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Brown v. Board of Education was about opportunity

first_imgwas about opportunity Charlie Crist Attorney General Fifty years ago the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark decision that remains as significant today as it was in 1954. This momentous decision almost single-handedly rocketed the civil rights movement through a fast-track decade of events that went from Topeka schools, to Montgomery and Tallahassee bus stops, to Greensboro lunch counters, to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.Violence, jail cells and worse were sometimes a sad part of the journey. Finally, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act one year later. The nation was in the process of changing forever. What was the catalyst?In 1950, young Linda Brown walked with her father, the Rev. Oliver Brown, to Sumner Elementary School near her home in Topeka, Kansas. Linda and other black children were refused admission to all-white schools and were required to continue attending an all-black school much further away. The school board’s refusal to admit the students triggered more than three years of litigation that ultimately resulted in the now-famous Brown v. Board of Education decision on May 17, 1954. Rev. Brown was the lead plaintiff.In 1954, many states — including Florida — were still mandating segregated schools. A half-century earlier, the Supreme Court had established the concept of “separate but equal” in a case involving rail coach accommodations. permitting legal segregation, “separate but equal” was used to support the segregation of public schools. In the Brown case, however, Chief Justice Earl Warren declared for a unanimous court: “Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”What did the Rev. Brown want for his children and for others who could not attend the school of their choice? Earlier this year, Cheryl Brown Henderson, Linda’s younger sister, told a group of students from the University of Michigan that the true goals were far more profound than simply the location of a school:“ Brown v. Board was never just about sitting next to white children—it was about sharing the same resources they had access to. Education was the down payment on freedom. Education is the down payment on opportunity.”Despite the landmark ruling, the down payment was not made right away. Here in Florida, Virgil Hawkins wished to attend the University of Florida law school, and applied for admission in 1949. Though already in his 40s, he met the academic qualifications, but was denied admission solely because of his race. Hawkins, an African-American, was informed that he was welcome to attend the Florida A&M Law School, established in 1951 for black students.The Florida Supreme Court rejected Hawkins’ case in 1952, closing the door on his attempt to integrate the all-white institution in Gainesville—until Brown v. Board of Education changed the landscape. Just one week after the Brown decision, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated Florida’s ruling against Hawkins. On October 19, 1955, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that Florida’s public schools, including colleges, had to align with federal law and dismantle segregation.The Florida decision allowed a transition period, or gradual implementation of the new mandate. There were no dissenters to the primary concept of putting an end to segregation, but two justices argued for immediate integration. They held a minority view, which led to foot-dragging in Florida.1958, Virgil Hawkins was still on the outside looking in—but he struck a bargain. He agreed to withdraw his application in exchange for a court order that ultimately desegregated Florida’s public universities. Virgil Hawkins eventually obtained his law degree from what is now the New England School of Law in 1965 and became a member of The Florida Bar in 1976. He passed away in 1988, but not before leaving a lasting imprint on our state.Fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, we remember those who were at the forefront then, including the justices of the Supreme Court and a future justice, Thurgood Marshall, who argued the case for the plaintiffs. We must also not forget the role of the Florida Supreme Court and the courageous actions of a great governor, LeRoy Collins, who demonstrated unparalleled leadership in this volatile era of our state’s history.Most of all, we must always remember Oliver and Linda Brown and Virgil Hawkins—three real people who were far more than statistics. They were the faces of change and the agents of opportunity. Brown v. Board of Education was about opportunity Brown v. Board of Educationcenter_img June 1, 2004 Regular Newslast_img read more

Syracuse pushes past Penn State 2-1 in overtime to sweep weekend series

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse (8-14-2, 7-4-1 College Hockey America) beat Penn State (6-11-8 3-5-4 CHA) 2-1, in overtime on Saturday at Pegula Ice Arena in University Park, Pennsylvania. SU outshot the Nittany Lions 34 to 17, but took until overtime to produce any points after a second-period goal. The Orange finishes the weekend in third place in the conference with 15 points, one spot ahead of Penn State.Despite dominating puck control in the first period (11 shots on goal to six) and earning three power-play opportunities to the Nittany Lions’ two, the Orange could not capitalize offensively. Instead, it was Penn State getting on the board first behind a Natalie Heising goal with 13:36 left in the period. Her team-leading eighth score of the year, Heising’s goal came during a power play off assists from Brooke Madsen and Katie Rankin.Syracuse wasted no time attacking Nittany Lions goaltender Hannah Ehresmann in the second period, attempting three shots in the first two minutes and putting two of them on goal. With 16:40 left in the frame the Orange finally broke through as Allie Munroe tallied her second goal of the year. The Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, native’s first score of the year came against Penn State back in November during SU’s home series against the Nittany Lions. Ehresmann stopped the Orange’s other nine shots in the period while PSU’s offense also faltered, and the teams entered the final period tied at one.After seven scoreless minutes to begin the third period, an Orange slashing penalty granted the Nittany Lions a power play. The scoring opportunity was negated, however, as was a second man-up advantage for PSU three minutes later. With five minutes left it was SU with a power-play chance, but it was killed as well and, knotted at one, the teams entered overtime.A sixth power-play for the Nittany Lions was killed with 1:36 left in the extra period, and the Orange didn’t wait long to attack PSU on the other end. After a Penn State shot deflected sharply off of Abbey Miller’s pads, Logan Hicks corralled it and shuffled it up the ice for Savannah Rennie. Rennie got behind the Nittany Lions’ defense and had a one-on-one opportunity with Ehresmann, and she made the most of her chance. Her second goal of the year with 1:06 left in the game gave SU the win and the weekend series sweep.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNext up for Syracuse is conference-leader Mercyhurst next weekend, as the Orange return home to Tennity Ice Pavilion for a series against the Lakers. SU dropped both games to Mercyhurst when the two teams met earlier this season in December. Comments Published on January 20, 2018 at 5:27 pm Contact Eric: [email protected] | @esblack34last_img read more

