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Thread: Happy Anniversary, Brown v. Board of Education

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    Happy Anniversary, Brown v. Board of Education

    Well, 50 years have passed since the first major legal victory against American-style segregation, a struggle that started with Jackie Robinson entering the major leagues in 1947 and reached its zenith with the Civil Rights Act in 1964. And as a (nearly) forty-year-old who considers himself to be part of the first generation of African-Americans with full citizenship in this country, I am grateful.

    However, Brown v. Board has been far from a total victory against segregation. Economic segregation has replaced racial segregation, and overt discrimination has been replaced by more subtle (and much harder to substantiate and challenge) discrimination in housing, the workplace and education.

    All in all, I know my world is better because of Brown v. Board. Any thoughts on this momentous Supreme Court ruling?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    All this hullabaloo about gay marraige almost let that one slip by..

    I was talking with a friend of mine today about how Milwaukee is still an extremely segregated city. There are pockets of exceptions, including my old neighborhood, but they are still not the norm. We've come so far, but have so much farther to go, before this city is colorblind.

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    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    No grandiose observations. I can remember, though, when my grade school was integrated, in 4th grade (no, not 1954, I'm not that old!), here in FL. I was asked to show one of the new kids around. No big deal from the parents, teachers, or kids.

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    One observation. I've heard comments from some of the lawyers from the NAACP who fought the case on the radio and TV. Almost to a man, they all said that they thought that once legal segregation was found to be unconstitutional, all barriers between blacks and whites would fall quickly, and economic prospects for blacks would rise immediately. Thurgood Marshall himself said he thought segregation would be gone five years after Brown v. Board. Didn't quite happen that way.

    What they found was that the desegregation they sought was not the same as the assimilation that most immigrants in this country underwent, and that integration was something far more threatening to both (or all) sides.

  5. #5
    Sherman Minton, one of the Associate Justices on the Court for this cause, was from this fair city. The Interstate 64 bridge over the Ohio River between Indiana and Kentucky is named in his honor. Sadly, a local elementary school in this district is 84% African-American, 92% of the students qualify for free or reduced-price school meals, and the school is one of the poorest performers in state standardized tests. (Demographically, the City is 8% minority, while the County is about 2%. Virtually all of the low-mod population resides within the City's corporate limits.)

    Somehow, I think Justice Minton would not be impressed.
    Je suis Charlie

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I can remember making a great friend in 5th grade who my mom thought was white trash. She was not happy when I was invited to a sleepover, but I got to go. Much as I love my mom, she was on the straight and narrow when it came to our friends. As for my first boyfriend, "He's not one of us" (country-club, racquet-club, etc.). Prejudice goes in infinite ways.

    My son's best friend is Pakistani. His next best friends are white-trash and yuppie (sorry, yuppies). Together, they make a great group of guys.

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    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    I saw Bush's motorcade pass in Topeka on his way into the events.

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    While Brown v. Board may have had lofty goals, I think it was basically a ruling that was needed to insure equal protection under the law for all people. And nothing more.

    Reducing inequalities in this nation, whether racially-based or otherwise, is a whole 'nother matter.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    PS - Happy Anniversary Brown v. BOE. Long may Kansas continue to lead the nation in the fight for Civil Rights.

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    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by el Guapo
    I saw Bush's motorcade pass in Topeka on his way into the events.

    BLARG he was here on Friday giving a commencement speech. I live by the airport and was nearly trapped by the freeway closure.

    I dont know how you DC folk live with these things.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by el Guapo
    PS - Happy Anniversary Brown v. BOE. Long may Kansas continue to lead the nation in the fight for Civil Rights.
    Here's a little known fact, the first women to vote for president (and have their vote counted) was in Coffey County, Kansas. I forget the particular election. Of course, everyone should know about John Brown and the "bleeding Kansas" era of Kansas history. Bush is in Topeka. I wonder who Freddy Phelps is having lunch with today?

    ZG is right, prejudice knowns no boundaries (unfortunately). As long as ignorance and polarization prevail, there will not be a level playing field. IMO, the closest you can get to a level playing field is as an enlisted military man, because everyone subjected to the same treatment (notice I say "enlisted"). I grew up in a military environment and I can honestly say that I am colorblind.

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