Legislation has some people disfranchised

Published 6:06pm Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The results of major events have reformed our society.  A civil war can be defined as a war between different sections or factions of the same nation. Many individuals think of America’s Civil War, the war between the North and the South in the United States. However, a civil war occasionally happens between people of the same ethnic group. A civil war does not have to be a physical fight. Many of today’s civil wars take place because of peoples’ different ideologies and sometimes for personal gain.

The Supreme Court has made some landmark decisions related to equal rights. The Supreme Court ruled, in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896, that the Fourteenth Amendment’s phrase, “equal protection of the laws,” could mean “separate but equal facilities.” The concept of separate but equal was quickly applied to all public facilities, from schools to amusement parks.

In 1954 the Supreme Court reversed the Plessy v. Ferguson decision in the case of Brown v. Board of Education. The Supreme Court ruled against segregated schools. Such schools, were declared “inherently unequal” and educational opportunity was a “right which must be available to all on equal terms.”

In 2015, the nation will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Under this law, the United States government can send special officers to any state in the nation to make sure that citizens get fair treatment when they register to vote. The federal court system and the United States Congress have acted to prevent disfranchisement. However, some recent legislation has reverted to some people being disfranchised.

Alabama Senate Bill 60 is an act of disfranchisement. It dilutes the responsibilities of the local board of education if state intervention occurs. People do not have to accept the erosion of their rights.  The State Department of Education intervention into the Selma City Schools parallels the Donald Sterling incident in the National Basketball Association. This intervention implies that certain groups of students are not capable to master standardized tests, and a specific ethnic group lacks the managerial skills for school operations.

The black intellectual civil war is an act of destruction. Some of us have busied ourselves fighting each other until we have erased the gains made over several decades.  This civil war is not a national epidemic. It is isolated in certain communities. The “Amos and Andy” mentality is not accepted in contemporary America. It is time to refocus and work toward the betterment of all mankind.

Nevertheless, I sometimes wonder if Booker T. Washington was successful with pulling the veil of ignorance from over all our heads.

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