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Friday, June 29, 2007

Ross Perot was wrong. That big sucking noise is coming from the Supreme Court.

Yesterday's decision by the Supreme Court to restrict the use of race as a factor in attempting to integrate schools was a denial of segregation and the legacy it has left. Colin Powell said last night on Larry King Live that the decision ignores the fact of what Brown v. the Board of Education decision addressed and the lingering effects that segregation has had in keeping many people from full equality in our country. The decision has, indeed, turned back the clock.

The decision introduces a factor into the presidential race for 2008 that is as compelling as the war on Iraq. The surge in Iraq would be farcical if it wasn't wasting American lives on a military venture that has no hope of producing anything more than anguish and atrocity from anyone involved. The real enemy in Iraq is the intellectual intransigence of the people who put us there and keep us there trying to democratize a country in which the primary value is sectarian dominance and the beheading of people with opposing views.

In America, we need a resurgence of the civil rights movement. Conservatism in America has come to mean the conservation of that part of our heritage that embraced racial discrimination and injustice. The Bush appointees to the Supreme Court may have valid concerns about the pragmatic affirmative action measures in our schools, but they have chosen to deny the reasons for those measures. While those people we call conservatives (I think "regressives" is a much more accurate descriptor) recite their party line about patriotism and family values, they are, in fact, dismantling the political framework that justifies patriotism and a defense of humane values. Regressives yammer endlessly about the failures of our public schools in some places, but they deny the traditions of racial discrimination and hopelessness that created the conditions for failure.

The Supreme Court is like those folks in Europe who deny the fact of the holocaust. They are denying slavery, segregation and the lingering inequalities that are their legacy.

Looks like we'll have to march on Selma once again. During the campaign for the 2008 election.

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States