Mr Ryan, your RNC speech delivered on August 29 in Tampa was quite eloquent and a testament to your charismatic and enthusiastic style. There was an area spoken of however that cries out for an examination of American history. You expounded Mr. Ryan, “I accept the calling of my generation to give our children the America that was given to us, with opportunity for the young and security for the old-and I know that we are ready.”
Noting that you were born in 1970, the America that was given to you was a different America given to many others. There are those who find that silence and acquiescence are no longer acceptable in this age of massive misinformation and half truths. Your generation might not have assessed their history precisely enough and therefore it behooves those who are aware to educate.
The America given to you in the 1970s was a white- dominated culture that was fraught with appeals and judicial rulings on the illegality of segregation. There were mass protests in the South by African Americans. In the North, middle-class whites resided in the suburbs while middle-class and working-class African-Americans, and new immigrants lived in inner city settings. The effect was rigid segregation by neighborhood and school. This was their America.
Mr. Ryan, in the America that you were given regarding gender discrimination: The Sex Discrimination Act of 1975 finally established the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) to work towards the elimination of gender discrimination, to promote equality of opportunity between sexes and to keep under review the workings of the Sex Discrimination Act and the Equal Pay Act of 1970. Women were being discriminated against in the workplace and on many other fronts. This is the America that women were given.
To widen the parameters even further, military and civil resistance by Native Americans has been a constant feature of American history. So too have a variety of debates around issues of sovereignty, the upholding of treaty provisions, and the civil rights of Native Americans under United States law. This was the America given to Native Americans.
Legally endorsed racism was imposed on African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latin Americans and was still quite a heavy burden in the 1970s. On the other hand, Anglo Americans were privileged by law in voting rights, citizenship, criminal procedure and the list extends on. Was this the America that you spoke of Mr. Ryan?