Reap the whirlwind

The Nation
by Bruce Shapiro

02/03/06

If the Supreme Court's 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education can be said to have opened the epic of the modern civil rights era, it is now also possible to mark that era's final, exhausted page: January 31, 2006. It was not just the confirmation that day of Samuel Alito, whose constricted notion of law is likely to turn the Supreme Court definitively against Brown's expansive promise and the other liberation movements it inspired, or the death of Coretta Scott King, so soon after the passing of Rosa Parks. Rather, the rise of Alito and the death of Coretta King illuminate the abandonment by both political parties of the civil rights legacy. President Bush, in his State of the Union message, managed to eulogize Coretta King without a single mention of the words 'civil rights' or 'discrimination.' And among Democratic senators, barely half mustered the fortitude to support the attempted filibuster against Alito, which would at least have served as a national call to conscience on the importance of the Court as a guarantor of rights...

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060220/shapiro


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