On the 7thof June, 1892 Homer Plessy was arrested due to his refusal to move from a seatthat he had rightfully paid for. This would end up pushing the limits of whatis considered constitutional about the “Separate Car Act”. Plessy’s argument wasthat his removal went against the 14th amendment, 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 or enforcingany law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of theUnited 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, but the10th overrules these by placing the court in power to decide on the constitutionalityof any problems not covered previously in the constitution. The 14th amendmentguarantees equal protection, which is the reason why this decision will harmour beautiful country for decades to come. Ferguson reached the conclusion that “Separatebut equal” was constitutional even though now it seems backwards and wrong. Fergusonstated, “It the removal of Plessy from the train does not conflict with thethirteenth amendment, which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, excepta punishment for crime, is too clear for argument” (“Transcript”). This is oneof the statements that pushed Ferguson towards he ruling. The legalization of “Separatebut Equal” affected people during the civil rights movement in two main ways: theimage of black people compared to white people and the overall infrastructureand economy of the U.
S. Moreoverblack people before were seen as lower classes and not as good as their palecounter parts. Without even seeing a person’s ability, black people would bedisregarded or even purposely targeted with negative attention. With “Separatebut Equal” in place segregation spread more and more and blacks were treatedworse and worse even though the name states “Equal”. The non-colored peoplewould get normal, even nice at times, facilities while people of color mightget a shed or something of a way poorer quality than what the white people receive.The U.S.
was split into colored and non-colored but “states had troubles determiningwhere to draw the line”(“Plessy v Ferguson.” History, 1:05-1:15). The white people who thought theywere better before were reassured by Ferguson that they were much better. This ledto the mistreatment of many non-white people before Brown v Board.
Furthermore theruling affected the economy through the requirement of multiple buildings. Evenif the quality of the space created for the black people was poor and run down,it doesn’t mean that having to add more space on top of what you already have isexpensive. The ruling increased costs of owning a restaurant or any other businessbecause of the expectation that you will double the size of the area becausethe spaces had to be somewhat equal. This is a very inefficient requirement andlost both blacks and white people lots of money.