We’re hearing a lot about civil rights and civil liberties these days. While the two function to protect Americans from suppression they are vastly different when diving into their definitions. Let’s break down the differences so next time the topic comes up at a dinner party, we’ll be ready.
Civil rights refer to freedom from discrimination based off gender, age, disability or race. When our civil rights are infringed, we have been treated unfairly based off a characteristic trait we can’t change. An African American family that is discriminated against while trying to buy a house has had their civil rights violated.
Civil liberties regard our legal freedoms. Our right to marry, privacy and vote areall protected civil liberties. The government decides what classifies civil liberties and they are granted to all Americans under legislation such as the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in 2015, they gave the LGBT community their civil liberty to marry whomever they chose.
Still confused? Don’t worry. I’ve condensed it all into a graphic below.
Feel free to screenshot or print it out to keep under the table whenever the heated debate breaks out.
So go on, impress all of your friends and family members with how woke you are.