To me, this meme explains the split that happened during reconstruction between those who advocated for equal rights – mostly Black people and women. Because these two groups were disenfranchised and navigated in a white, male dominant society, they came together for a common cause. However, once the civil war was over and the government began pushing solely for the rights of Black men, the two groups split. Cummings states, “The issue split the Equal Rights Association, the postwar successor to the various antislavery associations, and gave rise to the separate National Woman Suffrage Association, which thereafter opposed the Fifteenth Amendment in Congress” (321). Is some progress good enough, or do you believe the NWSA was right in opposing the 15th amendment?
Moreover, even though Congress wanted to give Black men rights to help their plight, especially in the South, they also had a large political motive. If Black men had the right to vote, and most of them would vote Republican, then the Republican party would remain in political control. Cummings argues, “Without Republican black votes in the South, the Democratic Party might well have quickly returned to majority status . . . ” (320). He goes on to state that the enforcement clauses in the laws Congress passed to ensure the equal treatment of Black people eventually waned without the lack of support from Northerners, and eventually white supremacy again took control of the south (321). “Congressional power, therefore, did not extend to the control of ‘private’ inns, theaters, and similar establishments did in the way of discrimination against blacks” (321). Currently, there is great debate over discrimination laws and whether or not someone is allowed to discriminate in their place of business. For example, in this opinion article: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/372650/why-bakers-should-be-free-discriminate-alec-torres, an author reasons why it is okay and perfectly legal to discriminate based on moral beliefs.
Where does one draw the line between refusing due to religious beliefs and complete, outright discrimination?