The Rights Revolution

Archive Report

Evidence of a Rights Backlash

Growing Resistance to Rights Movement

Over the past three decades, Americans have witnessed a rights revolution. Starting with the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, the demand for equal rights and for protection from discrimination spread to such diverse groups as women, the physically handicapped, homosexuals, the poor and inmates of prisons, jails and mental institutions. “The result,” wrote professor Milton R. Konvitz of Cornell University, “was an unprecedented period of progress toward equality within the nation.”1

The rights movements have unquestionably bettered the social and economic positions of millions of Americans. At the same time, however, there is a growing fear that the demand for group rights has gone too far. The once-vaunted vision of the American melting pot ...

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