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The case of Plessy vs. Ferguson started when a 30-year-old colored shoemaker named Homer Plessy was put in jail for sitting in the white car of the East Louisiana Railroad on June 7, 1892. Even though Plessy was only one-eighths black and seven-eighths white, he was considered black by Louisiana law. Plessy didn’t like this idea, and so he went to court and argued in the case of Homer Adolph Plessy v. The State of Lousiana that the Separate Car Act, which forced segregation of train cars, violated the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution. The Thirteenth Amendment was made in order to abolish slavery, while the object of the Fourteenth Amendment was to enforce the absolute equality of the two races before the law. The name of “Ferguson” was given to the case because the judge at the trial was named John Howard Ferguson.
Judge Ferguson had previously declared that the Separate Car Act was unconstitutional on trains that traveled through several states, but he ruled that within the state, the state government could choose to regulate the railroad companies that operate within their respective state. The ruling was that the judge found Plessy guilty of refusing to leave the white car. Plessy proceeded to appeal to the Supreme Court of Louisiana, which also found him guilty. In 1896, the Supreme Court of the United States heard Plessy’s case and found him guilty once again.
My view on this particular case sides with Plessy rather than Ferguson. I believe in total equality and the idea of no difference between fellow human beings. There should be no distinction made between that which is for the white man, and that which is for the black man.
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