Bates not only hand selected the nine students, she thoroughly trained them on how to peacefully respond to the horrible racial attacks they were about to endure. They were spit on, hit, verbally assaulted, harassed, and one was even pushed down the stairs, yet the students stood strong and peaceful. Unfortunately, in a weak moment Minnijean Brown fought back, earning him an expulsion from school. The rest finished out the school year, with senior Ernest Green becoming the first black to graduate from Central High.
Furiously opposed to integration, instead of complying with the Brown decisions, Governor Faubus closed all the state's high schools at the end of the school year. Other Southern states followed Arkansas' lead. As private schools were not subject to the Brown's decisions, "school-choice" programs were put into effect that subsidized white students. Meanwhile, black students were forced to find schooling out of state or through correspondence courses.
The era of the 1950s and 60s proved to be a dangerous yet liberating time for the African-American community. Rosa Parks refused to surrender her seat to a white person in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, resulting in another SCOTUS ruling that segregated bussing was unconstitutional. (see ) Civil Rights leader, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s peaceful protests brought the injustice of segregation to the national spotlight, forcing the country to finally address the inequality within our borders. (see )
Liberty, America has made amazing strides regarding race relations, even electing our first black president in 2008. Yet despite his two term victory, Democrat President Barack Obama and his party pushed a narrative of racism in this country that lead many to believe we are being set up for a race war. While the media and Democrat Presidential candidates today demonize Republican President Donald Trump and all his supporters as racists, these "woke" liberals push for racial policies that return us to the 1940s and the foundations of their party started by Andrew Jackson and the "Trail of Tears". (see , , and )
Democrats celebrated Plessy V. Ferguson in the 1890s as it validated their desire to remain separated from blacks under the disguise of compassion. Today, this same party is celebrating universities holding separate graduations for African-Americans using the same excuse. White progressive liberals pat themselves on the back claiming they support "safe spaces" for blacks, convincing them that having separate but equal graduation ceremonies promote "public peace and good order." Proclaiming it makes minorities feel more comfortable, the result is exactly the same. Whites and blacks are segregated, yet this time with complete buy-in from the black community. With the media and Democratic Party active in hiding their own past, is it any surprise that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was so misled to claim that her generation was the first to stand up for their rights?
Such events are equivalent to spitting in the faces of the Little Rock Nine. They did not endure endless attacks and assaults for a year so the black community could self-segregate because they have no real clue as to what true oppression really is. Too many people fought too hard to break down the walls of racism only to have the same party that built them then, rebuild them now. (see , , , , , , , , and )
Liberty, racism is a disease that affects every country, every civilization, and every community. It began the moment sin entered the world. (see ) You see all through the Bible, nation after nation attacked Israel. (see ) Other relatives and descendants of Abraham try to defeat the Jews. (see ) Furthermore, the Egyptians enslaved them for 400 years. Yet the worst times in history are when people use racism, purposely fueling its flames purely for their own political power. It is a time, I fear, we are once again in.
That’s my 2 cents.
Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower conducted talks for two and a half weeks with Governor Faubus and Little Rock's mayor to resolve the standoff, yet Faubus was not budging. The students returned to school on September 23, quietly entering the school through a side door. However, when their presence was discovered, white protesters outside attacked black bystanders and northern journalists until the students went home. Under a district court order, Faubus removed the National Guard, yet the threat of violence from the protesters continued. Going against his desire not to use the military to enforce desegregation, Eisenhower reluctantly called up the 101st Airborne Division "Screaming Eagles" paratroopers, which allowed federal forces to put the Arkansas National Guard under their control and out of Faubus' command. The nine students returned to school on September 25 under federal protection and escort.
September 4, 2019
Elizabeth arrived for her first day at Central High School. She stood tall despite her natural instinct to turn and run away as fast as she could. In front of her stood hundreds protesting her mere presence. Behind her stood her eight friends, all feeling her same trepidation. Knowing that she was not alone, a wave of confidence swept over Elizabeth as the nine students walked towards the school entrance, each step bringing them closer to their ultimate destination; True equality.
During Reconstruction, the Republican led Congress and Republican President Abraham Lincoln insisted Southern states include equal rights for blacks, such as schooling, in their state constitutions before they could be readmitted into the union. (see and ) But as Democrats began gaining control again at federal, state, and local levels, they started reversing the monumental laws that were making tremendous progress in racial equality. (see )
Throughout the South, Democrats circumvented federal civil rights legislation by passing Jim Crow laws starting in the late 1870s. These laws segregated and discriminated against blacks in every aspect of life, restricting blacks from riding on the same train cars, in the front of buses, attending the same schools, and eating in the same restaurants.
As the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) started their war against Republicans, newly freed slaves refused to be enslaved again. They fought back with their guns, protecting their families and their homes. Furious that blacks had arms to resist their tyranny, Democrats influenced or belonging to the KKK implemented gun control for blacks. (see ) Laws were passed preventing blacks from owning guns, claiming it was for their own protection. (see ) This allowed KKK members attacking the homes of Republicans to be more brutal on those of black families as they had no form of defense.
