Argumentative Essay: All Men Are Created Equal

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“All men are created equal” is probably a phrase that most Americans and people who are studying American history heard before. It can be found in the Declaration of Independence (1776), but can be also interpreted in different phrasings of the Constitution. According to the Meriam-Webster dictionary, equality is “the quality or state of being equal: the quality or state of having the same rights, social status, etc.”, whereas justice can be understood as “the quality of being just, impartial, or fair”. In this regard, equality means that every person has the same ‘starting position’ looking at abilities, history, and life circumstances, whereas justice gives people fair ‘starting positions’ in order to gain equality. Therefore, debates about…show more content…
After all male, regardless to race, were guaranteed the right to vote by the 15th Amendment, white Southerners started to create ways in which they could oppress blacks and disempower their newly found privileges. The disfranchisement of blacks started with literacy tests, poll taxes and the grandfather clause. In other words, the ability to read or pay taxes has to be proven before people could vote. However, most black people grew up without a good educational background and were therefore excluded from the voting system. In 1877, when the Reconstruction era ended, inequality and injustice towards black people was present more than ever. The 14th Amendment granted blacks the American citizenship and an equal protection in front of the law, whereas the Civil Rights Act of 1875 granted also protection in public places such as theaters, hotels, or restaurants. Unfortunately, after the Civil Rights Cases in 1883, the Supreme Court outlawed that equal protection does only apply from governmental infringement. Private Citizens like railroad conductors can argue that they are acting according to the State’s law. The case Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) is a good example in which the Supreme Court “upheld a Louisiana law requiring segregated railroad cars” (Boyer 609). After this court decision, the…show more content…
United States started the discussion about affirmative action. A medical-school applicant was rejected to the Californian State University although he had better test results than black applicants did. The university explained that they were trying to increase the percentage of students who belong to a minority in order “to compensate for past racial discrimination” (Boyer 928). After this case happened, several similar cases were brought to the Supreme Court. Until today, there are white students who are arguing that it would be unfair treatment giving minorities advantage in the application systems of universities. A current case is known as the Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (2012) case and was rehearsed December 2015. In this case, the petitioner, Abigail Noel Fisher, a white student, challenges the University of Texas at Austin because it considers race as a decision guidance in the undergraduate admissions process. She argues that the “use of race in admissions decisions violated her right to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment” ( Texas enshrined in its state law the so-called “Top 10 Percent Law” which means that 10 percent of the best High school graduates will be admitted to the university automatically. Furthermore, students with extraordinary abilities or minority background will get a higher chance in the admission process. Abigail Fisher did not get into the law

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