their race, or color of their skin. I feel one must always treat others with respect and dignity. No one is able to choose the color of their skin or their family heritage, I always have to see it from the other persons point of view. If I were in their shoes, how would I want to be treated by someone that is a little bit different on the outside, but exactly the same on the inside? If everyone got a chance to know what it feels like to be affected by a racist comment, lack of respect, or unequal rights it would change the outlook on this ethical principle. One should always value the lives of others just as you would your own life. Everyone adds value to the world in their own way. It is important to encourage other people to find their purpose in life, not to be determined by the color of their skin. We have all heard of the golden rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Why should someone of a different race be treated any differently if they are attempting to pursue the same goal? For example, If there were an African American girl that has a goal of being a doctor. She goes to school for the required amount of years, passes all of the tests, gets certified to be a doctor. Yet, when she applies in the......

Words: 997 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Equal

...adoptive carers. Some children have needs that arise from disability or deficiency or may have progenitors that have an incapacity. Some children come from classes who experience social rejection or severe poverty; some have to face discrimination and racism because of their ethnicity, the languages they speak, their religious or beliefs, their gender or their deficiency. These factors influence the well-being of children and can have and influence on their development. For these reasons, the early years setting ensure by a policy of equal opportunities a change for children fulfil their potential (MCI, undated a). As mentioned in the article 29 of The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC, 2008) “Education should develop each child’s personality and talents to the full.” The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS, 2012) sets the principles for the early years providers in England. Moreover, it defined equal opportunities as a promotion of equal access to education for all children, a non-discriminatory approach to gender, nationality, race, religion, culture, individual needs, family set-up, sexual orientation of parents. As well, develop plans to meet the necessities of each child and record his/her progress. Also, set up and maintain a policy that encourage diversity and respect for others....

Words: 283 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Not Always Equal

...What does “equal pay for equal work” mean? It means that two individuals should be paid identically, if they perform similar jobs and work for the same amount of hours. Everyone should be treated equally in the work place, no matter their gender or race, if the playing fields in which they are participating are equal. This refers to a controversial topic: should male and female tennis players receive the same prize money if the playing fields are not equal? Females compete for less time than the men do, yet get paid an equal amount. Men should be earning more money than women in the sport of tennis if “equal pay for equal work” was really being applied. The men and women’s tours are completely separate entities, with different schedules and different sponsors, for all of except six tournaments throughout the tennis season, in which they compete at the same venues. The Grand Slams: the Australian Open, the French Open, the Wimbledon Championships and the US Open, comprise four of these six tournaments and are the holy grails of the sport. The winner has a daunting task of winning seven matches over a twoweek period against the best players in the world. The incredibly rewarding financial prize that is rewarded to the champions at the end of the two weeks is identical between the men and the women. There would not be a problem or an opposing argument against women receiving equal pay at the Grand Slams if the playing fields were the same. The problem is that the...

Words: 965 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Equal Rights Proposition Outline

...Equal Rights Proposition Outline Racial Profiling of Mid-Eastern People in U.S. airports SOC 315 December 12, 2011 Equal Rights Proposition Outline SECTION 1: THE ISSUES, CHALLENGES, AND OPPORTUNITIES EXPERIENCED BY THIS GROUP IN THE LABOR FORCE Issues A. 65 percent are in the labor force B. Lower income than the national level Challenges A. Women labor force participation is higher B. Fewer immigrant women work than born in the U.S. Opportunities A. 73 percent work in the field (Technical, sales, managerial, professional) B. Income 22 percent higher than the U.S. average income SECTION 2: HOW SOCIETY HAS CONSTRUCTED THIS GROUPS IDENTITY A. Sustained animosity originating in the attacks of 9/11 B. Areas with dense Muslim population C. Community Participation by people of Middle Eastern descent. SECTION 3: THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK RELATING TO THIS ISSUE The Fifth Amendment A. Obey its own laws when dealing with people B. Constitutional rights to be free of arbitrary actions C. Freedoms guaranteed in the bill of Rights SECTION 4: SUMMARY OF EXISTING OR PROPOSED SOLUTIONS OF DIFFERING GROUPS. A. House Research Department (Cleary, 2000) B. TSA Security Directive SD-1544-09-06 (Burningham, 2011) C. U.S. Equal Opportunity SECTION 5: WHETHER OR NOT THIS ISSUE EXISTS IN OTHER COUNTRIES, AND IF SO, HOW IT IS HANDLED BY DIFFERING GROUPS Does Mid-Eastern Racial Profiling......

Words: 470 - Pages: 2