By Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber
"We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust.... We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better." -- Thurgood Marshall
June 7, 2014 (San Diego)--On May 17th 1954, the United States Supreme Court unanimously overturned the separate but equal doctrine of the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision after arguments presented by Thurgood Marshall - then a lawyer for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The Court concluded that, in the field of public education, the doctrine of separate but equal has no place and that separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. The activism generated to enforce the Brown decision was a catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement and led to further state and federal anti-discrimination legislation.
My colleagues and I commemorated the 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education this week with a resolution as a reminder of the significance and the achievements of this Civil Rights milestone. (View video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq9YhN6qX70) My hope is that we don’t let this anniversary deceive us into thinking we’ve fulfilled the hopes of Brown or that work of eliminating inequities in education is behind us.