Friday, July 27, 2007

Mourning in America

Is focusing on the positive in the schools cases, the small remnants of Brown preserved for future generations, a mistake? In Patricia Williams's column this week in The Nation, in which she compares the decision to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Williams argues that it is:

"What concerns me at the moment is the general lack of outcry that has met the decision that public school districts cannot take voluntary action to overcome racial inequality. This represents, for all intents and purposes, the overturning of Brown v. Board of Education. Yet the response in many quarters has been to put a positive spin on it. At least it was a plurality decision. At least Justice Kennedy allowed that diversity is an interest....

And while the Supreme Court may force schools and employers to turn a blind eye to racism's ruinous cost of illiteracy, unemployment and poverty, the "war on terror" has reinvigorated profiling by race, religion, ethnicity and lord-knows-what-else. We seem well on our way to resurrecting a dual society, at one level of which no one sees a thing--the show must go on, so to speak. But some of the rest live in a shadow nation where race is a mark of unspeakable yet indelible consequence. "




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