Equality: The Bedrock Of A Nation



White House: Presidential Proclamation — 60th Anniversary Of Brown v. Board Of Education




May 17, 1954, marked a turning point in America’s journey toward a more perfect Union. On that day, the Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education, outlawing racial segregation in our Nation’s schools. Brown overturned the doctrine of “separate but equal,” which the Court had established in the 1896 case of Plessy v. Ferguson. For more than half a century, Plessy gave constitutional backing to discrimination, and civil rights organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People faced an uphill battle as they sought equality, opportunity, and justice under the law.

Brown v. Board of Education shifted the legal and moral compass of our Nation. It declared that education “must be made available to all on equal terms” and demanded that America’s promise exclude no one. Yet the Supreme Court alone could not destroy segregation. Brown had unlocked the schoolhouse doors, but even years later, African-American children braved mobs as they walked to school, while U.S. Marshals kept the peace. From lunch counters and city streets to buses and ballot boxes, American citizens struggled to realize their basic rights. A decade after the Court’s ruling, Brown’s moral guidance was translated into the enforcement measures of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.

Thanks to the men and women who fought for equality in the courtroom, the legislature, and the hearts and minds of the American people, we have confined legalized segregation to the dustbin of history. Yet today, the hope and promise of Brown remains unfulfilled. In the years to come, we must continue striving toward equal opportunities for all our children, from access to advanced classes to participation in the same extracurricular activities. Because when children learn and play together, they grow, build, and thrive together.

On the 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, let us heed the words of Justice Thurgood Marshall, who so ably argued the case against segregation, “None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody…bent down and helped us pick up our boots.” Let us march together, meet our obligations to one another, and remember that progress has never come easily — but even in the face of impossible odds, those who love their country can change it.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 17, 2014, as the 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with programs, ceremonies, and activities that celebrate this landmark decision and advance the causes of equality and opportunity for all.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.




Attorneys George E.C. Hayes, Thurgood Marshall, and James Nabrit Jr. celebrate their victory in the Brown case on May 17, 1954.


White House: Commemorating the 60th Anniversary Of The Brown v. Board Of Education And Continuing The March Toward Justice

Decades ago, nearly 200 plaintiffs from across the country joined together in a class-action lawsuit to challenge the doctrine of “separate but equal,” striving to bring the issue of racial segregation before the highest court in the land. Their dangerous, long, and grueling march culminated exactly 60 years ago tomorrow – on May 17, 1954 – at the United States Supreme Court. On that extraordinary day, a unanimous Court, led by Chief Justice Earl Warren, declared that separate was inherently unequal, effectively outlawing racial segregation in schools and other public accommodations throughout America.

This marked a major victory for the cause of equal justice under law, an inflection point in American history, and a spark that in many ways ignited the modern Civil Rights Movement. Yet our nation did not automatically translate the words of Brown into substantive change. The integration of our schools was a process that was halting, confrontational, and at times even bloody. And, for all the progress our nation has seen over the last six decades, this is a process that continues, and a promise that has yet to be fully realized, even today.

More here







108 Responses to “Equality: The Bedrock Of A Nation”

  1. May 17, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Just beautiful Nerdy, thank you soooooo much.

  2. May 17, 2014 at 1:17 pm

  3. May 17, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    FANTASTIC post, NW. You are truly appreciated. THANK YOU!!

  4. May 17, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Here’s the latest:

    • 24 Alycee (@jazziz2)
      May 17, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      Hate seeing this. JC is doing great things in his city; hate seeing his leave for a two year post.

      • May 17, 2014 at 1:45 pm

        He’s been a great mayor and turned down a previous offer but he is building a career. President Obama has faith in him and wants him to become a member of his cabinet.

        • 26 Alycee (@jazziz2)
          May 17, 2014 at 2:18 pm

          The great job is why I hate to see him leave. A friend called me this morning in tears…

          • May 17, 2014 at 3:35 pm

            Ah, I’m sure it will be difficult to see him go. Hopefully there will be another to take the baton and continue to build upon the good work Julian has started.

      • 28 jackiegrumbacher
        May 17, 2014 at 2:31 pm

        Alycee, I think the president is giving Castro national exposure. There are serious housing issues in this country and having someone with Castro’s skills could help make a difference. This job is a step onto the national stage.

        • 29 Vicki
          May 17, 2014 at 2:53 pm

          Yes, housing issues, Sandy and disaster re-building—-a national stage for the 2012 Keynote speaker. A brilliant move, in my humle opinion.

    • May 17, 2014 at 2:22 pm

      Meta, you have worked hard to get the full info on this story! Thanks a lot. Sec. Donovan is another cabinet member who truly loves public service & PBO

    • 31 jacquelineoboomer
      May 17, 2014 at 8:42 pm

      Glad to hear it, although his city will definitely miss him. Actually, I’m super glad to hear it!

