Thursday, November 03, 2005


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(photo by Charles Moore
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The death & state funeral of Rosa Parks should give us all pause to think that Segregation in America was a fact in America not that long ago & the position of Black Americans has still not progressed to a point where racism could be said to have been rooted out of American Institutions & Corporate America once & for all. What is also disturbing is that what strides forward have been made in America are now threatened by the Bush Administration & the Christian Religious Right & the Neo-Conservatives.

Anyway on May 17, 1954 the Supreme Court of the United States led by Chief Justice Warren ruled on the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kans., unanimously agreeing that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional. The ruling paves the way for large-scale desegregation. The decision overturns the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson ruling that sanctioned "separate but equal" segregation of the races, ruling that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." It is a victory for NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall, who will later return to the Supreme Court as the nation's first black justice.

also see:
Civil Rights: Brown v. Board of Education I (1954)
Brown v. Board of Education I (1954), made available by The National Center for
Public Policy Research's Constitution and the Courts Archive.

Early Civil Rights Struggles: Brown v. Board of Education
The Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision did not abolish segregation
in other public areas, such as restaurants and restrooms, ...

In 1955 in segregated Montgomery Alabama Rosa Parks aged 42 refused to give up her seat to a white man on a city bus & so was arrested . This simple acthelped to ignite the civil rights movement in the United States where an Apartheid system had been enforced for almost a century since the end of the American Civil-War.
The white population used their power over local state & federal agencies & police forces & National Guard & the KKK to intimidate & terrorize the Black population to keep them in their place. Like the White Segregationist of South Africa & Rhodesia they believed that their views on Race were sanctioned by the Bible & their God.( Hitler also believed Christ & the Bible were on his side to justify his killing of Homosexuals, Communists, Intellectuals & artists & Jews & Gypsies etc.& he also like to burn books & encouraged the German People to spy on their friends family & neighbours etc)
It can be argued that American democracy was to a great extent a sham til the Civil Rights acts were enacted in 1965 by the US Federal Government under President Johnson.

The religious Right & Neo-conservatives & Bush’s staunch supporters are even now arguing that the Supreme Court over the past fifty years has been going beyond its jurisdiction by widening their interpretation of the Bill of Rights & the Separation of Church & state & the Separation of Powers . So it makes one wonder if some of the anxiety felt by the Religious Right & the Neo-conservatives is in part due to the Federal Government’s interference in what they see as purely matters which are or should be controlled by the legislatures of individual states. If so then segregation & desegregation should have been left up to the individual states to legislate form or against.
If segregation had been left up to the states to decide then Segregation might still be the law of the land in states such as Alabama & Mississippi & Arkansas & North Carolina etc.
I also wonder if Neo-Conservatives & Religious Right would see the Civil Rights movement as anything other than a battle which they lost because of a Federal Government which went beyond its legitimate role.
Given the siege mentality of the Bush Administration since 9/11 & the enactment of The Patriot Act & ever widening powers of the President Bush what would be the response of the federal government to large groups protesting & using the tactics of Non-violence & non-cooperation & confrontation to bring attention to legitimate concerns over various forms of injustice & intolerance & unfair restrictions on the freedom of large numbers of Americans. I fear when push comes to shove Bush would send in the troops & tanks like the Chinese Government did in Beijing & Tiananmen Square.
Now it would be something if Americans once again rose up to challenge their government .
Unfortunately Americans especially the White Middle-Class are content to hide their heads in the sand & do not want to have to think about issues which might upset them.
These issues which should be a matter of public debate include for instance concerns over the growing gap between the rich & poor or between white & black Americans and that there are at least thirty seven million people in America living in poverty & hundreds of thousands who are homeless in America or numerous other issues from the failing educational system to the killing or legal lynching of Black men in the form of Capital Punishment by Hanging ,the Gas Chamber, Lethal Injection & Electric Chair.

(see: American Civil Liberties Union
Read the Capital Punishment Project's most recent publications : The Forgotten Population: A Look ... Dead End: A No-Nonsense Resource on Capital Punishment ...

It is also disturbing to see pictures of American soldiers & members of the CIA actively engaged in the torture of prisoners suspected of terrorist activities.( Yet America claims to be a “ just society “ & the “Bastion of Western Democracy & WESTERN VALUES & Christian values )
See Tony Blankley series of articles in The Washington Times September 12, 2005 'An Islamist threat like the Nazis'

Or to put it another way if the Civil Rights Movement had not occurred in the 1950's & 1960's it would these days receive only negative news coverage from Fox News & CNN & would get very little sympathy from the present ruling elite whether or not they are black or white . The thing of it is; is that Black people who are wealthy for the most part are not much different than wealthy white people. They both see the poor as unworthy as lazy stupid or not Godly that is they don’t pray enough or attend church as often as they should or don’t show enough respect for those in authority or to those who are in power.

It was unnerving to see President Bush praising Rosa Parks it was like hearing if you can imagine it Bull Connor of Birmingham praising a black woman who refused to obey the laws of Alabama.
I don’t see how Bush could ever have been in favor of enacting a Civil Right’s Bill by the Federal Government as President Johnson did or that Bush could approve of the strides made in creating a more just society through the various Judgements of The US Supreme Court since Brown V.the Board of Education 1954 to Roe V. Wade 1973. Bush & his followers believe that the Supreme Court has gone far beyond its appropriate role of ensuring that the laws of the land reflect the original intentions of the Founding Fathers & the Bill of Rights & the Declaration of Independence etc.
The Us Supreme Court judges over the years have developed a view that the laws of the land must reflect on-going changes in attitudes in American society & that basic principles of American Justice need to be interpreted in the light of these on-going changes in American society. What once was acceptable IE. Racial segregation is no longer acceptable where intolerance towards minority groups blacks, jews, Catholics , Muslims etc. was considered acceptable it no longer is.( Of course under the Bush regime the government can’t enforce laws against discrimination since the administration & its staunch radical supporters & the Religious Right believe for instance that corporations should no be coerced into obeying such intrusive regulations that they should really be free of any government regulations since they believe in Laissez faire Capitalism .)
Homosexuals once were imprisoned for their sexual orientation or were (or are) discriminated against or were insulted abused & beaten with impunity in the good old days now such discrimination is considered unjustified .
Or for instance Women once did not have the right to vote & were not considered under the law to be persons in their own right with some say over their destiny but were the chattel or personal possessions of their fathers & their husbands .
( it is odd how the Christian Religious Right & Neo-Conservatives & Islamic Extremist both are Anti-Gay & Anti-Feminist & Anti-Abortion & are Anti-Secular & believe that there should not be a separation of Religion & State & therefore both want to create a Theocracy. )

The rulings over the past fifty years of the US supreme Court represent for many Americans & to Western Nations in general positive steps forward for creating a more just society.
Yet Bush & the Religious Right & Neo-Cons see each of these rulings as an attack on the American Way of life & its institutions.

Anyway the America that Tony Blankley Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan, Jerry Falwell, Tim LaHaye & Phyllis Schlafly George Bush & Karl Rove & David Frommet al would like to create would be basically a Theocracy run by an elite of the Rich & Powerful & Fundamentalist Christians & the National Rifleman’s Association & the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution ) & the Corporate Elite of America who see themselves as chosen by GOD/ Jesus to bring morality back to what they believe to be a back-sliding America which condemns slavery which the Bible defends as it also defends the “stoning “ of sinners & the Mass murder of Non-believers , at least in their version of Christianity. As for non Christians the most we could hope for is not to be Gassed.

More on Tony Blankly's articles next time,
see you later,

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