This coming Saturday, May 17, is the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court handing down its groundbreaking civil rights decision in the case of Brown v. Board of Education. That decision led to the desegregation of America’s government-run schools and provided a jolt of confidence and energy into a burgeoning civil rights movement.
Other Project 21 members were featured in a press release published earlier this week to marking the upcoming anniversary, but new Project 21 member Dr. Michael Dozier provided a longer statement that commemorates the anniversary that deserves to stand by itself.
Dr. Dozier wrote:
I reflect with pride upon the monumental achievement that led to the end of segregation in our nation’s school systems. The 1954 landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education was a victory for the civil rights movement that helped define a path for equality.
I can recall the grainy film of Ruby Bridges, the brave yet innocent six-year-old black girl who proudly marched past crowds of bigots in Louisiana in 1960 as they hurled insults and threats in her direction. In doing so, she became the first black child to attend a previously all-white elementary school in the South.
When Oliver Brown earlier sued the Board of Education in Topeka, Kansas, he was fighting for the opportunity to provide his children with an education on par with that of white children. He was successful — at least to the degree that segregation was no longer legal.
Sadly, however, education is once again no longer an equal prospect. Rather, special interest groups maintain inordinate control of government run-schools. The mandated curriculum they push is geared toward promoting a social agenda.
Today’s education no longer seems to focus on the fundamental knowledge our children need to achieve the rights our forefathers scribed in the Constitution. Instead, it hastens the end of American exceptionalism.
Because of this change in American public school systems, it is likely many young black children lack the knowledge of why Brown v. Board of Education was the catalyst that gave them the opportunity to achieve every dream they could imagine. They do not realize that a new form of oppression and segregation has entered the hallowed halls of our education system, leading to the failure and social disintegration of our schools. They do not know how we have squandered the opportunities granted to us lately that was earned through the blood and tears shed by many of our ancestors as the result of allowing liberal social dogmas to dictate our path.
The Brown v. Board of Education decision was supposed to give blacks greater opportunities and advancements, but we — as a people — have retrogressed. We failed to learn from our past. Now, we are destined to relive it.
George Santayana wrote in his book, Reason in Common Sense, that: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Lowering the bar based upon race, gender or financial standing leads to ignorance, intolerance and disparity. It is obviously not what Oliver Brown had in mind when he bravely stood his ground.
Let’s pray that all Americans open their eyes and begin standing up and fighting this new form of fascism.