A Statement from Ron Mix

June 26, 2020

PFRPA
Ron Mix shared his reflections on civil rights in the statement below.

There is no question in my mind that America is the greatest of nations, and many citizens continue to aspire to justice and equality for all. However, we have had and continue to have many dark times where justice and equality have evaded the minority Black, Jewish, Asian, Latinx, LGBTQ+ and other minority communities. It is essential to point out some of those dark times because many of our citizens lack empathy and sympathy based on the belief that minorities are still far better off than they would be in most of the other nations.

The evil of slavery we know. I wonder how many know that many historians believe America committed a wrongful land grab in the Mexican-American War of 1846. In that war, America almost doubled its size by annexing such territories as California, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona and Nevada. We passed the Civil Rights Act in 1964, one part of which designed to eliminate school segregation. Now, 56 years later, de facto segregation continues to have the same adverse impact on education for Blacks and Latinos because of how income disparity and lack of affordable housing pools minorities in clusters, where the funding for their schools fall far below predominately white communities. In 1882, the U.S. passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which prohibited Chinese laborers from immigrating to America, and it was not repealed until 1943. Recently, it was shown that some universities had practiced admission standards, which limited the number of Asian students. At one time, Harvard, Yale and Princeton limited the number of Jewish students. Further, individuals within the LGBTQ+ community have been and continue to be targets of discrimination on every level, including being at the receiving end of violence. Transgender people are currently barred from enlisting in the United States armed forces.

At every level of inequality in the past and the present, people of good faith come forward to oppose and correct injustices. Progress has been oh so slow, and our lifespan is so limited that full generations have lived in despair. Nonetheless, something special is taking place in America today as peaceful protesters have piqued the conscience of the majority. Prominent Black athletes, such as Charles Barkley, Michael Irvin and Michael Strahan, have not only been publicly supporting more justice for their race but are also advocating justice for the LGBTQ+ community. Young adults, who historically lag in voter turnout, are motivated as never before.

The optimism of the moment will come to naught unless the outcries translate into action by massive voter turnout at all levels of government: local, state, and national. Laws must be passed which raise minimum wages, ensure equal funding for schools, increase pay for teachers, raise levels of training and pay for police, eliminate voter suppression tactics and address the high cost of education. Our plate is full of what we must do, but I am confident we are up to the task.

For more information about civil rights, visit https://bit.ly/2YdcnOL.

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