Minority Rights Revolution the Civil


Thus, the push for equal education for African-Americans in many ways mirrored the push for equal education for Latino-Americans.

Once Latinos were defined as official minorities as blacks were, Latinos became eligible for the same treatment in matters of educational public policies. Of special interest to the pro-bilingual Latino community was the inclusion of Spanish-language materials in schools. Although not included in the original Brown v. Board of Education decision and not a major part of the African-American civil rights campaigns, bilingualism became a significant minority rights issue that had similar goals of equal access public education. Similar to African-Americans, Latinos demonstrated lower scores on standardized tests in schools. Therefore, bilingualism became one way for Latinos to have equal access to the educational opportunities that their white counterparts enjoyed. Just as schools could no longer segregate between black and white classrooms, so too could schools no longer neglect to teach students for whom English was not a first language.

Along with the public policies that pertained to African-Americans and Latinos, policy initiatives that pertained to females were also a part of the overall Civil Rights movement. Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 was drafted "to grant equality to women in education," (Skrentny 230). The author describes the pre-civil rights situation in American institutes of higher education: "Many universities had openly discriminatory policies toward women in key areas," (230). In some ways, the gains that African-Americans and Latinos would make in the early years of the civil rights movement would be enjoyed only by males. Women of all colors and ethnic backgrounds had to fight their own battles for obtaining equality. In terms of education, equality for women demanded a revamping of admissions policies as well as the mandatory inclusion of women in athletic activities. Skrentny points out that the African-American struggle for equal rights set the stage for, and was a necessary precursor of, equal rights for women in education. Women might not be a numerical minority in the American census as blacks were, but women were like blacks in terms of their social status, access to education, access to jobs, and access to equal pay as men. It took a long time for public policy to reflect the equation of women with minority groups, even though feminism and civil rights went hand-in-hand.

The main reason for the discrepancy and the rampant double standards for women is that women's equality involves issues that diverge significantly from other types of minority rights issues. Athletics was one of the areas in which devising policies became exceedingly difficult. Women were treated as "separate but equal" in the arena of college athletics (Skrentny 256). While great strides for women were made in the ways applicants to college were treated, sports was another matter altogether, and this was partly due to the profitability of men's sports teams. Advocating for equal rights for women can be far trickier than advocating for equal rights for minority groups like blacks or Latinos because of the obvious differences between men and women and because of the systemic stereotypes and prejudices against women that are shared by many cultures throughout the world. Therefore, while the African-American Civil Rights movements helped to jump-start activism for other oppressed groups in the United States, and while women greatly benefited from association with the Civil Rights issues championed by African-Americans, females had a whole set of…