Friday, March 10, 2017

FYI, Alabama’s constitution still calls for ‘separate schools for white and colored children’ - The Washington Post

FYI, Alabama’s constitution still calls for ‘separate schools for white and colored children’ - The Washington Post:

FYI, Alabama’s constitution still calls for ‘separate schools for white and colored children’


Alabama has been in the news of late, what with Jeff Sessions, President Trump’s controversial attorney general, hailing from there, and the state’s Republican governor, Robert Bentley, in possible danger of impeachment after he was found to have had a sexually explicit conversation in 2016 with his then-chief adviser.
But there is something else to consider about Alabama that reflects on its history and the country’s current racial divide.  It’s about the state constitution, which was written in 1901 and designed to limit local government and disenfranchise blacks. It has been amended more than 800 times since then and is the longest constitution in the country and possibly the world, at what the Council of State Governments says is 388,882 words.
Yet in the 116 years since it was written, and after all of the efforts to modernize the document — many of those efforts aimed at revising or eliminating racist language — these racist words still reside in the document:
SECTION 256
Duty of legislature to establish and maintain public school system; apportionment of public school fund; separate schools for white and colored children.
The legislature shall establish, organize, and maintain a liberal system of public schools throughout the state for the benefit of the children thereof between the ages of seven and twenty-one years. The public school fund shall be apportioned to the several counties in proportion to the number of school children of school age therein, and shall be so apportioned to the schools in the districts or townships in the counties as to provide, as nearly as practicable, school terms of equal duration in such school districts or townships. Separate schools shall be provided for white and colored children, and no child of either race shall be permitted to attend a school of the other race.
Of course, legal racial school segregation was banned throughout the United States by the Supreme Court in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, and federal law trumps state law.
But the language is still there, and a ballot initiative in 2012 to eliminate it, called the Alabama FYI, Alabama’s constitution still calls for ‘separate schools for white and colored children’ - The Washington Post:

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