The News Site of Fresno City College

A New Civil Rights Movement

February 7, 2017

It is sad that history repeats itself.

The U.S. is in the midst of social and political turmoil, and it seems that many of the societal scares that we are now facing had been festering for the past decade.

Since former president Barack Obama’s election in 2008, flames of racial hatred have been fanned, and it is blatant, ugly, and most horrifying of all, gaining normalization once again.

“For every two steps forward, it often feels we take one step back,” Obama said in his farewell address to the nation. “But the long sweep of America has been defined by forward motion, a constant widening of our founding creed to embrace all, and not just some.”

These times seem reminiscent of the 1960s and 1970s; there is fear of communist China, Russians meddling in U.S. elections, open-faced sexism, rampant police brutality, fear of nuclear war, and the Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazis have been poking their heads out again.

Fortunately there are people, just as there were back then, who are not satisfied with the setbacks and are willing to fight for the changes society needs. That’s the hope — more people are uniting and making their voices heard, and it is apparent that we are in the throes of a new civil rights movement.

Millions of women across the U.S. stood together to tell Trump and the world that women’s rights are human rights. Millions more protested Trump’s presidency across the globe to show solidarity against shifts in power and descent into authoritarianism.

Barely three weeks into his presidency, Trump has already signed executive orders to build a wall along the U.S.- Mexico border, commence deportations of undocumented immigrants and block foreign aid or federal funding for international nongovernmental organizations that provide or “promote” abortions.

But the public is challenging Trump at every turn.  People all across the nation are standing up and protesting. Lawyers volunteered their services at airports to help travelers affected by Trump’s Muslim ban, and they fought to protect civil liberties.

A report released by the Justice Department in January described how law enforcement officials across the nation used excessive force with African-Americans and Latinos. It was a practice that was rarely challenged.

There is no doubt that a 13-month long investigation would not have occurred were it not for the “Black Lives Matter” movement and the attention they have brought to police brutality against people of color.

Anyone who truly believes in equal human rights for all people must resist the forces that be and the division they are creating.

“The comfortable, entrenched, the privileged cannot continue to tremble at the prospect of change to the status quo…” Martin Luther King Jr. said in his speech, “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community”. “This is a multiracial nation where all groups are dependent on each other.”

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