Originally Posted by brokencycle
You mean like my ancestors who certainly were? There were Irish, Germans, and Jews among my ancestors. Was their treatment as bad as blacks in the South? Almost certainly not.
You are acting like the Federal government has clean hands when it comes to discrimination. They locked up more than 100k Japanese Americans on the basis of their national origin. That was in 1941. In 1947, the federal government prohibited the Levitt corporation from selling houses to blacks in Levittown. It wasn't until 1968 when the federal government repealed laws requiring racial segregation for low income housing.
Does it really matter if a law was popular when it passed? The government is still going to enforce it.
The problem with this argument is that the government is now Constitutionally prohibited from using its power to discriminate in such a fashion. The government retaining its power to prevent
persecution of protected classes does not logically extrapolate to a scenario where the government uses power to institute persecution in the future, because of those restrictions. It only really makes sense if you're working backwards from the axiom that government power is bad.
Certainly government power can be used for good or bad purposes. "Not giving the government power" is one option, but putting firm restrictions on those powers is another.
It was federal law that opened the eyes of southerners to inequality? The Civil Rights Act was passed, and people suddenly slapped themselves on the forehead, and said "Of course! Let's not judge people on the basis of their skin, and instead, let's treat them equally."
Nobody claimed in happened in a bolt from the heavens. That doesn't mean it wasn't effective overall.
Institutionalized bigotry has self-sustaining power. You grow up with it, you don't question it, and it just becomes the natural state of things. Legally preventing that sort of scenario works, over time, to lessen the prevalence and certainly the impact of bigotry.