The Soft Martial Law of the Civil Rights Act

The civil rights law that forced people to (formally and superficially, at least) treat African-Americans with equality and fairness (for example, not having a separate area for "Colored" and "White" in a restaurant, or refusing service to Blacks) was an anomaly in American history, and reflected a failure of the culture to deal with the problem of inequality. Other minority groups (every other one?) have entered the country, been marginalized and mistreated, but eventually have become accepted. They did not need the soft martial law of a civil rights act to force their integration and assimilation.

The plight of African-Americans has been unique, since they did not voluntarily enter the country, were enslaved and broadly and persistently dehumanized, and decades went by without a significant change. The civil rights act was arguably justified, but only because of the unique position and history of African-Americans. No other group has been as profoundly oppressed and dehumanized in America, or for as long.

Thus to no other group should that radical overreach of governmental power be extended. The culture is supposed to handle assimilation of minorities, and is supposed to do it humanely, with love and wisdom. By structure, definition, nature, and design, a government is good at holding a gun. That's ultimately what it always does, and the backstop for all its action. A culture, individuals, and even small groups of people can base what they do on love; not a government.

If the culture at large is working its way through a solution to a particular aspect of a minority's being mistreated (or at least believing it is being mistreated), then the government will only cause problems by exerting its power, "pulling a gun,"in the situation. No minority in America (except arguably Native Americans) can compare their mistreatment to that historically of African-Americans. The solution to their situation was uniquely draconian; it's not appropriate or constructive for freedom to move any other minority into the same extreme solution.

Another way of putting this is that the civil rights act was not the beginning of a new way to define how America and the government should treat all minorities going forward, but was a uniquely appropriate response to an historically unique situation. To act like every group requires the same heavy-handed solution is to minimize the unique oppression and suffering experienced by blacks over the centuries.