On Monday, I shared some of the history behind the famous Brown v. Board of Education lawsuit. In 1896, the Supreme Court ruled in the Plessy v. Ferguson case which legalized segregation in public schools.
For the next 50 years, many areas of the United States used the Plessy decision and the ‘separate but equal’ doctrines to employ racial segregation in many public venues including the public schools. There were separate schools for whites and blacks. In towns like Topeka, Kansas, black school children would often have to travel long distances to reach a black school when a white school was close by.
Civil rights activist and many blacks wanted to end the racial segregation so that their kids could attend the supposedly superior white schools and receive a better education. At the spurring of the NAACP, 13 families tried to enroll their kids in white schools in 1950’s Topeka, Kansas. One of those families were the Browns and since they were alphabetically first, the case came to be known as Brown v. Board of Education.
On May 17, 1954, the US Supreme Court issued its historic ruling in the Brown v. Board of Education case. In a unanimous 9-0 vote, the high court declared that the ‘separate but equal’ doctrine and Jim Crow laws were indeed a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote:
“Segregation of white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children. The impact is greater when it has the sanction of the law, for the policy of separating the races is usually interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the Negro group. A sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn. Segregation with the sanction of law, therefore, has a tendency to [retard] the educational and mental development of Negro children and to deprive them of some of the benefits they would receive in a racially integrated school system… We conclude that, in the field of public education, the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”
You would expect that there wouldn’t be any segregated schools left in American today, but there are. In fact, their numbers have been increasing.
One of those segregated schools in East High School in Cleveland, Mississippi. The town is geographically divided by railroad tracks that run almost through the middle of town. The population on the east side of the tracks is predominantly black while the west side of the tracks is mixed with white and black.
Consequently, East High School is 100% black and Cleveland High School is mixed with 45% white and 47% black. Since East High is all black, Obama’s Gestapo, also known at the Department of Justice has gotten involved. Head of the DOJ Civil Rights Division, Vanita Gupta has called for the school district to desegregate East High School. She has mandated that the school district bus blacks over the tracks to Cleveland High and bus some whites over to East High.
Gupta commented about the situation in Cleveland, Mississippi, saying:
“This is not a country that in 2016 wants to be perceived as having deeply segregated communities anymore.”
“Children deserve to be educated in the kinds of environments that we as adults face, which are mixed race, mixed religion.”
Gupta’s solution will change the racial dynamics of both schools. Cleveland High would go from a fairly even mix of white and black to less than a third white and nearly two-thirds black. Likewise, East High would go from 100% black to less than a third white and over two-thirds black.
At first it may sound to many as the equitable solution, but not to a number of black students that attend East High. They don’t want to go to Cleveland High for the purpose of racial diversity.
CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller spoke to some of the students from East High. One was Deshambra Fields and her brother Quoindedrick:
Miller: “So you think they should not desegregate these schools?”
Deshambra: “No, ma’am.”
Quoindedrick: “It’s this side of the highway versus that side of the highway. And it’s just — it’s been a rival for a long time.”
The same sentiments were given by many of the East High students. Not only are the East High students against being bused across town to another school, they really don’t want whites attending their school. They fear having a minority white population at their school could lead to tensions and fights from both blacks and whites.
Jamie Jackson, attorney for the school district told CBS News:
“We have kids learning side by side with each other, different races.”
“Unfortunately, when you do a mandatory reassignment plan, the results statistically tell us it’s not good in terms of maintaining diversity.”
Seems to me that Gupta is trying to fix something that’s not broken. Like many things coming out of the Obama administration, they thrive on making everything a racial issue, even if it really isn’t. If not broken, they insist on breaking it. Same goes for traditional family and Christian values.
So let me ask you if you believe students should be forced to attend schools further from their homes just for the sake of racial diversity?