On this day in 1954, the US Supreme Court handed down its unanimous decision in the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. The decision declared segregation on grounds of race in schools unconstitutional. The ruling overturned the 1896 decision Plessy v. Ferguson which allowed segregation under the doctrine ‘separate but equal’. The case had been bought by African-American parents, including Oliver L. Brown, against Topeka’s educational segregation. It was argued before the Court by the chief legal counsel of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP): Thurgood Marshall, who became the first African-American Supreme Court justice in 1967. The Court, led by Chief Justice Earl Warren, declared that segregation violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The landmark decision is considered the start of the Civil Rights Movement which led to racial integration and full legal rights for African-Americans.
“We conclude that, in the field of public education, the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal” - Warren’s opinion for the Court
Spending a semester working as an intern and studying the state of our public school system has made many political decisions a reality in my life. The desegregation of public schools should be a day to remember for everyone in the U.S. Even if we have a long way to go before the landscape of public education is truly equal.
Open University has a YouTube channel where they describe the ins and outs of social science in sixty seconds. They are fun little cartoons that try to tackle complicated theories and make them easy to understand. They are not worthy of siting in a paper but not a bad way to spend a couple of minutes. The one posted above is an overly simplified rendition of Marx’s theory on religion as a way to control the people.
Often people working in the artisan trades make a connection to their labor and their sense of individualism. Craftsmen and women make a connection to their labor. Because they use their mental and physical know-how to produce a tangible commodity while supplying a service in their community. Resulting in an overall feeling of fulfillment and a special relationship to their neighborhood.
This American Life shows how complex the socialization process is through out our lives. The individual chooses his/her placement within the context of stories, making them their own and deciding their involvement. Whether the story involves them or not.
Consumerism and the commodification of relationships.
This is a new item at my work. It is a picture frame shaped like a wedding ring with “Bling Bling I got the ring” written around a picture of the bride showing off her new engagement ring. The acceptance of tangible commodities becomes the centerpiece of relationships. While Conspicuous consumption becomes the focus point for many day to day actions.