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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Re-Segregation & The 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Ed. (Part 2)

 "... Those who love their country can change it." - President Barak Obama
                                                                                     

In President Obama's Proclamation on the anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, he confuses those of us who fully understand the fallout of this administration's decisions and actions on public education. He states, "On the 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, let us heed the words of Justice Thurgood Marshall, who so ably argued the case against segregation, "None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody...bent down and helped us pick up our boots." Let us march together, meet our obligations to one another, and remember that progress has never come easily -- but even in the face of impossible odds, those who love their country can change it.

It is not the great leaders of our country or the successful plutocrats who are bending down to help us pick up our boots. It is the regular man and woman next door, the sugar borrowing, lawn mowing, summer BBQ grilling, working hard on the job folks on the block.  It is the neighbor who chases down the ice cream truck for the kids, the postal worker who pets your dog, the teachers who care for your children more hours a day than you see them, the nurse who holds your hand in the emergency room, the toll booth collector who makes you smile as you pay, and the IT expert who seems to magically fix your laptop at work. 


Journalist, Bill Moyers writes about the Plutocracy issue here in his graduation speech at Boston University in 2010. He states, "Socrates said to understand a thing, you must first name it. The name for what’s happening to our political system is corruption – a deep, systemic corruption."

Moyers shares his respect for Historian, Howard Zinn, "I have in my desk at home a copy of the commencement address Howard gave at Spelman College in 2005. He was chairman of the history department there when he was fired in 1963 over his involvement in civil rights. He had not been back for 43 years, and he seemed delighted to return for commencement. He spoke poignantly of his friendship with one of his former students, Alice Walker, the daughter of tenant farmers in Georgia who made her way to Spelman and went on to become the famous writer. Howard delighted in quoting one of her first published poems that had touched his own life:
It is true
I’ve always loved
the daring ones
like the black young man
who tried to crash
all barriers
at once,
wanted to swim
at a white beach (in Alabama)
Nude.
That was Howard Zinn; he loved the daring ones, and was daring himself."

It is time for all of us to be daring. And really, is it all that daring to demand that we do right by our kids?

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