A Protest That Changed America 

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Throughout time the United States has faced many problems and a majority of them were solved with the use of protests. There are an abundance of protests that have changed America throughout time. It is somewhat difficult to choose one that is the most important and that has had the biggest impact. This is due to the fact that so many of the protests that have occured have changed America in one way or another. In a sense one could say that America was founded on and shaped into what it is today due to protests. When problems arise the people take to the streets with protests and use their words to fight the problem.

Sometimes there might be many protests done before anything changes at all. Sadly, some of the protests ended in people being injured and even in death. One of the biggest protests that happened was the Civil Rights Protest or movements. Throughout time America has been full of hatred towards people that are “different”. Be it aimed towards women, other races, people with disabilities, and so on. It is sad to know that people used to and some still are like this. It is said that people are like this due to the fact that they are afraid of something that is different. This therefore causes people to lash out and be hateful towards others. Some people were raised under the impression that they are better than other people. This led them to believe that they can and in a sense must look down on others that are “ inferior” to them.

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Some people were afraid to fight back due to the fact that they feared getting hurt. Every once and a while we get a brave soul or two that fears nothing and their only goal is to fight for the people. Since the beginning of time the Caucasian people have always looked down on other races. A lot of Caucasian people believe they are the superior race, aka the race chosen by God. Due to this belief they have always treated other races terribly. They thought that God wanted them to do this to prove themselves.

One of the races that we showed the most disrespect towards is the African American race. For centuries we have treated them like animals. For some time we believed that it was okay to have them as slaves and to treat them any way we can. They were starved, whipped, chased by dogs, forced to work in cotton fields and forced to endure numerous other unjust activities. The things we did to these poor people is unspeakable and inhumane. This thought process lead to the formation of the notorious Ku Klux Klan or the KKK for short. This was a group that was founded by a few men that took the belief of “white power” to the extreme. The founders of this “group” brought together caucasians that believed they were chosen by God to make a difference. The goal of the KKK was to prove to other races that they truly are the superior of all.

They were all about being “pure, arian white” christians. They believed that other races and people that had other religious backgrounds were the scum of the Earth and needed to be taught a lesson. They mainly aimed their hate towards the African Americans. There were most well-known for burning crosses as a warning to the other races. Sadly, some of the Klans went to the extent of killing or attempting to kill others just to prove their “godly power” and to assert their dominance. The segregation of the African Americans and the Caucasians began in the 1880s. This segregation lead to the African American people feeling inferior and less important than the caucasians. With this happening everything was separated. There were seperate water fountains, pools, bathrooms, restaurants, seating on buses and numerous other things. Generally the caucasians gave the broken or not so good things to the African Americans. For example they may have been given a water fountain that didn’t work really well. The labels were terribly offensive. Things were labeled either “white only” or “colored only”. If an African American was to use a “white only” water fountain or go into a “white only” restaurant things would not end well for them.

They would generally get beaten or arrested. This segregation went on for 80 years. It was put to an end in 1964 when it was finally taken to court. This historical event was known as the Browns vs the Board of Education. There are a lot of people whose names come up when we are discussing the Civil Rights Movements. A lot of the people who we think of are considered heroes due to the fact that they decided to risk it all and stand up to the “white power”. They were tired of being pushed around and looked down upon so they took things into their own hands and protested to stand up for their fellow people. Some of these heroes made memorable speeches and some just simply refused to give into the “white power”.

There are many African American heroes who made a difference and made the people want to fight back. A few of the most well known people are, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X. One of the most well known Civil Rights Activist is Martin Luther King Junior. He was a baptist minister and started off as a social activist and then became a civil rights activist in the mid 1950’s. He is the social activist that lead to the civil rights movement. He is most well known for his “I have a Dream”speech. He gave this speech on August 8th 1963. This speech was about his wishes for the African American race to be treated as equals, he talked about his desires for them to be free and respected. It was a beautiful speech that touched the hearts of many and inspired many others. He was known as the voice of the people. He was known for his peaceful methods and peaceful protests. He believed in not hurting others no matter what they do to you. He was assassinated on April 4th, 1968. Another well known activist is Malcolm Little aka Malcolm X. He changed his name due to the fact that was the name given to his slave ancestors. He wanted nothing to do with that “slave” last name. At age 6 his father went out and never came back, they believed that he was killed by the KKK.

