Civil Rights is defined by by the rights belonging to an individual by virtue of citizenship, especially the fundamental freedoms and privileges guaranteed by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and by subsequent acts of Congress, including civil liberties, due process, equal protection of the laws, and freedom from discrimination.

To specify the 13th and 14th amendment-
13th amendment was passed to abolish slavery. 14th amendment goes into greater detail saying no states shall make any law that decreases the privileges of the U.S. citizens. Nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property with due process of law, nor shall they deny any person of equal protection of laws. It also says that representatives will be appointed among states according to their population and that you must be 21 or older and a citizen of the United States to run for any office.

Pay Inequalities:
For every $1.00 a man obtains, the average woman gets $0.77, a African American woman receives $0.67, a Latino earns only $0.57.
Obama and Biden’s solution:
They are going to work on overriding the Supreme Court’s ruling that is cutting off the right for minorities and women to protest against the discrimination. They will pass the Equal Pay Act to make certain that women will get equal pay for equal work. Obama and Biden will also pass Employment Non-Discrimination Act to prohibit discrimination on gender identity and sexual orientation.
McCain and Palin’s solution:
They will set aside 10% of highway funds for minorities and women

Crimes :
Hate Crimes have increased by 8% and 7,700 incidents have occurred in 2006. Also, African Americans and Hispanics are more likely to be searched, arrested, or controlled with force by the police then white Americans.
Obama and Biden’s solution:
They will work on strengthening the federal hat crimes legislation, developing protection by passing the Matthew Shepard Act, and to renew enforcement at the Department of Justice’s Criminal Section. Barrack Obama and Joe Biden will prevent racial profiling by police and other federal law enforcement agencies and they will provide motivation to state and local departments to ban the profiling.

Efforts to Suppress the Voters:
Many organization came together to try to intimidate, misguide, and restrain minority voters.
Obama and Biden’s solution:
Obama will pass a law into his legislation that establishes penalties for people who cooperated in voter fraud and this law provides voters who have been scammed, with full information so they can vote.

Drug Sentences and Ex-Offender Support:
Drug sentencing laws are unequal because of diverse behavior of crack rather than cocaine. The prisons do not help people with drug problems to get over them.
Obama and Biden’s solution:
They will eliminate the different sentencing on crack and cocaine. As well as creating a job training, substance abuse and mental health counseling to ex- offenders, so they can fit in society again. Obama and Biden will also create prison-to-work programs to develop ex-offender employment and job maintenance tax. They will give peaceful offenders a chance to serve their sentence in drug rehabilitation programs that work better than a prison in recreating good behavior.

*More to come on McCain*

McCain’s beliefs

  • Gay marriage; should be left for the states to decide, yet would be comfortable with a gay president; SUPPORTS California proposition eight to put a Constitutional ban on gay marriage
  • Confederate flag is okay in the front of the Capitol building, on top is wrong; thinks it is a “symbol of heritage”; flying the Confederate flag should be a decision of the states
  • Does not support ban on inter-racial marriage
  • Supports Indian causes
  • Supports putting the 10 Commandments in schools, thinks they will bring virtue to schools
  • Will allow, but not mandate school prayer time
  • Supports amendment against flag-burning
  • Does not believe in laws against Spanish language & culture

Voting Record:

-leave same-sex marriage to states; voted NO on Constitutional ban of same-sex marriage; voted NO on adding sexual orientation to the definition of hate crimes; voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage
· voted YES on allowing a Constitutional ban on flag vandalism
· voted YES on loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping
· voted NO on ending special funding for minority and women-owned businesses

Obama’s beliefs

  • Thinks hate crimes based on immigration are “unacceptable”
  • Wants to put the Confederate flag in a museum, not on top of the Capitol building
  • Believes in racial equality
  • Gays/Lesbians should not face discrimination, but he doesn’t believe in their marriage; believes that being gay/lesbian is not a choice; OPPOSES California proposition eight to put a Constitutional ban on gay marriage; doesn’t believe in gay marriage, yet supports civil unions and equality

Voting Record:
-Strengthen America with the Disabilities Act
· Voted NO on recommending Constitutional ban on flag vandalism
· Voted NO on Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage
· Reintroduce Equal Rights Amendment
· Reinforce anti-discrimination and equal pay requirements


Obama and McCain At the Saddleback Conference with Rick Warren, discussing the definition of marriage, Civil Unions, and a little bit of abortion:


This page was created by Tru Taylor, Alice Dossche, and Johanna Kibble from Girls Preparatory School (GPS) in Chattanooga, TN