In 1890, Louisiana passed the Separate Car Act requiring railroads within the state to provide "equal but separate accommodations" for white and black passengers. An organization immediately formed to challenge the law, hiring social reformer and Reconstruction-era judge, Albion Tourgée, as their legal council. They quickly devised a plan to test the law in court as it relates to the 's "equal protection of the laws" clause.
Since the law failed to properly describe who was white and who was black, they found a willing activist of mixed race. On June 7, 1892, Homer Plessy purchased a ticket, boarded the train, and made his way to the "whites only" car. Plessy was 1/8th black, meaning his ancestry contained white blood except for the line of one of his great-grandparents. This was enough to have him removed from the train and arrested.
U.S. District Court Judge John H. Ferguson upheld the law's "equal but separate accommodations" condition as constitutional. Tourgée appealed to the state Supreme Court, who upheld the lower court's ruling. It took four years until Tourgée found himself in front of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to argue his case on April 13, 1896. The court's 7-1 decision came down on May 18, 1896, ruling against Plessy.
In the majority opinion, Associate Justice Henry Billings Brown argued since the Louisiana law provided accommodations that were equal, just separate, it did not violate the . Instead, he argued legislatures meant to sustain "public peace and good order" with the Act, exercising the lawmakers "reasonable" state policing authority.
However, Associate Justice John Marshall Harlan, the lone dissenter, contended in his opinion that its purpose was "under the guise of giving equal accommodation for whites and blacks, to compel the latter to keep to themselves while traveling in railroad passenger coaches." In addition, he criticized the court for ignoring this obvious objective, proclaiming "Our is color-blind."
He concluded, stating, “in my opinion, the judgment this day rendered will, in time, prove to be quite as pernicious (harmful) as the decision made by this tribunal in the Dred Scott Case”. In this decision, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney wildly overstepped its bounds, not only branded slaves as property, but declaring that blacks, free or slave, would never be citizens. (see )
Harlan was absolutely correct as Plessy v. Ferguson legitimized the concept of "separate but equal" as constitutional. For the next half century, such Jim Crow laws segregated blacks from whites as businesses confidently promoted themselves as "serving whites only." The decision erased all progress made by Republicans during Reconstruction as the "separate but equal" concept applied to all facets of society. Even restrooms and drinking fountains were affected as these facilities were provided, but often in inconvenient places and in fewer quantities. When Democrat President Woodrow Wilson entered the White House, he brought Jim Crow laws, and national racism, to the federal level. (see )
In the 1950s, organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement Of Colored People, or NAACP, began a campaign to correct these laws. (see ) The Topeka, Kansas, chapter of the NAACP recruited 13 parents to challenge school segregation that existed exclusively in Southern states. Filed under Oliver L. Brown, a father, welder, and local church pastor, the Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education class action lawsuit represented 20 minority children attempting to enroll in schools close to their homes. Brown's children were forced to cross a dangerous train switchyard to reach their bus stop instead of attending a closer "whites only" school. Parents in similar situations joined the lawsuit.
Losing at the federal court level, Brown appealed to the SCOTUS. Thurgood Marshall represented the plaintiffs, arguing before the court of which he would eventually be appointed as the first black justice. While the 1896 Justices focused on the equality of the facilities and businesses, the 1954 Justices examined how the separate environment affected the students. They determined segregation led to low self-esteem, an inferiority complex, and decreased confidence, all which affected the student's learning. The analysis resulted in a 9-0 decision, issued May 17, 1954, with Justice Earl Warren composing the court's decision. Stating, "We conclude that the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal," the decision not only overturned Plessy v. Ferguson, it ignited the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s. In addition to granting students the freedom to attend any school of their choice, black teachers were allowed to work anywhere they chose as well. On May 31, 1955, another unanimous ruling was release, dubbed Brown II, informing all states with such laws to desegregate their schools "with all deliberate speed."
Many states started making arrangements to comply with the ruling. While the Little Rock School Board quickly decided to begin integration gradually, starting with the high schools in September of 1957, the Arkansas' Congress unanimously signed the Southern Manifesto, criticizing the SCOTUS for what they perceived as practicing "naked judicial power." Two pro-segregation groups were formed specifically to oppose integration, but they failed in their attempts to stop it in the courts. Therefore, when nine students decided to practice their civil rights, Democrat Governor Orval Faubus called on the state's National Guard to stop them.
Known as the Little Rock Nine, Arkansas NAACP Chapter president Daisy Bates recruited Melba Pattillo, Ernest Green, Elizabeth Eckford, Minnijean Brown, Terrence Roberts, Carlotta Walls, Jefferson Thomas, Gloria Ray, and Thelma Mothershed to force their state to comply. Bates arranged to pick up the students on September 4, 1957, and deliver them to the school. However, Elizabeth did not have a phone and reached Central High School alone. As the others arrived, all nine were greeted by angry protestors, students, journalists, and the military, forcing them to go home. They lost this battle, but the war was far from over.
SEPARATE BUT EQUAL?