In 1892, a Black man, Homer Plessy, refused to give his seat on a train to a White man in Louisiana. He was subsequently arrested but his case went all the way to the Supreme Court as he argued that the law that forced him to give up his seat was unconstitutional, violating “equal protection clause” of the 14th Amendment. The following Supreme Court ruling in the case named Plessy v. Ferguson stated that the law was constitutional as Plessy was not being treated unequally. The ruling essentially said that segregation was legal so long as it was “seperate but equal.”
Fast forward to 1936, 44 years later, and a case had climbed to the Maryland Court of Appeals when a Black man, Douglas Gaines Murray, wished to enter a university but couldn’t due to segregation. Marshall argued that the Black schools were subpar and that he should be allowed to enter any university he wished so long as he was eligible. The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled in Murray’s favor and he graduated two years later. This case set in motion more lawsuits leading up to the Civil Rights movement. While Murray’s desire to enter the university of his choosing may have had merit, some took this further and applied it also to public education.
Three other similar cases were settled in other states as the NAACP continued its crusade for Black involvement in higher education. They were met with success in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. Over a decade after Murray v. Maryland, a Black father from Kansas (Oliver L. Brown) sued with other Black parents to get his children into an all White public school. His reasoning was that it was more convenient and closer to their home but he, of course, claimed that his children were not being treated equally. Four other cases were simultaneously occuring in other states, all questioning the legality of segregation laws. They all came together and appeared before the Supreme Court as Brown v. Board of Education in 1952, taking their name from the Kansas case of the same name.
Thurgood Marshall from the NAACP led the crusade, stating that segregation in schooling was unconstitutional and violated the 14th Amendment. He used a series of experiments done by Kenneth Bancroft Clark several years before to prop up his claims that Blacks were harmed by segregated schools psychologically; these claims had nothing to do with the Constitution and really shouldn’t have ever come up, but nevertheless they did.
The experiments had Black school children, aged three through seven to answer a series of questions by picking the appropriate doll of which there were two, a Black and a White doll. They were identical in every way except skin color. The children in question came about half and half from integrated Boston schools and Southern segregated ones. The children were asked to pick between the Black and White dolls as well as to pick which one was the Negro doll and which one they were. These questions showed racial awareness and most of the children chose correctly.
–You can see a short report on the experiments here
Next, the children were asked to pick which doll they liked best, which doll was a nice doll, which doll was a bad looking doll, and which doll was a nice color.
Among the Northern, integrated children, the Black doll was overwhelmingly less desirable and rejected more than the White doll. In Southern, segregated school, the children were more in tune with their actual race, African. The presence of light-skinned Black children was not concluded to be the reason. Nevertheless, Marshall used the fact that segregated children saw the Black doll as less desirable than the White doll to his advantage, arguing that the Black children were being hurt by segregation.
The court then began realizing how divided on the issue they were. Knowing it was a very important one, they decided to delay their decision until the end of 1943. Before then however, Chief Justice Fred Vinson died of a heart attack and was replaced by Earl Warren of California. When the case came before the court again, Warren was able to sway the entire court against segregation with a unanimous ruling in favor of Brown by 9-0.
The fact that the doll experiments concluded that integration actually hurt Black children was ignored. Given this, it’s easy to see just how the ruling was done for political and emotional purposes, not because the constitutionality of segregated schooling was in question. If Black children were being held at a disadvantaged with a lack of funding as many argue today, it would be logical to increase funding, not to deconstruct the institution of segregation.
With the end of segregated schooling, the NAACP and the soon to come Civil Rights movement began invading White spaces, declaring them unjust just as the did with Brown v. Board of Education. It was not done out of factual evidence, but out of emotions. The Supreme Court’s place is not to dictate laws based on their beliefs, but on what the constitution states is allowed.
The constitutionality of segregation should come before the Supreme Court again. Of course, it wouldn’t pass as there’s three Blacks, a Latina, and a Black on the court, putting Whites at a disadvantage — this can and will change though. Regardless, Whites should campaign for it, along with the Black segregationists, especially as the degeneration of the Black community only grows worse and worse. The South was right to opposed such a corrupt ruling.
The Supreme Court’s ruling on Brown v. Board of Education established a slippery slope, ripe for Non-White invasions of White communities and spaces. It set in place an opportunity for Yankees and Blacks to bombard the South with their “progressive” ideals, leading to the Second Reconstruction.