The Roberts court attack on voluntary school desegregation undermining Brown vs. the Board of Education and the Senate’s sabotage of a fair immigration reform bill yesterday bring into the open the growing right wing appeal to racism directed against the gains of African Americans and Latinos/as in this country with the affirmative efforts of the civil rights era initiated half a century ago.  I suspect what is at work here is an appeal to jealousy on the part of Caucasians at the gains made by some of the members of these groups that are manifested in our media.  What, of course, is not noted is that these gains are those of only a minority of these minorities who largely still face the
ndercurrents of our racist national culture.

How many minority kids now have no realistic futures beyond prison and homelessness or bare survival in this the wealthiest nation in the world?  Unhappily far too many.  Our prison population is growing by leaps and bounds.  And America is the only nation that largely funds basic education out of local property taxes and, thus, the educational opportunities for most minority group members are stunted by their local schools that are de facto segregated.  In New York there is a vast difference between the quality of public school education in the Bronx where most students do not make it out of high school and near by Bronxville where the public schools are possibly the best in NY.  Living in the city itself a few may be fortunate enough to make it into our few super schools.  But most are consigned to minimal educational opportunity by the place where they live — unless they can afford the $20,000 or so private school tuitions that will offer children realistic access to colleges and good futures.

And so it goes in Amerika.  The minorities are under attack again — by our Supreme Court and those bought legislators who represent mainly corporate interests.  Shame, America.  You have betrayed that good lady who used to welcome new comers to our shores:  “Give us your tired . . . .”

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent  212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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