Civil rights are receiving increasing attention in the 2016 election. Each candidate has clarified their platform on eradicating sexism and racism.
Racism is playing a large role in the election due to the escalating number of police shootings, forcing candidates to address issues of both race and police brutality. Americans want to see peace overcome division, and they are eagerly searching for the candidate who can promise it.
President Barack Obama began working on efforts to eliminate discrimination at the start of his term. The Obama-Biden plan, implemented in 2008, is intended to strengthen the nation’s civil rights. Obama has advocated for combating workplace discrimination, ending deceptive voting practices and racial profiling.
Hillary Clinton plans to continue the fight on ending racism.
“If we stand with each other now,” said Clinton, “we can build a future where no one is left out or left behind, and everyone can share in the promise of America.”
Clinton often addresses how she has fought to end racism her entire career and shows no plans for backing off.
Donald Trump has also taken time to lay out his plans for movement in the war on civil rights. Trump appeared in a Detroit church trying to show he wants change for the African American community.
“I fully understand that the African American community has suffered from discrimination and that there are many wrongs that must still be made right,” Trump said.
With a female candidate now running for office, Keith McArtor, Tulsa attorney, believes gender is playing an integral part in this election, and sexism in America is receiving more attention.
McArtor believes gender is a more ingrained prejudice than race.
“I’ve always felt that the original sin of American society is racism,” said McArtor. “But it was very instructive to me that we voted for an African American for president before a woman.”
Clinton has devoted much of her time to gender equality. She believes women’s issues affect family life and plans to expand on Obama’s efforts to empower women.
“Too often, these are called women’s issues. Well, I am a proud lifelong fighter for women’s issues,” said Clinton. “I firmly believe what’s good for women is good for America.”
Trump agrees with Clinton and wants to implement paid leave for mothers. Despite accusations of being sexist, he has said, “I’m not a misogynist.” He says he holds pro-life life beliefs and will not continue Obamacare abortion funding.
“As President, my father will change the labor laws that were put into place at a time when women were not a significant portion of the workforce,” said Ivanka Trump at the Republican Convention. “And he will focus on making quality childcare affordable and accessible for all.”
Each candidate has the opportunity to level the American playing field for all minorities. College students have similar opportunities, as citizens of a major generation with a definite voice.
“College age students can make a dramatic impact on this problem by paying close attention to what’s going on, really reflecting on their personal values and beliefs, and then speaking up – loudly and often,” said Angela Watson, Behavioral Science professor.”Take time this voting season to listen closely to each candidate and not get stuck in the feeling of helplessness politics can generate.”
• Expand safety measures for communities
• Calls to promote gender equality in a male dominant industry
• Disband and end funding for Planned Parenthood•Continue Affirmative Action
• Reform the justice system
• Protect the right to vote
• Close the pay gap
• Create paid leave for mothers and families
• Expand the Affordable Care Act
• Confront violence against women
• Defend and stand with Planned Parenthood
• Protect women’s health and rights