Rights Group Report Details Police Abuses

first_imgThe Liberia National Police (LNP) remains unethical in the discharge of its duties to protect lives and properties. They showed brutal, destructive, abusive attributes and are mostly the gross violators of the rights of people, a local human rights group has said in its 2014 report released on Wednesday.Rescue Alternatives Liberia (RAL), has described as “worsening, (the level of) human rights violations by security actors especially the police against civilians.” This startling allegation was contained in its report entitled, “Human Rights Situation Report 2014: A Close Look at Police Behavior.”Sam Nimely, RAL Program Coordinator, launched his organization’s report on Wednesday at the opening of a one day forum on policing in Monrovia.The ceremony, which brought together police officers and community dwellers, was held in the borough of New Kru Town, outside Monrovia.According to Nimely, the 21-page document catalogues cases of human rights violations and abuses through visitations and monitoring by his group’s human rights monitors.Nimely said places visited and monitored included communities, prison facilities including the Monrovia Central Prison (MCP), in Montserrado County, the Gbarnga Central Prison, in Bong County, and the Sanniquellie Correction Palace in Nimba County.“At the community level, the monitoring exercise highlighted the use of excessive force by law enforcement officers, especially police at the various detention centers,”Nimely said.The report also identified constrictions faced by detainees such as capacity of prisons, category of inmates, ages and genders, conditions in the cells, hygiene, medical and health care, clothing, work, leisure and physical exercise.“This report contains observations and recommendations made to authorities of the Ministry of Justice aimed at addressing those issues identified during the visitations and the monitoring exercises,” he explained.The report recalled that on November 10, 2014, several persons sustained various degrees of injuries when a group of protesters, mainly partisans and supporters of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), stormed the MCP compound to demand the release of one their colleagues who was imprisoned on the orders of the Monrovia City Court after being charged by the police with “aggravated assault and kidnapping.”The CDC partisan was sent to court for prosecution after he was linked to an alleged flogging and kidnapping of another partisan at the party’s headquarters in Sinkor, Monrovia.During the incident, the document said, a woman named, Gladys Washington, resident of Clara Town, allegedly sustained a head injury after she was severely beaten by the police.According to the report, on November 12, 2014, a 20 year old man identified as Papa Walker was allegedly found hanged in the New Kru Town Police Station in Monrovia.  Police authorities claimed that Papa hanged himself, an act his family members are calling foul play.His body has been buried by government without the consent of the family the report alleges adding that the family has been denied the findings of the investigation intended to establish the cause of his death.Citing another incident, RAL alleges that on Saturday, November 15, a pregnant woman (not named) was flogged by the police commander at the Metro One Police Station on Center Street.She was mistreated for reportedly refusing to allow police to take away her generator in the absence of her husband who was accused of being a thief. In the process, she sustained injuries.The RAL report says the Traffic Division of the police has been accused by drivers, especially commercial drivers, of threatening then with traffic tickets to intimidate and extort money from them.“Whether you are in the wrong or not, traffic police always threatened to issue you a US$50 ticket or its Liberian dollar equivalent to be paid to the police before letting you go on with your business,” said the report quoting some of the drivers.The report said that prison authorities blame judges for the increase of pre- trial detainees, which it said is gradually contributing to prison overcrowding.“They said the failure of judges to fast track cases is creating serious problems for correction officers who have to contend with the rising number of inmates.”The report emphasized further that prisons and detention centers remain harsh and difficult for human habitation.“As for the inmates themselves, they are faced with the problems of poor lighting, ventilation and sanitation. They are vulnerable to contracting diseases such as malaria, flu and rashes. Their health in prison is deplorable and there is no preventive supplies, feeding and response to medical emergency,” the document added.Meanwhile, phone calls to get the reaction of LNP proved futile as Public Relations Officer Sam Collins did not return repeated calls likewise a text message sent for his attention.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more