President John Kennedy was really not related to issues involving civil rights. This is mainly because his leadership was more famed with the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis. As an individual, he voted against Eisenhower’s Civil Rights Act of 1957 in which he placed political practicality before any forms of values (Sitkoff, 2008). However, during his presidential campaign after being nominated by the Democrats, he made it very clear that he stood in support of the civil rights (Sitkoff, 2008). Although many historians saw his opposition to the 1957 Act as understandable coming from a political perspective, some were skeptical about it with the view that he required the ‘Black Vote’ in the coming elections (Sitkoff, 2008).
As President, Kennedy did not do anything to assist and advance the concern of civil rights. Many believe it was as a result of the global factors since he could no longer focus his concentration on home issues (Sitkoff, 2008). At the time, there was also little public support for civil rights legislation. Additionally, he concentrated much on the enhancement of healthcare and assisting low wage earners. However, in the bid to advance the cause of civil rights, Kennedy put pressure on the federal government organizations to provide work for more blacks (Sitkoff, 2008).
However, those who got employment in these organizations got very low paying jobs and had little or no prospect of professional progress (Sitkoff, 2008). For instance, out of the 13, 649 people employed by the FBI, only a paltry 48 were African Americans who worked as chauffeurs (Sitkoff, 2008). His creation of the Commission on Equal Employment Opportunity (CEEO) was a big boost to the civil rights movement even though it did little to actively get employment opportunities for African Americans. All in all, in the eyes of the civil rights movement, Kennedy did more than most of his predecessors (Sitkoff, 2008).
The importance of the points made above cannot be overemphasized. This is because they are vital to the history of the United States and the world in general (Sitkoff, 2008). The points made above point out the fact that racial discrimination was unjust and wrong and could not be tolerated (Sitkoff, 2008). The history of the occurrences that led to the black equality is vital since it sets an example for oppressed people everywhere, like in the present day Tibet.