Plessy v. Ferguson
Plessy v. Ferguson
Racism has been a hitherto struggle in American society. It has been a continuing reality among the “colored” human beings. The landmark case of Plessy v. Ferguson, being the main content of this written piece, is dissected into two. First, it exposes the case in the light of Terry Eastland. Second, it explicates the case under the heading “colorblind justice”. The succeeding paragraph is just about to put the first objective into life.
Plessy v. Ferguson
In his book entitled “Ending Affirmative Argument: The Case for Colorblind Justice”, has intended to speak for the “colored people”, being one of the marginalized sectors of society. There is much significance in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson as it is indeed a historical proof of racism in America. And the following is his version of the story.
Homer Adolph Plessy, a 1/8 black and 7/8 white, bought a first-class ticket on the East Louisiana Railway. He was banished from the train when he declined to transfer from the seat allotted for the white to those of the colored ones. He got incarcerated in New Orleans. Plessy argued that the Separate Car Act had infringed his right to “the equal protection of laws” as inscribed in the Fourteenth Amendment ( 1997 ). Eastland mentioned merely a line about Ferguson.
The Supreme Court of Louisiana and US Supreme Court declared the law as constitutional. In the writings of Justice Henry Billings Brown, the Separate Car Act did not defy the right to “equal protection of laws”; it was a “reasonable regulation”. However, Justice John Paul Harlan opposed and remarked, “Our constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens” ( 1997).
(1997) highlighted Harlan’s stand that laws should govern all the citizens of the state regardless of race. Both races’ interests should be equally protected under the same government (p. 28). Plessy v. Ferguson’s case voiced out the struggle for a “colorblind justice”.
A colorblind justice was believed to be the most appropriate event to occur more than policies of affirmative action. Affirmative action meant undertaking “positive steps” in order for women and minorities to represent themselves in employment, education, and business, the domains wherein they have been barred throughout history ( 2005). It was the deluge of the 90’s era. Eastland narrated the case in such a way that he placed a premium on Harlan’s dissenting position. He cited it as a strong ground to end race-based policies.
In the eyes of Harlan according to (1997), the government encompassed the judiciary as well. The blame was not only on the “elective branches”, being the ones that authorize laws pertaining to racial segregation, but also on the courts themselves, being the ones that validates these laws (p. 28). In effect, Eastland was driving at the point that the judiciary branch of the government plays a significant role in the allocation of public goods in society. Being the final adjudicator in the land, the judiciary was deemed to generate the most legitimizing capabilities. If it only arrived at decisions free of racial stains, then it would not be impossible for other institutions to acknowledge colored people as they are.
Perhaps because has been a known figure in the field of public policy and social justice that he regarded social institutions, in this case being the judiciary, as the catalyst for social change. Likewise, he was campaigning for the end of affirmative action. In his perspective, affirmative action as the guiding principle behind public policies only pressed racism forward. He saw structural change as the answer to this structural racial inequality. At the heart of Plessy v. Ferguson case was Harlan’s line being the constitution as colorblind.
Racism had been an ongoing reality. That racial equality is possible had been regarded as an ideal chant. was opening the eyes of the readers that Plessy’s wrestle for “equal protection of laws” is plausible. In his words, “Harlan’s dissent was not a wasted ink” as it stirred afterwards “the leaders of the civil rights movement as they battled successfully against segregation and other forms of racial discrimination” (p. 28). Thus, combined with agency among concerned citizens, Plessy will eventually win over Ferguson.
The case at hand, Plessy v. Ferguson, tells everything one needs to know about racism. Terry Eastland’s tale has highlighted Justice Harlan’s dissent and remark, “Our constitution is colorblind...” He has shown the significance of structural forces in society that could impede or assist social justice among the citizens of the American land. Plessy v. Ferguson’s case has exposed the interplay among the rule, the rulers, and the ruled subjects. Indeed, the justice system above all should implement justice devoid of color or race, in order to truly realize justice in the land.
comments powered by Disqus