Jackson TorokMrs. MillerHonors English 1019 Dec. 2017Plessy vs Ferguson and how it affectedthe U.
S. and Little Rock 9 in WarriorsDon’t Cry Plessy v.Ferguson started regionally, as a test to see if Louisiana could makesegregation legal statewide. After Louisiana’s court declared there was nofault, the impact was much more largely felt.
Plessy v. Ferguson affected notonly black people but most white people as well.On the 7th ofJune, 1892, Homer Plessy was arrested due to his refusal to move from a seat hehad rightfully paid for.
His refusal would end up pushing the limits of what isconsidered constitutional about the “Separate Car Act”. Plessy’s argument wasthat his removal went against the 14th amendment, as stated in the case,”Plessy v. Ferguson”.
By the fourteenthamendment, all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject tothe jurisdiction thereof, are made citizens of the United States and of thestate wherein they reside; and the states are forbidden from making orenforcing any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizensof the United States, or shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or propertywithout due process of law, or deny to any person within their jurisdiction theequal protection of the laws. (Transcript)The 14th amendment may grant these rights, butthe 10th overrules these by providing the court the power to decide on theconstitutionality of any problems not covered previously in the constitution.The 14th amendment guarantees equal protection, which is the reason why a decisionoverruling it would harm our country for decades to come. Ferguson reachedthe conclusion that “Separate but equal” was constitutional, even though now itwould be considered backward and wrong. Ferguson stated, “It the removal ofPlessy from the train does not conflict with the thirteenth amendment, whichabolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except a punishment for crime, is tooclear for argument” (Transcript). This is one of the statements that pushedFerguson towards his ruling. The legalization of “Separate but Equal” affectedpeople during the civil rights movement in two main ways: the image of blackpeople compared to white people and the overall infrastructure and economy ofthe U.
S. Black people wereseen as lower classes and not as good as their paler counterparts. Without seeinga person’s ability, color caused a person to be disregarded or even purposelytargeted. With “Separate but Equal” in place segregation spread more and more,and black people were treated worse and worse, even though the name states”Equal”. White people would get normal or nice facilities while people of colormight get a shed or something of a way poorer quality than what the whitepeople received. The U.S. was split into colored and non-colored but “stateshad troubles determining where to draw the line”(“Plessy v Ferguson.
” History,1:05-1:15). White people who thought they were better were reassured byFerguson that they were better. This led to the mistreatment of many non-whitepeople before the Brown v Board decision. Furthermore, the ruling affected theeconomy through the requirement of multiple buildings. Even if the quality ofthe space created for the black people was poor and run down, it did not meanthat having to add more space on top of what you already have is wasless expensive. The ruling increased costs of owning a restaurant or any otherbusiness. There was an unreasonable expectation that businesses would doublethe size of their eating or shopping area, because the spaces had to besomewhat equal. This was very inefficient and caused monetary loss for bothblacks and white people.
These problems were nationwide, but you canfind better examples of these effects in local areas like Little Rock.For example,Beals says, “at five… I gathered up the money to ride…
the man shouted, ‘Youdon’t belong here, picaninny!'”(8). This shows that even the youngest of blackpeople were treated with disrespect. This had a big effect on Melba’s life. Thiswas her first experience with the harsh segregation and hate between races. Theencounter at the merry-go-round forced Melba to grow up faster. On top of that,the main reason why the integration of the Little Rock 9 (LR9) into CentralHigh was so difficult was because of Plessy v. Ferguson. When segregationbecame legalized, it widened the chasm between the blacks and the whites ineducation.
This chasm was forcibly closed by LR9 after they experienced a greatdeal of struggle and suffering. Plessy v. Ferguson created a slipperyslope, ending with forced integration. It ended up causing great pain for manypeople and in many ways ended up being a step backwards for civil rights.
Plessy v. Ferguson was not a good thing, but out of it came Brown v. Board anda new hope for the next generation to finally end racial inequality. Works Cited”Plessy v Ferguson.
” History. http://www.history.
com/topics/black-history/plessy-v-ferguson. Accessed 1 Dec, 2017.Beals, Melba.
“Warriors Don’t Cry.”Avenue of Americas, New York: Washington Square Press. 1994.”Transcript of Plessy v. Ferguson.
php?flash=true&doc=52&page=transcript.3 Dec, 2017.