According to the United States Constitution, Section 1 of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) states:
“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. “
Although ERA has had its share of pressure, recent events make it hard to believe we are in the 21st century. Starting with the southern states, North Carolina’s law for public bathroom use by transgender persons exemplifies approval for and acceptance of discrimination based on gender. Attempts by the state of Texas to close women’s health clinics elevates the effort to undermine women’s health and cause undue hardships. Viewed together, these infringements seem to undermine current law and have spread to other areas of inequality.
According to Lichtenstein, the southern states appear to be moving backward in improving the lives of all citizens. Starting with right to work laws—which allow states to dismantle unions and allow companies to pay low wages, thereby creating a permanent “underclass” especially among minority populations—these states continue to pass legislation that is harmful to the progress of its citizens. Many of these states have mounted fierce opposition to adopting Affordable Health Care for low wage workers, thereby solidifying the goals of the ruling class to keep some citizens in perpetual poverty.
According to Wendy Weiser, a more noteworthy stance has been the reversal of voting rights through nefarious means such as stringent identification cards, limiting of voting times and consolidating voting booths in minority neighborhoods. Although this law in North Carolina was struck down by federal appeals court, the governor appealed to the Supreme Court.
This is regression and not a sign of progress as expected in the 21st century. I wonder what will be next in bringing back the Old South.
Submitted by Winnie Eke