Essay on Causes and Effects of the Civil Rights Movement

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In 1788 we had laws to stop Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders from feeling equal, now we have laws to make them feel equal but there is still a lot of racism and inequality. When the laws for equality weren’t put in place a big thing that happened was the Stolen Generations. The Stolen Generations happened between 1920-1970 and due to various government policies Indigenous children were forcibly removed from their families. These removals left a legacy of trauma and loss that still affects people to this day. A big reason we don’t have issues like these anymore is because of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This declaration is a comprehension statement of inalienable human rights that all countries agreed on. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights encouraged people to stand up for their rights which encouraged the US Civil Rights movement and that brings us to our discussion point. Due to the US Civil Rights success, Australia noticed how successful it was and this influenced Australia to want change, resulting in rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, including respect to land rights and voting, but still, to this day some inequalities exist and need to be addressed and people are still trying to pursue reconciliation and achieve further change.

The US Civil Rights movement was a very long struggle by African Americans to end legalized racial discrimination, disenfranchisement, and racial segregation in the United States. For this movement to have worked it took people to stand up for their rights some examples of this would be Rosa Parks and how she refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery. This refusal started a city-wide bus boycott which brought awareness to equal rights. Another thing that happened was Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have A Dream” speech and the March on Washington. The March on Washington was a massive protest in August 1963 that had 250,000 people attend. Martin Luther King Jr spoke his speech at this event which was another way to bring awareness to equal rights. There were many other events like this, and all of these got people on their side to make a change. This movement was the US Civil Rights movement, and this ended segregation due to the banned employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in the United States.

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The US Civil Rights movement had a big influence on Australia’s civil rights because Australia witnessed the success and progress of it. This then made Australia want the success and progress people in America were having. The US Civil Rights movement also influenced Australians to take action like they did in America to cause awareness. An example of this would be Charles Perkins and the Australia Freedom Rides. The Freedom Rides was a bus tour through New South Wales by activists protesting discrimination against Aboriginal people. This event caused awareness of the problems and got people to agree with what Charles Perkins and the other activists were saying. Due to the amount of support for equal rights, the 1967 referendum happened where Australians voted for changes to the Australian constitution. These two changes were “Section 51 (xxvi) The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have the power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth concerning: ...The people of any race, other than the aboriginal people in any State, for whom it is necessary to make special laws.

Section 127 In reckoning the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth, or of a State or other part of the Commonwealth, aboriginal natives should not be counted.” These changes changed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as they now have equal rights, as well as being able to vote and have respect for land rights. But although these laws exist racism still exists to this day.

Although not much racism still exists it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be talked about. You don’t see much racism as it either isn’t talked about or it is said directly to that person. A recent incident that happened was on the 17th of September 2019, when a 29-year-old woman was shot at her home in Geraldton. No exact points are saying this is racist, but it does make you question, why a Taser wasn’t used. This very question formed a protest outside the Geraldton police station. A video of the protestors was posted on Twitter and the comments show a lot of people stereotyping Aboriginals. Some of these comments include “They are not protesting. They are just having a get-together. The wine bags will be next. Then fighting each other. Followed by more arrests. At least Perth Riot Squad will have time to drive up a sensible speed.” This was said by @MJESTIC12. This comment as well as others show racism as well as stereotyping. This incident just shows how racism is still around to this day and it isn’t right, everyone deserves a fair and equal chance at life.

Civil rights activism has been successful in achieving change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples' rights in Australia. This whole thing started with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and it went in a domino movement. The movement started with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights got the US people thinking and made people take a stand such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. Due to these movements, the US Civil Rights movement happened which then influenced Australian people to stand up for equal rights. Australian people then stood up for equal rights such as Charles Perkins and the Australian Freedom Rides. Due to Australians standing up for equal rights, this led to the 1967 referendum and then the changes in the constitution. We have had a massive change in equal rights, but we still aren’t perfect, and the Geraldton shooting is a perfect example of imperfection. This imperfection can be changed, and we don’t need any laws to do that, think about what you say before you say it, be kind, and treat people how you would want to be treated, it is that simple. Everyone deserves an equal chance at life and it’s not that much to ask for.


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Essay on Causes and Effects of the Civil Rights Movement. (2024, Jun 07). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 25, 2024, from
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