Segregation and Integration

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Every country comprises people coming from different tribes, races, religion, and political groups. The people can converge or live as a single group under control of a single framework, or they can live as distinct groups each under control of its structure. The extent to which a country is integrated or segregated depends on the leaders. Leaders are so influential, and their words and actions determine how people in society lives because they follow the leaders. The paper presents speeches presented by two leaders; George Wallace whose theme was segregation and John Kennedy whose stand was integration.

George Wallace inauguration speech  

He was elected the governor of Alabama in the year 1963, during his inauguration he delivered a speech insisting on segregation and discouraging the enforcement of laws prohibiting discrimination by the government in institutions such as public schools. He worked as a judge of the judicial circuit court before he went to campaign for the governorship seat in 1958. During this period his stand on racial issues was moderate. He became adamant on matters regarding racism in the year 1959. During this incident there was a federal commission tasked with the investigation of discrimination against black voters (Hutchinson & Sikivu, 2017). Wallace signaled his position when he refused to hand over voting records to the commission. The federal authorities threatened to jail him which compelled him to hand over the documents. All through his campaign Wallace was against integration, he claimed that it was the cause of unemployment and increased crime rate.  After his election as the governor, he wanted to show his loyalty to the people by keeping the promise he had made during the campaigns that he would fight against integration.

According to Wallace the nation was not supposed to be a single unit but rather many different parts united. He backed this by claiming that the freedom fighters had divided the country into many states so that residents in each state could have their rights and powers and hence there will never be a central government taking control (Titus & Jill, 2016). Their political lives were supposed to be like religion where people had religious freedom with some being members of the Baptist church, Presbyterian or Methodist. People had a right to be either part of the republican, prohibition or even Democrats and each party had the power to operate within its political framework to contribute to the wellbeing of the entire nation. He linked this to the race where people were entitled to live according to its structure. Each group was also allowed to ask and to receive help from the other races. To him, this was the freedom that the American founding fathers had fought to get.

Joining to form one unit of people through integration as the communist were advocating would therefore deny the people the freedom to enrich each other since they would become a mongrel unit which would be controlled and led by a single government. He claimed that communism was destroying the American brotherhood which lied in respecting the distinct groups and joining hands to help each other when there was a need (Hutchinson & Sikivu, 2017). He gave a warning to people from both groups that if they followed communism, he was not ready to surrender the freedom of his religion and race because it had been earned through a lot of struggle and so he would struggle to retain it.

The systems introduced in the institutions such as the Washington D.C. School was not right, and he would not allow the southern people to sacrifice their children to such systems. He advocated that the troop deployed in Mississippi would be better if used in areas such as Washington. He described the situation in Washington to be worse than Japan during the period of the air raid The Washington people were insecure to walk around, getting to the White House in the neighborhood was an issue to them due to the insecurity around the area.

President John F. Kennedy civil rights speech

This speech was triggered by an incidence that occurred in Alabama campus. Two Negro students had gone for admission in that institution, the governor Wallace stood on the way and denied the students a chance to enter despite the presence of federal authorities. The president was forced to send for a hundred troops to assist the federal authorities. The governor chose to step down when the troops were called to avoid causing violence. According to the President, people coming from different backgrounds found the nations in the belief that they were all equal and hence the rights of everyone were threatened when those of an individual are disrespected. When the country needs a troop to send to war, they select people from all races. Hence the case should apply when anyone needs services within the state such as admission to a school they should access it without being undermined by color (Burns & James, 2016). American student had a right to join any school they qualified for despite their color without having to be backed by authorities such as federal authorities and troops. Every American citizen should be allowed to have equal rights in public facilities such as hotels, restaurants and retail shops without demanding for the services through demonstrations (Andrews, Kenneth & Sarah, 2015). Every American should be allowed to register and to vote in elections without any fear. Generally, he meant that every American deserved to be treated the way they would wish without being discriminated by color.

President Kennedy claimed that it was not a legislative matter because law alone could not handle the issue, it was a moral issue (Burns & James, 2016). Like every other country, they were preaching freedom, and everyone cherished it, and therefore they would not exclude the Negroes. Thus there was a moral crisis which would not be resolved through the repressive action of the police, neither through demonstrations on the streets but rather through collective responsibility. Blaming certain sections or people would not address the issue, taking it as a collective responsibility to all would help initiate a revolution.

He vowed to request the Congress to abolish racism like other bodies of the government entirely. The judiciary had proved to have eradicated racism through the way it handled the recent cases. The executive was also determined to abolish racism through the way they handled issues they were involved. When employing federal personnel, when using federal facilities and when selling houses financed by the government they were fair in their dealings without favoring or discriminating anyone based on race (Andrews, Kenneth & Sarah, 2015). However, there were many areas where Congress was needed to intervene to abolish racism in the country. Example, the law, advocated that there should be a remedy for every wrong made however in many communities, and parts of the world people kept wronging the Negro, and their only solution was to demonstrate unless the Congress acted. He would also request the Congress to make a law that entitled every American to get services in all the public areas such as hotels, retail stores, and restaurants. The Congress would also request the federal government to increase their involvement in lawsuits aimed at ending segregation in educational institutions. Although they had managed to convince the schools to admit Negroes without resistance the pace at which they were embracing the change was slow and needed intervention.

He would also request other things from the congress such as more protection to the right of individuals to vote. At the end of his address he reminded the people that the segregation problem could not be left solely to the legislation (Andrews, Kenneth & Sarah, 2015). Even though all the children didn’t have equal abilities and motivation, they should at least have equal rights to develop their skills and talents so that they can create a better future for themselves. The same way the country expected the Negroes to respect the law it is the same way the Negroes expected the law to be fair.

Works Cited

Andrews, Kenneth T., and Sarah Gaby. "Local protest and federal policy: The impact of the civil rights movement on the 1964 Civil Rights Act." Sociological Forum. Vol. 30. 2015.

Burns, James MacGregor. John Kennedy: a political profile. Open Road Media, 2016.

Hutchinson, Sikivu. "Segregation now and forever: Betsy DeVos and the looting of public education." The Humanist77.1 (2017): 9.

Titus, Jill Ogline. "Fighting Civil Rights and the Cold War: Confederate Monuments at Gettysburg." History News: The Magazine of the American Association for State and Local History 71.4 (2016).

November 13, 2023
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