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Juneteenth Freedom Day

History Prior to Juneteenth

African tribe members were kidnapped, sold into slavery in the American colonies, and exploited to work in the cultivation of crops such as tobacco and cotton in the 17th and 18th centuries. By the mid-nineteenth century, the United States' growth and the abolitionist movement had created a tremendous debate over slavery, ripping the country apart in the devastating Civil War. President Lincoln issued a provisional Emancipation Proclamation on September 22nd, 1862, only a year after taking office, and made it official on January 1st, 1863. On that night, enslaved and free African Americans alike gathered in churches and private residences around the country to await the Emancipation Proclamation. Union soldiers marched onto plantations and through southern settlements, reading duplicates of the Emancipation Proclamation and spreading the gospel of liberation throughout the Confederacy. However, not everyone in Confederate territory will be liberated right away. Despite the fact that the Emancipation Proclamation became effective in 1863, it could not be enforced in areas remaining under Confederate control until after the Civil War in 1865.

What is Juneteenth?

Known as our country's second Independence Day, Juneteenth commemorates the day in 1865, months after the Civil War, when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to assume control of the state and guarantee the liberation of all enslaved people. Though it has long been celebrated within the African American community, it was mostly unknown to the broader public until it was designated as a federal holiday in 2021. The legacy of Juneteenth illustrates the necessity of bold hope and quick organizing in uncertain times.

A Notable Juneteenth Figure

Opal Lee is a 94-year-old activist who was born on October 7, 1926, in Marshall, Texas. She is the eldest of three siblings. Many see her as the "Grandmother of Juneteenth," since she has assisted in organizing Fort Worth's annual Juneteenth celebration, as well as supporting a 2.5-mile walk each year to honor the two and a half years it took for knowledge of the Emancipation Proclamation to reach Texas. Lee has also taken part in marches in Fort Smith and Little Rock, Arkansas; Las Vegas, Nevada; Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Atlanta, Georgia; Selma, Alabama; and in the Carolinas. At the age of 90, Opal walked 1,400 miles from Fort Worth, Texas, to Washington, D.C., to bring awareness to America's 2nd Independence. In 2021 Lee was named the "Texan of the Year" for her activism on behalf of Black Texans.

Present Day Discrimination

Despite the fact that the last enslaved African Americans were freed on June 19, 1865, the agony did not end there. Even now, in 2022, we face discrimination not only in our African American communities but also in other minority populations, ranging from race, gender, and age to sexual orientation. Discrimination, according to Merriam-Webster, is a prejudiced or discriminatory perspective, action, or treatment. According to the American Psychological Association, the human brain instinctively categorizes objects in order to make sense of the universe. The values we assign to different types, on the other hand, are taught to us by our parents, peers, and observations we make about how the world works. Fear and misunderstanding are frequent motivators for discrimination.

Workplace Discrimination

Going to work is something that most Americans do on a daily basis, and it should be a pleasant experience. Unfortunately, workplace discrimination is all too common. Workplace discrimination occurs when an employer treats an applicant or employee unfairly because of their ethnicity, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran. It may also occur if an employer punishes, fires, or penalizes an employee or job applicant for discussing, revealing, or inquiring about wages. Discrimination in the workplace might be directed at a single individual or a group of individuals. Discrimination in the workplace can affect both current employees and job applicants. Discrimination in the workplace violates one's civil rights and may prohibit one from reaching their full potential.

The following are some examples of workplace discrimination:

  • Every Hispanic employee has a separate designated work location.
  • For the same task, women get paid less than their male coworkers.
  • Employees with an accent are frequently mocked by coworkers and bosses.
  • Only those of a specific race or gender are promoted.
  • Exams unrelated to the specified work are used to screen out applicants, such as arithmetic tests or lifting requirements.
  • When a female employee is recovering after childbirth, she is denied paid sick leave, whereas an employee recovering from knee surgery is awarded paid sick leave.

Discrimination in the Workplace Based on Race

Workplace discrimination is illegal. As a result, discriminating against a specific race of workers is prohibited. It is also illegal to discriminate against an employee because he or she is married to or associates with people of a specific race. According to a 2019 Glassdoor survey, 61% of U.S. employees have encountered or witnessed discrimination based on their age, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.

Here are a few helpful tips to help you prevent workplace discrimination based on race.

  • Study the company's workplace policies.
  • Learn about your legal rights under anti-discrimination legislation by attending EEO principles training.
  • Report any inappropriate, discriminatory, harassing, or abusive behavior to your supervisor, Human Resources department, or management.

 Age Discrimination in the Workplace

The EEOC defines age discrimination as treating an applicant or employee less favorably because of their age. The Age Discrimination Act of 1967 was enacted to address age discrimination problems.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967?

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967 was enacted to protect applicants and employees over the age of 40 from age discrimination in hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, or employment terms, conditions, or privileges. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Age Discrimination Act into law in 1967. The legislation was approved by Congress to encourage older people to work based on their abilities rather than their age and to ban specific age discrimination in the workplace. The ADEA has been changed several times in the last fifty years, including in 1978, 1986, 1990, and 1996, expanding the scope of the law and extending protection to senior workers.

How Can I Avoid Age Discrimination in Job Applications?

When applying for a job, there are a few basic strategies you may use to defend yourself against age discrimination on your application, such as:

  • Applying with a résumé that conceals your age.
  • Omit your birth date and graduation dates.
  • Leave out the first couple years of work experience. 
  • Instead of AOL or Hotmail, use a current email domain.

Age Discrimination During My Interview

Once you've completed the application process and been accepted for an interview, keep in mind that some aspects of the interview may still expose you to ageism. The steps below will help you overcome this difficulty.

