Human Rights v. Civil Rights: The Legacy of Bayard Rustin
On Friday, March 30, 2012, the American Constitution Society for Law & Policy (ACS) and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture will host a panel in celebration of Bayard Rustin’s hundredth birthday. Rustin was a civil rights trailblazer, a passionate advocate for equality, and an early champion for LGBT rights. Early in the Civil Rights Movement, he identified the larger issue of attaining social and economic equality, emphasizing broader “human rights” as being an essential second phase of the Civil Rights Movement. But, after a burst of stunning advances in the legal equality of all Americans, the United States never moved beyond civil rights toward the acceptance of a broader human rights framework. What kept the United States from embracing Rustin’s viewpoint and, more importantly, what can our society do to move toward greater equality in the future?