What Are My Rights?
The NAACP played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. One of the organization's key victories was the U.S. Supreme Court's 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education that outlawed segregation in public schools. ... At the same time, NAACP members were subject to harassment and violence.
CIVIL RIGHTS SOCIETY
WRITTEN BY: Rebecca Hamlin
LAST UPDATED: Aug 21, 2019
Civil rights, guarantees of equal social opportunities and equal protection under the law, regardless of race, religion, or other personal characteristics.
Examples of civil rights include the right to vote, the right to a fair trial, the right to government services, the right to a public education, and the right to use public facilities. Civil rights are an essential component of democracy; when individuals are being denied opportunities to participate in political society, they are being denied their civil rights. In contrast to civil liberties, which are freedoms that are secured by placing restraints on government, civil rights are secured by positive government action, often in the form of legislation. Civil rights laws attempt to guarantee full and equal citizenship for people who have traditionally been discriminated against on the basis of some group characteristic. When the enforcement of civil rights is found by many to be inadequate, a civil rights movement may emerge in order to call for equal application of the laws without discrimination.
Unlike other rights concepts, such as human rights or natural rights, in which people acquire rights inherently, perhaps from God or nature, civil rights must be given and guaranteed by the power of the state. Therefore, they vary greatly over time, culture, and form of government and tend to follow societal trends that condone or abhor particular types of discrimination. For example, the civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community have only recently come to the forefront of political debate in some Western democracies.