    • 33 vcprezofan2
      May 17, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      Appreciate you sharing this feedback, Annieb; I wouldn’t have stumbled onto it on my own, and it’s nice to get some feedback from the students. (I remember they were supposedly the ones upset that if FLOTUS came the occasion would become too political.)

  5. May 17, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Thank you Nerdy for the great post on this subject + others. Several years ago I read the book of the Hearing before the Supreme Court. It may sound dry, butI really enjoyed it. Thurgood Marshall was brilliant in his Oral Argument. The other Attorney was good too. Also famous but I can’t remember his name.

  6. 37 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    May 17, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    GA, TOD. NW, OUTSTANDING post! Thank you, so much!

  7. May 17, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Stunning photo:

  8. May 17, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    amk in his sleep: go gunners

  9. May 17, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    High quality education for all is an important goal

  10. 45 Allison
    May 17, 2014 at 1:33 pm

  11. May 17, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Ok, how the fuck do you miss that goal? Typical Gooners.

  12. May 17, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Just a note to bt of the week-end, I’m going to be switching my IP address today or tomorrow. Please release me from the dark hole if necessary. O_o

  13. May 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    It’s going to be penalty kicks.

  14. May 17, 2014 at 2:25 pm


  15. May 17, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Even Mitt Romney…

  16. 70 hopefruit2
    May 17, 2014 at 2:28 pm

  17. 71 jackiegrumbacher
    May 17, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    This weekend everyone in our area is going nuts trying to get enough votes to put a late comer Democrat on the ballot for a state representative position. We’ve been trying for over a year to get someone to run and now, literally at the eleventh hour, a very good candidate has stepped forward. There has been a virtual local army door knocking, making phone calls, writing press releases and calling into the local radio station. And to top it all off, the Chairman of the state Democratic Party is coming to help. We have a far right Libertarian running on the Republican side who is so ‘off the wall’ even Republicans hate him and a Tea Party woman trying to get Republicans and Dems to write HER in. So if our candidate gets on the ballot, we have a chance in Nov. Meanwhile, there’s a Dem candidate for governor to choose. Haven’t had a moment to sit down and enjoy my TOD fix of the day and it’s not going to get any calmer before Tuesday.

    • May 17, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      Thank you very much Jackie for all you are doing. This is the kind of ‘activism’ that is so essential to recovering our democracy.

    • 73 Vicki
      May 17, 2014 at 2:57 pm

      I will be on the edge of my sofa waiting for PA returns. Corbett must go in November. He is on my list atop GOP Governors who must go. Vying with Rick Scott and Scott Walker for #1

      • 74 jackiegrumbacher
        May 17, 2014 at 3:35 pm

        Believe me, Vicki, we all will. We cannot blow this one–the stakes are too high. If the worst happens and Corbett wins, this state will officially enter the Dark Ages and it may not recover for a very long time. The biggest problem is the long-standing PA tradition of alternating governors from each party at two term intervals. This pattern goes back almost a hundred years and it will be a VERY big deal if voters alter it. Republicans are unhappy with Corbett, but they will balk at a strident Democrat and won’t cross over. I really think Tom Wolf’s background as a businessman and his calm demeanor will make crossover voting easier for Rs.

        • 75 Alycee (@jazziz2)
          May 17, 2014 at 3:49 pm

          I’m still holding out hope for McCord; however, seems Wolf’s early commercials and his generosity to several county and local parties will get him the win. Supporting Mark Smith for LtGov — young and progressive.

          • 76 jackiegrumbacher
            May 17, 2014 at 9:46 pm

            Alycee, I have two concerns about Mike Stark. One, we lose a Democrat in a state Senate seat if he wins and we can’t afford that loss. And two he’s been involved in some questionable real estate deals and the fear is that Corbett will try to make the race all about the Lt. Gov to distract attention from his own questionable practices. Though I know he hasn’t got much of a chance, I’m voting for Brad Koplinski because I know for a fact that he’s progressive down to the bone.

        • 77 Vicki
          May 17, 2014 at 4:50 pm

          OK, then. Fingers crossed for Mr. Wolf.

    • 78 whatisworking
      May 18, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      You go girl. This is the kind of grass roots action that will help Dems win in Nov. It is so encouraging to hear about your community’s ability to instantly mobilize and start getting things done. I am sure you are doing a lot of the work. May you get a well deserved nap on Tuesday…

  18. May 17, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Excellent tribute, NW!! Thank you

  19. May 17, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Ukrainian Government authorities really do need to act on these recommendations ….

