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Malcolm X Network: The Open Mind With Richard Heffner- Race Relations in Crisis, June 12, 1963

May 6, 2013

American Civil Rights Movement
Without Malcolm X and Martin L. King we probably never get the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. At least not until someone in the African-American community stepped up and demanded their freedom and to be treated equally under law. And these two men were finally just fed up or pissed off even and tired of being treated like second-class citizens in a country where they had the same constitutional rights as any other race of people in America.

These civil rights leaders brought along people who felt the same way and that’s how movements get started and many times by a leader or leaders who feel similarly about certain issues and feel the need for change and reform as well as progress. And in Dr. King’s case someone who brought in thousands of people if not tens of thousands of people. Of all different races and religions who said that American citizens should not be treated worst or better in a country where they have the same constitutional rights as any other race of people in America.

What the civil rights movement was about was simply about equal rights under the law for all Americans. And denying a race of people, in this case the African race in America the same rights under law as other races of people and in this case Caucasians, was simply unconstitutional under law. And just because racist bigots were in power and had the ability to deny people their constitutional-rights, was not still unacceptable.

And that civil-rights movement was about was defeating the racists in charge and changing the laws. So now denying people equal treatment under the law was not only unconstitutional which it already was. But now it was also illegal and we saw that with the passage of the civil rights laws in 1964, 65 and 68. With President Kennedy sort of kicking off the momentum for these laws with his great primetime speech in 1963. Of course he was assassinated before he saw the passage of the laws, but he finally stepped up and got behind them.

These shows as well as CBS Face The Nation and NBC Meet The Press were great for the civil-rights movement. Because of the attention that it brought to the movement and that civil rights leaders were not criminals or terrorists or crazy people. But were great Americans who all believed in America and believed in individual freedom, but that freedom should be for everyone. Not just for the people because of their race or complexion.

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