by Marvin J Ramirez
The recent Tuesday, June 26 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that race cannot be a factor in the assignment of children in public school is slap in the face to African-North Americans and Latinos who have faced more than a century of discrimination in society.
The court struck down public school choice plans in Seattle, Washington, and Louisville, Kentucky, saying that they relied on an unconstitutional use of racial criteria, with the 5-4 vote.
Similar plans already in place or being proposed nationwide could be in danger now, which would sharply limit the power of local governments to achieve diversity using race-based criteria.
“The troubling end-of-term Supreme Court decision that forbids local school boards from using race as a factor in their efforts to achieve school integration endangers the progress made during the civil rights movement and the quality of our educational system,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oak).
“As someone who is passionate about ensuring equality for people on all the issues, the recent ruling has saddened me and it forces us to redouble our efforts to defeat the effects of housing and other segregation patterns,” Lee said.
Decided May 17, 1954. BROWN v. BOARD OF EDUCATION, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) its aim was to end discrimination in the schools based on race.
Cites the case: “Segregation of white and Negro children in the public schools of a State solely on the basis of race, pursuant to state laws permitting or requiring such segregation, denies to Negro children the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment – even though the physical facilities and other “tangible” factors of White and Negro schools may be equal.
After that decision, schools around the nation started using race to integrate the schools in order to insure equal access to a good education to all children.
“Today’s shocking decision undermines the commitment to equality in education that was spelled out in the Brown vs. The Board of Education decision, and threatens to turn the clock back on half a century of advances in racial equality in education,” adds Lee.
After attacking and weakening affirmative action, which was part of the Civil Rights Act some 40 years ago, I just hope that after this Court ruling, the schools find ways to continue integrating the so every child in the U.S. can have the same opportunity for a quality and competitive education.
The enemy of the immigrants, obviously is also the enemy of the civil rights laws that protect the groups that have been historically more oppressed.