  20. May 17, 2014 at 2:53 pm

  21. 88 forus50
    May 17, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    If you want to see what Barack Hussein Obama would have looked like as a 25 year old pro-baseball player here he is!! This is one of the best shortstops in the majors – Andrelton Simmons of the Atlanta Braves. My sister who lives in Atlanta pointed out the similarity to me last year. Simmons has that same smooth walk and run (and lope!) as Obama and has a similar build and calm “no drama” poise just like our POTUS. Enjoy!

  22. May 17, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    I have said it here before but i will repeat it : i deeply despise putin for creating so much chaos, hatred and division among a diverse population that previously lived as one nation

  23. 92 hopefruit2
    May 17, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    And I despise the US media and certain cretins on the Left and Right who encouraged Putin in his bad behavior because they thought they could use him against our current President.

  24. 94 Linda
    May 17, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    The article in the right column of the newspaper looks interesting.

    Can a President just shut down Congressional hearings by executive order ? It appears that back in the 1950’s they could.


  25. May 17, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Yet today, the hope and promise of Brown remains unfulfilled. In the years to come, we must continue striving toward equal opportunities for all our children, from access to advanced classes to participation in the same extracurricular activities. Because when children learn and play together, they grow, build, and thrive together.

    On the 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, let us heed the words of Justice Thurgood Marshall, who so ably argued the case against segregation, “None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody…bent down and helped us pick up our boots.” Let us march together, meet our obligations to one another, and remember that progress has never come easily
    — but even in the face of impossible odds, those who love their country can change it.


  26. 96 vcprezofan2
    May 17, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    I’m a wee bit late, but here’s your weekly Interior video (This Week @ Interior: may 16/2014)

  27. May 17, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Posted at TPV today. Truly an exceptional teaching instrument irrespective of whether William will ever ‘get it’ – though the quality of his life would improve immeasurably if he did.

    The Man In The Mirror: An Open Letter to Bill O’Reilly Regarding His Very Own White Privilege
    Trevor LaFauci May 17, 2014

    Dear William,

    As a fellow White male who has also studied history, I felt compelled to write to you today to respectfully disagree with your stance on White privilege in America. You see, William, on your show The O’Reilly Factor on May 15, you stated that, “I do not believe you are granted favorable treatment in this country because you are White. You have to work for success.” This point was conceded as a followup to your May 14th program during which you had a segment discussing how the Kennedy School at Harvard was considering including a portion of its orientation to discuss issues associated with White privilege as a way for students to be made aware of the issue going forward as they began to think about it impact in relation to public policy. As always William, your guests had some interesting things to say on the topic but unfortunately I don’t think either they or you truly understand what White privilege is. Allow me to share some of my thoughts as it relates to you and your own life, if I may.

    First off William, I don’t think you quite have a proper understanding of just what is meant by the term “White privilege.” It is not, as you suggested closely related to the idea of White supremacy. Nor is it used to pit the races against each other in a divisive manner as your esteemed guest, Stuart Varney, seemed to imply. Rather, the term White privilege is used to express the idea that all things being equal, White people are given inherent advantages and opportunities available to them that are not given to those of other races. In other words, it is the notion that a person who just happens to have been born to light-skinned, European-looking parents will inevitably be given access to resources and materials throughout his or her life that will put him or her at a distinct advantage over others on the path to success. For the vast majority of those who are part of the White privilege class, it will be something so engrained in their lives that they will either never recognize it, or outwardly deny it.

    More at the link:

  28. 100 anniebella
    May 17, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Did anyone hear the weak welcome that the Governor of Kansas received last evening?

  29. May 17, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    If the schism that Putin has engineered with his propaganda is ever resolved, it will be decades or longer before it happens ….

  30. May 17, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    More toxic consequences of Tzar Vlad’s illegal occupation of Crimea …

    “According to the group Information Resistance, the closure of these ports is due primarily to the fact that after the annexation of Crimea, the state-owned “Feodosiya Sea Trade Port” and “Yevpatoria Sea Trade Port,” which were classified as international and were some of the more budget-creating enterprises in their regions, stopped the transshipment of petroleum products, rolled metal, clay, sand, and consumer goods. Most of these loads came from Turkey.


    Due to the absence of trade turnover, port employees are currently being paid from funds saved in 2013, which will last a maximum of one month.

    Over 1,000 people will be left without work due to closure of the ports. The shutdown of ports will seriously affect the revenues to local budgets.”


  31. 106 mtmarilyn
    May 17, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Well, California Chrome won the Preakness. What a horse.

  32. 108 mtmarilyn
    May 17, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    What a great post NW!!! I was born and raised in Kansas. I do love my home but like all things you love sometimes they are unlovable. I feel that way about Kansas. So much good has come from this state, especially this win. I am so glad so much attention is being given to this accomplishment. We must keep working to keep equality alive for all.

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