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Word Count: 1,525
In this age of computers and fax machines we as a people have devised and set up laws that protect us and keep us on the right track However these laws and rights that each American shares and enjoys today have not always existed Common people who were forced to face injustices and were railroaded by the system because at that time no one before them sought to challenge the laws or there was no need to change them has fought them for Even though these laws were changed and new ones were put in their place back in the early part of this century when they were still new there was still a problem Some of these laws and rights were somehow looked over when the subject of race came up For example in the book Contempt of Court Leroy Phillips and Mark Curriden tell about the story of Ed Johnson Johnson was a black man who lived in Chattanooga at the turn of the century Now Johnson himself was not really of any importance He didnt invent a new way of picking cotton or discover a cure for some prevalent disease that was sweeping the countryside nothing like that at all In fact he was a nobody just a common person with a poor education to boot The only thing that is important about Johnson is his case State of Tennessee v Johnson in which Ed Johnson was accused of the crime of rape but not just raping anyone a white woman and not just any white woman but a young white woman in the South at the turn of the century Johnson being a black man and being accused of such a heinous crime did not win him any fans which is the reason for the importance of this case Because he was black and it was early in the century only forty years after the Civil War the people of Chattanooga
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