Racial Injustice and our civic duties

By Aesha Badawi
Rising Star Academy
(Topic: Racial injustice in society and your civic responsibility)

Racial justice means when a person is denied their constitutional rights based upon the color of their skin. Civic duties are a responsibility that citizens of a town, state, or country have since they live and benefit from the services provided to them there.  Civic duties are important to combat racial injustice because committing to our duties as citizens can solve issues, locally, and nationally, and hopefully change them internationally. Three civic duties that are important to combat racial injustice are, knowing your rights, educating yourself, and educating others.

The first way we can stop racial injustice through our civil rights is by knowing our rights. We need to know the laws of this country and the constitution to do this step.  There are three main amendments to talk about here which are the First, the Fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments. The First Amendment gives us the freedom of speech, expression, and religion. The Fourteenth Amendment gives us equal protection if we are born or become citizens and the Fifteenth Amendment gives African Americans the right to vote. Without knowing these three amendments and/or many more, you won’t be able to combat racial injustice. Using these three amendments we can also apply the other two points very well.

The second way we can stop racial injustice through our civil rights is by educating ourselves. We can use this to learn about the amendments and know your rights as mentioned in the previous paragraph. We can read historical books and novels that teach us about famous African Americans who influenced today’s society. This can teach us a lot about applying the first constitution and in the case of Former President Barack Obama, we can see that he used his rights to attain office. The second way we could do this is by researching racial injustice in our society and how we can apply the rights we have in our country to counter this. We should also research important events and people like Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. This can help us to understand how to apply these rights. Lastly, we can also use documentaries and the internet to learn more about Civil Rights. There are many great historical documentaries such as “Ruby Bridges” and “Hidden Figures”.  Documentaries like these two mentioned here highlight the actions of the likes of Kathrine Johnson and Ruby Bridges and teach us how to stand for racial injustice.

Lastly, we have to educate others on their civil duties and racial injustice. This step comes after educating yourself on these very issues. We can spread information and make short clips on social media so others can benefit from the knowledge you attained. However, it’s better to start by informing people in your inner circle first so you can change things locally first.  Without starting at a communal or local level, how would you expect to make a change in bigger levels of government such as your state and national governments? You can also make presentations and speeches dedicated to the younger generation so they can be well-informed as well.

Overall, the three ways we can fight racial injustice are through knowing your rights, educating yourself, and spreading that knowledge to others. At the end of the day, how can we change the state of the country if we don’t know our duties as citizens?  How can we change the state of the world without knowing these duties and applying them?  Let’s start changing the world by applying these civic duties to stop racial injustice.