 

  • Show your readiness to both lead and be directed.
  • Describe how much you prefer working with people who are different from you.
  • Maintain as much recent professional experience as possible while emphasizing your value.
  • Instead of emphasizing your considerable experience, highlight your enthusiasm for the role.

Sex Discrimination in the Workplace 

Sex discrimination is defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as treating someone unfairly because of their sex, including sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy. Gender roles frequently come into play when businesses are attempting to hire new employees. There have been reports of employers refusing to hire a woman with preschool-aged children while hiring men with the same age children. This is due to traditional gender norms stating that it is the mother's obligation to take care of the children. 

How Can My Attorney Help Me With Workplace Discrimination?

An attorney will have a thorough grasp of your situation and will determine whether or not you have a case. Your lawyer must first determine that you are a member of a protected class. However, your lawyer may face some difficulties, such as not fitting in the age-protected class if you claim to be a victim of age discrimination but are in your 30s. However, if you are a member of a protected class, having testimony from witnesses to the prejudice is one way to ensure you have a strong case. A weak discrimination case will be based on hearsay, with no witnesses and no proof.

Civil Rights

FindLaw defines Civil Rights as an expansive and significant set of rights that are designed to protect individuals from unfair treatment; they are the rights of individuals to receive equal treatment (and to be free from unfair treatment or discrimination) in several settings, including education, employment, housing, public accommodations, and more, based on specific legally-protected characteristics.

How did my civil rights evolve into what they are today?

  • Age Discrimination Act of 1975- Prohibits age discrimination in federally funded programs and academic activities, health care services, housing, unemployment, food assistance, and rehab centers.
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)- Prohibits discrimination against job candidates and employees over the age of 40 in terms of pay, development chances, and other working circumstances.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)- prohibits discrimination based on disability (both actual and perceived) and is not permitted in employment, state and municipal government, public institutions, commercial establishments, transportation, and telecommunications.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964- Prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, or national origin is prohibited in employment, academia, voting, and public accommodations.
  • Fair Housing Act (FHA)- Prohibits residential discrimination based on race, religion, gender, familial status, or handicap is prohibited.
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973- It was the first disability civil rights legislation passed in the United States, and it prohibits discrimination against disabled individuals in federally funded programs.
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965- Enacted to combat Jim Crow laws in the Rural South and other impediments that minorities experienced when attempting to vote, essential portions of the Act were struck down by the Supreme Court in 2013.

However, individual states create their own civil rights laws through the state constitution and other statutes (generally comparable to those enacted at the federal level). State laws can also be more civil rights protective than federal laws, including protections for LGBTQ individuals. Municipalities, such as cities and counties, also have the authority to enact civil rights legislation.

Police Conflicts

Police officers have tremendously difficult jobs in our culture. Even though they operate in a demanding environment every day, they do not have the authority to abuse their position. The few bad seeds that abuse their authority put a dark cloud over the entire department, which is unfortunate for the many great officers in the departments. In case you are put in a situation with a bad officer, we have listed ways to survive those confrontations. 

  • Be respectful- Even if you believe it is necessary to use confrontational language, avoid doing so.
  • Calmly document- In the present day, video is very accessible, and filming your police encounters is a fantastic benefit. Also, when you do this, politely inform them that this will be turned over to your attorney.
  • Remain silent if required- If you suspect you are being unfairly questioned or forced into incriminating yourself, politely inform the officer that you would prefer to answer questions with a lawyer present.

What If I Am The Victim Of Police Brutality? 

  • Make a list of all the police officers who have injured you and their badge numbers.
  • Determine which police department they are a part of. Take down the names and badge numbers of any additional police who were present at the time of the event.
  • Obtain the contact information of any further witnesses to the incident.
  • Examine the area to determine if there are any cameras that could have captured what happened.
  • Make a note of the date, time, and place.
  • Keep a record of any injuries you may have.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can I sue for police brutality even if I've been found guilty of a crime?

A. Yes, even if you have been convicted of a crime, you can still sue.

Q. Can I sue the police officers for excessive force?

A.True, but winning can be complicated and difficult. You have the right to sue the police officers and their supervisors for the actions of their subordinates, and you also have the right to sue the municipality if the municipality has a policy or process that results in the use of excessive force.

Q.Can I sue someone of my own gender for sex discrimination?

A. Yes, both the victim and the harasser might be either the same or different gender.

Q. How do I spot workplace discrimination?

A. An employer asks improper questions such as your age, religion, and whether you have any children.

Works Cited

Age Discrimination. (n.d.). US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Retrieved June 6, 2022, from https://www.eeoc.gov/age-discrimination

Age Discrimination Act of 1975. (n.d.). US Department of Labor. Retrieved June 6, 2022, from https://www.dol.gov/agencies/oasam/regulatory/statutes/age-discrimination-act

Discrimination Definition & Meaning. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster. Retrieved June 6, 2022, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discrimination

Discrimination: What it is, and how to cope. (2019, October 31). American Psychological Association. Retrieved June 6, 2022, from https://www.apa.org/topics/racism-bias-discrimination/types-stress

Diversity & Inclusion Study 2019. (n.d.). Glassdoor. Retrieved June 6, 2022, from https://about-content.glassdoor.com/app/uploads/sites/2/2019/10/Glassdoor-Diversity-Survey-Supplement-1.pdf

What Are Civil Rights? (2021, March 18). FindLaw. Retrieved June 6, 2022, from https://www.findlaw.com/civilrights/civil-rights-overview/what-are-civil-rights.htmlWhat is Hearsay? (n.d.). Miranda Rights. Retrieved June 6, 2022, from http://www.mirandarights.org/hearsay.html

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