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As the ancestors turn in their graves

Susan Smith | 5/26/2019, 8:46 p.m.
It has been fascinating and troubling at the same time to listen to candidates being considered to be judges in ...

Crazy Faith Ministries

It has been fascinating and troubling at the same time to listen to candidates being considered to be judges in federal courts across this nation back away from affirming the necessity of Brown v. Board of Education, which was decided upon by the U.S. Supreme Court 65 years ago.

Wendy Vitter is the latest to have avoided offering an opinion on that case, which seems really to be an indication of tacit disagreement with what Brown did, as noted in the Washington Post. Vitter was confirmed to a federal court bench in Louisiana, without the vote of a single Democratic senator.

Vitter is but one of two dozen federal court nominees who have declined to give an answer to the question about the need for the decision, which decreed that “separate but equal” was unconstitutional.

Education offered to Black students – in segregated schools – was far from being equal to that of Whites, as were their schools. In spite of Brown, schools in poor areas serving primarily Black and Brown children are still in horrible condition, and many of those schools are unable to offer students books, computers and other necessities that children in White schools take as a matter of course.

While many White people respond defensively to the cry “Black lives matter,” it is a fact that governments, assisted by the courts and by organized religion in many cases, have made it clear that Black lives do not matter. The recent draconian anti-abortion laws passed in several states, including Alabama, Ohio and Georgia, speak to the conception of what many consider to be “life.”

An unborn fetus is to be protected, but little Black children in underperforming schools, some with no or inadequate heat in the winter and no air conditioning in the summer, are ignored. Governments work hard to make sure that affluent children get all they need in order to remain affluent, while poor children, many of whom are Black or Brown, are likewise, ignored.

The silence of these judicial nominees speaks volumes as to where their hearts are when it comes to protecting and improving the lives of children who are already alive … and suffering.

When Alabama passed its horrific anti-abortion law this week, its governor, Kay Ivey, said that the bill indicated that the people of Alabama believe that “every life is precious and every life is a sacred gift from God,” according to APNews.com.

But recent reports say that more children live in poverty in Alabama now than did 20 years ago. The state has the fifth-largest child poverty rate in the country, and the rate of child food insecurity is 22.5%, as recorded by HuffPost.com. Those numbers do not seem to indicate a concern for the “precious” lives of children.

Segregated schools, as well, seem to be all right to the lawmakers and educators of Alabama. In 2018, a school district was so segregated that Alabama itself had to take stock, according to TheRoot.com.

The point is that the reluctance of would-be and already confirmed judges to federal courts to answer the question as to the “rightness” of the Brown v. Board of Education decision casts a serious shadow on the crop of judges coming to the bench.

Are the rights, or will the rights, of children already out of the womb and/or soon to be among the ranks of poor children be considered as sacred and as something to be protected?

In this era of raw hatred rising up with the encouragement of the current federal administration, it is doubtful that the lives of Black children will be considered worthy of thought or concern.

And in light of that very real possibility, the ancestors who worked so hard to fight America’s hateful white supremacist system to protect the “sacred” lives of Black children must be turning over in their graves.

Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith is the founder and director of Crazy Faith Ministries. She is available for speaking. Contact her at revsuekim@sbcglobal.net.