The Civil Rights Act of 1968, which refer as the Fair Housing Act can be considered one of the most significant Acts in the Civil Rights Movement that brings people’s focus on the discrimination problem from the African Americans to a wider range of minority groups. “The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin or sex” (history.com). The Act is needed for people in the minority groups to have equal rights and opportunity in renting a house. It addresses the problem of people not treating the minority groups fairly; which in it involves racism, sexism, and discrimination against gays and lesbians. After the publishing of the Fair Housing Act, the government has fully and fairly enforced it in the country. For example, the case of Realty Forum vs.
New York State Attorney General happened in 1988. “The Attorney General accused the firm of ‘providing listings of apartments in particular neighborhoods based solely on a client’s race or color'” (en.m.wikipedia.org). This case not only addresses the problem of racism, it also relates to racial steering. During the process of house renting, homes in black neighborhoods are almost never shown to the whites unless asked to do so.
Moreover, areas that live majority African American had little investment by bankers putting places in poverty without businesses having bank support. Another example that shows the full enforcement of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 is the Coldwell Banker vs Illinois Attorney General case happened in 2006. “The alliance in their report accused the agency of ‘blatant discrimination…against African Americans'” (en.
In this case, as the litigant depicted, the whites were shown on average 37 properties(listings of the house) while the black was only shown on average 7 listings. Although the company denies wrongdoing and the lawsuit remains unresolved in the end, it reflects on the fair enforcement of the Fair Housing Act. As a lot of people thought this act is created mainly for the African Americans, it’s actually not because this 1968 act expanded on the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and prohibited discrimination based on not only race, but also religion, national origin, gender, and people who have disabilities. But at the same time, although the Act banned racial discrimination in house renting, it didn’t make further action on mortgage lending. For the legacy of this Act, it not only brings people’s attention to more minority groups other than the African Americans, but it also helps to form other acts in the Civil Right Movement. Parts of the Title of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 were included in the Indian Civil Rights Act. The Fair Housing Act is still needed today since the discriminations to minority groups still exist.
As a big step of bringing people who have disabilities or have different sexual orientation into the public view, it helps gain more rights and opportunities for the minorities. On the other hand, with the existence of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, more legacies could be formed based on it, which can lead to more equal rights among the majorities and the minorities.