Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Opponents of School Integration Plans Misread Brown v. Board of Education

Writing for the Los Angeles Times, Goodwin Liu, a Berkeley Law Professor, describes how opponents of the Seattle and Louisville school integration plans are misreading Brown v. Board of Education to stand for the notion that the Constitution is colorblind. In his article, Liu explains that Brown, "did not establish colorblindness as a legal principle" and that there is "no constitutional equivalence between race-conscious efforts to segregate and race-conscious efforts to integrate public schools."

Chief Justice Roberts, who wrote in a 2006 dissent that,“It is a sordid business, this divvying us up by race,” appears not to appreciate the importance of educational diversity in an increasingly diverse world. In this article, Liu explains how both the U.S. Government (arguing that Brown, "held that intentionally classifying students on the basis of race violates the equal protection clause") and the Chief Justice ("liken[ing] the children in Seattle and Louisville to the children in Brown because 'they're being assigned on the basis of their race'") appear to miss the point of Brown--namely, that "racial apartheid has no place in public schools or elsewhere in public life."

To read Professor Liu's article, entitled, "The Meaning of Brown vs. the Board," click here.

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