Blacks Law Dictionary defines freedom as, “the state of being free; liberty; self-determination, absence of restraint; the opposite of slavery”.
This past Saturday was the 60th anniversary of the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision that struck down Plessy vs. Ferguson. The Plessy decision allowed the states to enact laws that required the separation of the races in public facilities, including schools. Brown not only struck down the Plessy decision of ‘separate but equal’, but also paved the way for civil rights activism in other areas where freedom was denied based on race.
Sixty years later segregation in the school system is again an issue in the minds of some. Only this time, forced legal segregation is not a factor. Instead, today’s segregation occurs by freedom in choice and/or opportunity. Parents are using their freedom to send their children to schools that have safer environments and successful student achievement and teacher performance results – without regard to racial mix. Which is more important – to have the ‘right’ racial mix or the best academic outcomes? Does it not make better sense to focus on making all schools safe and filled with the best teachers, rather than wasting resources assuring a racial mix of students?
In the civil rights struggles of the 50’s and 60’s, Blacks were not fighting for the opportunity to be in the presence of Whites. The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. organized, marched, protested, and died for freedom and an equality that didn’t exist for the American “negro”. Reverend King recognized that freedom was guaranteed for all by two sources — God and the U.S. Constitution. The fight was for the freedom to choose their paths without restraint. Laws that would force ‘diversity’ and take away freedom of choice violate the liberties of mankind, under God and the Constitution.
When people begin to place more emphasis on racial diversity, is that not a return to the days when race-based decisions disadvantaged rather than facilitated upward mobility for Blacks in America? It often seems that today’s Black leaders have forgotten the most important reason for the civil rights movement – it was a fight for the God-given freedom to live our lives, pursue our happiness, and enjoy our liberties without invoking government power over our choices.
Slavery — being in a state where choice is forcefully taken, is the complete opposite of freedom.
“Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.” Alexis de Tocqueville