In the beginning he agreed that the African Americans and the Caucasians should be separated but that they should be treated better as well. He was a well known political figure who helped the Civil Rights Movement be taken more seriously as many people feared a backlash from the African American community. Although this method was very controversial it was also very effective. He was feared by much of the white community. He was assassinated on February 21st 1965. He was an inspiration for the Black panthers and numerous other African American organizations who strived for better treatment. One well known Female African American Activist is Rosa Parks. She eventually became known as “the mother of the civil rights movement”. Both Rosa and her Husband Raymond “worked in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP’s) programs”( Institute). She is know best for refusing to give up her bus seat on the afternoon of December 1st, 1955. This incident is called the Montgomery Bus Boycott. One day she was riding a bus and was sitting in the “whites only” section. When a white man got on the bus she refused to get up.

Everyone on the bus started yelling at her and the bus driver stopped. This event ended with Rosa Parks being arrested. Her act of refusing to give up her seat was an inspiration to others, It may have been a somewhat small happening but it triggered something much bigger. One of the most well known protest groups at that time is the Black Panthers. This group was mainly inspired by Malcolm X and his methods. The original name of the group is “The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. It was Known as the Black Panther Party for short” (Workneh). The group was founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. Their main principle was an “undying love for the people.” One of their jobs was to monitor the police in the African American neighborhoods. They needed to make sure that the police didn’t do anything they shouldn’t. Due to the goals of the B.P.P their group kept growing, more and more people wanted to join and fight for the people. A lot of the people in the BPP knew about the media and their methods and they used this information to their advantage. Some of their methods were not so peaceful so they gained a lot of enemies. Theses are only a few of the many people that have helped change America for the best. Unfortunately, these heroes posed as a threat to some of the “white power” rules Caucasians.

Despite the fact that a majority of the people were moved by the speeches and people fighting for their rights. It enraged white supremacy groups. Sadly, the groups hatred grew more and more and eventually some people’s plans were to take out these leaders. Sadly, this hatred led to the assassination of both Malcolm X and Martin Luther king Jr. It also lead to many others getting hurt or assaulted. It is nauseating to think of all the terrible things caucasians have done to the African Americans. These outbursts triggered many and caused many riots to break out. Despite all the efforts to expel the racism and hatred not all of it is gone, it regrettably, still exists today. One would think that over a hundred years later it would finally be gone, but alas it is not. It has indeed lessened but, it still lives on today. From time to time there are riots, shootings, killings.

Not everyone can agree that we are equal. Some caucasians are still obsessed with the thought that they are the chosen one, that God has sent them on a mission to protect “white power” and to kill or harm anyone who gets in the way. This narcissism goes straight to their head and nothing anyone does or says can change what some of the people do. It is quite sad to see that people still think this way. Some of these people have chosen a dark and dangerous path that they cannot return from. They are willing to throw everything away to prove a point. One of the most recent riots that occured was the Charlottesville Riot also known as the Unite the Right Rally. This protest took place in Charlottesville, Virginia. The theme of this protest was white power The people that took part in this horrific protest were, neo-Nazis, neo-fascist, the Ku Klux Klan, white supremacist, and any other atrocious groups. This riot happened from August 11th and 12th 2018. A large group of caucasian men went around with torches and shouting “White lives matter” and many other things.

After some pushing and shoving everyone started fighting. It got so bad that people started spraying chemicals at each other resulting in injury. As thing got worse people started cursing and throwing around racial slurs. This riot ended in three fatalities and many being injured. It was a truly horrifying event. In conclusion, one of the most impactful and most important and most impactful protests that changed America were the Civil Rights protests. For hundreds of years African American wanted to be treated like equals and wanted to be seen as normal human beings. They were sick of being tormented and being told they are lesser beings. They finally decided to fight back and when they did, they made a big impact and changed the lives of the African American people forever. Some of the most inspirational people that helped make this happen are Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. They helped inspire young African American to fight back and fight for their rights. These three are just a few of the many heroes that helped save the African American people.


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