Commentary

63 years ago today, a Republican-led Supreme Court struck down school segregation as unconstitutional

Chief Justice Earl Warren – Image: Wikipedia

For the millions of Americans who’ve come of age in recent decades, it may seem hard to believe, but there was a time in U.S. history in which the Republican Party (i.e. the party of Lincoln) often led the fight to combat racism in America, while many Democrats — especially in the South — dragged their feet. Today, May 17, offers a potent reminder of that long ago-expired reality as it is the 63rd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous, landmark ruling in the case of Brown v. Board of Education.

Read once more the words of Chief Justice Earl Warren, a Republican appointed by a Republican president:

“Segregation of white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children. The impact is greater when it has the sanction of the law, for the policy of separating the races is usually interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the Negro group…Any language in contrary to this finding is rejected. We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”

Now try to imagine any of the modern day conservative ideologues who inhabit the Court — much less any of the extremists who would lower themselves by accepting a nomination from the current Prevaricator-in-chief — authoring any such powerful and progressive words. And if we could somehow bring back to life the troubled haters and segregators who sought to resist the Court’s ruling in the years that followed the Brown ruling, there can be little doubt as to what their stance would be vis a vis the current inhabitant of the White House — much less as to which side they would take in the modern ideological debate between those who want to save public education and make it work for all and those who want to crucify what they derisively refer to as “government schools” on the disingenuous altar of “school choice.”

One Comment


  1. Sharon

    May 18, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    I’m a lifelong North Carolinian remembering the weather-beaten “Impeach Earl Warren” signs you could still see in Johnson County in the early 1980’s. Thank God for the Supreme Court of his era.

Check Also

The best editorial of the weekend

In case you missed it, the Charlotte Observer ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

More than a month after a deadline to correct faulty campaign finance reports, N.C. Sen. Ralph Hise [...]

Even before he dropped the gavel on the Senate Finance Committee meeting, Sen. Jerry Tillman, a noto [...]

The $23 billion budget deal speeding through the N.C. General Assembly this week includes a platoon [...]

Royal Diadem Jewelers in Greensboro sets itself apart in a number of small ways - fast and friendly [...]

The final budget that lawmakers have proposed fails to strengthen the foundation of North Carolina’s [...]

Most of the initial headlines about the final budget agreement announced Monday afternoon by legisla [...]

Unexplained, backroom maneuver would rob already underfunded anti-poverty program There’s no denying [...]

Women and their access to health care has been in the news these past few months, as the plan to rep [...]

Featured | Special Projects

Trump + North Carolina
In dozens of vitally important areas, policy decisions of the Trump administration are dramatically affecting and altering the lives of North Carolinians. This growing collection of stories summarizes and critiques many of the most important decisions and their impacts.
Read more


HB2 - The continuing controversy
Policy Watch’s comprehensive coverage of North Carolina’s sweeping anti-LGBT law.
Read more