Blogs > Stephanie Coontz > Who Still Can't Sit At America's Table

Feb 17, 2014 9:27 pm


Who Still Can't Sit At America's Table



(CNN) -- Fifty years ago this week, the House of Representatives passed the Civil Rights Act, which made it illegal to discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, national origin, religion or gender. We've come a long way since then, according to a report issued last week by the Council on Contemporary Families. Yet troubling inequalities persist.

Gone are the days when segregationists in Congress proudly declared they would resist "social equality" and racial "intermingling" to "the bitter end," and when the head of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission flatly refused to enforce the act's provisions against gender discrimination.

In 1964, fewer than 5% of Americans approved of interracial marriage. Today, 77% do, according to a Gallup poll. In 1970, a majority of Americans still opposed efforts to end gender inequality. By 2010, 97% of Americans supported equal rights for women, according to the Pew Research Center.

The number of elected black officials in the country has soared, growing from 103 in 1964 to more than 10,000 today. Since 1990, there have been two African-American secretaries of state, and an African-American president is now in his second term....

Despite these huge improvements, the historical legacy of racial and gender discrimination has not gone away. Although one in 10 black households now earns more than $100,000 a year, the median net worth of black households is 14 times lower than that of white households. The black unemployment rate remains twice that of whites. Black poverty rates are almost three times as high. These ratios have hardly budged over the past 50 years....

READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE AT CNN


comments powered by Disqus