Presidential Proclamation — 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education– My Critique

For Immediate Release
May 15, 2014
Presidential Proclamation — 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education

<<http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/05/15/presidential-proclamation-60th-anniversary-brown-v-board-education>&gt;

60TH ANNIVERSARY OF BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION

– – – – – – –

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

May 17, 1954, marked a turning point in America’s journey toward a more perfect Union. On that day, the Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education, outlawing racial segregation in our Nation’s schools. Brown overturned the doctrine of “separate but equal,” which the Court had established in the 1896 case of Plessy v. Ferguson. For more than half a century, Plessy gave constitutional backing to discrimination, [Is it really discrimination?] and civil rights organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People faced an uphill battle as they sought equality, opportunity, and justice under the law. [My biggest complaint is the double standards. We have 106 HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and University), in this country. I have not seen any move to force them to be more diverse.]

From a Practical point of view it has been an utter failure. We have had forced integration for 60 years and yet we still talk about racism and still have an ‘achievement gap’. So, apparently having kids of different races in the same school is also NOT equal. So I wonder if that fact that they were separate was the cause of the inequality.

Brown v. Board of Education shifted the legal and moral compass of our Nation. It declared that education “must be made available to all on equal terms” and demanded that America’s promise exclude no one. Yet the Supreme Court alone could not destroy segregation. Brown had unlocked the schoolhouse doors, but even years later, African-American children braved mobs as they walked to school, while U.S. Marshals kept the peace. From lunch counters and city streets to buses and ballot boxes, American citizens struggled to realize their basic rights. A decade after the Court’s ruling, Brown’s moral guidance was translated into the enforcement measures of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.

Thanks to the men and women who fought for equality in the courtroom, the legislature, and the hearts and minds of the American people, we have confined legalized segregation to the dustbin of history. Yet today, the hope and promise of Brown remains unfulfilled. In the years to come, we must continue striving toward equal opportunities for all our children, from access to advanced classes to participation in the same extracurricular activities. Because when children learn and play together, they grow, build, and thrive together. [This goes to equal outcomes again and this is impossible. We are not all the same therefore outcomes will be different. We all cannot be POTUS for example.]

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.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, [Where does the US Constitution state that you have the authority to declare proclamations. You do not and neither did Lincoln either in the Emancipation Proclamation.] do hereby proclaim May 17, 2014, as the 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. [Are you kidding me? You proclaim it? You proclaim the obvious. Why do you feel the need to say anything. We all know that busing has been around for a long time. Are you trying to compare yourself to Lincoln?] I call upon all Americans to observe this day with programs, ceremonies, and activities that celebrate this landmark decision and advance the causes of equality and opportunity for all. [It was a stupid decision. It was right only in sentiments. It was and still is impractical. YOU CANNOT GUARANTEE OUTCOMES!!!! If you could then we would not have an achievement gap. The opportunity has been there. It is up to the individual to take advantage of it.]

I see no call to celebrate the end of the Civil War which actually freed the slaves and soon after gave them American citizenship. I do not think that this is necessary either. We need to move on instead of celebrating or condemning  the past.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.

BARACK OBAMA

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