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Conflict Of Interest
A Weekly Column By Walter B. Hoye II

In the abortion debate, is there a "Conflict of Interest" within the Black community and among her leaders?

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Issue No.: 2012.163

Environmental Products (6)
Brown v. Board of Education This decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896.

The 101st Airborne Division (the "Screaming Eagles"), a U.S. Army modular light infantry division trained for air assault operations, escorted the Little Rock Nine students into the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. 1

Once Again Federal Troops Were Required
In 1871 it took Republican President Ulysses S. Grant ordering federal troops to suppress the race–based para–military violence of the Klu Klux Klan against Black Americans in the Solid Democratic South so we could participate in the American Dream.· 2 In October of 1957, history repeated itself as it again took a Republican President (Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower) ordering federal troops to suppress race–based segregation supported by Democratic Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus who ordered the National Guard to block nine (9) Black American students from entering Little Rock Central High School so they could participate in the American Dream.· 3

The Backdrop
In 1954 Brown v. Board of Education (i.e., "Brown I") was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court declared that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal" and that any state laws establishing separate public schools for Black and White students were unconstitutional. 4 This unanimous (9–0) decision, handed down on Friday, May 17th, 1954 by the Earl Warren Court, overturned the Melville Fuller Court's infamous Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 5 which held "'separate but equal' provision of private services mandated by state government is constitutional under the Equal Protection Clause," thus legalizing state– sponsored segregation.

A Supreme Presumption Of Faith
In 1955 the United States Supreme Court delegated the task of integrating schools to district courts with orders that desegregation occur "with all deliberate speed." 6 However, many southern states interpreted Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 349 U.S. 294 (Tuesday, May 31st, 1955) (i.e., "Brown II") as legal justification for resisting, delaying, and avoiding integration for years. 7 Using tactics such as closing down school systems, using state money to finance segregated "private schools," and "token" integration where a few carefully selected Black children were admitted to former white-only schools, leaving the vast majority of Black students in underfunded and unequal Black schools. 8 So much for having faith in the system.

The Brown II Backstep

By 1956 Massive Resistance movements or the "Freedom of Choice" plans ruled the day. 9 These policies, backed by United States Senator Harry F. Byrd, Sr. and other White politicians and leaders in the state of Virginia in a campaign of new state laws designed to prevent public school desegregation after the Brown I decision in 1954. 10 I wonder where I've heard the expression: "Freedom of Choice" before? ··

Case In Point: Alabama
On Monday, November 24th, 1958 the same Warren Court that ruled "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal" in Brown I quietly upheld the Alabama pupil placement law which sets up seventeen (17) separate standards for assigning pupils to public schools, as non-discriminatory on its face (Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham Board of Education, 162 F. Supp. 372). 11 This decision gave those resisting integration a legal way around the 1954 Brown I decision. While never mentioning race, Alabama legally implemented subjective measurements such as the psychological qualification of the pupil for the type of teaching and associates involved, the possibility of threat of friction or disorder, the possibility of breaches of the peace or ill will or economic retaliation within the community, and the maintenance or severance of established social and psychological relationships with other pupils and with teachers to determine if a student was the right fit for a school. 12

Case In Point: Virginia
In Virginia the United States District Court ruled that Prince Edward County, Virginia did not have to desegregate immediately. 13 So when faced with a court order to finally begin desegregation the Prince Edward County board of supervisors stopped funding public schools for five (5) years (1959–1964) and implemented pupil placement laws "with all deliberate speed." 14 Under pupil placement laws White students in the Prince Edward County were given financial assistance to attend White-only private academies that were taught by teachers formerly employed by the public school system, while Black students had no education at all unless they moved out of the Prince Edward County. 15

So What Happened In Arkansas?

The Little Rock Nine was a group of Black American students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957. 16 The Black American students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Democratic Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus. 17 However, it was after Republican President Eisenhower federalized the entire 10,000 member Arkansas National Guard, effectively taking the threat violence out of the hands of Democratic Governor Faubus that the Black American students were able to safely attend class despite White Citizens Council mobs making threats to lynch them. 18 The Lost Year By the end of September 1957, the Little Rock Nine were admitted to Little Rock Central High under the protection of the U.S. Army and the Arkansas National Guard. 19 Nevertheless, they were still subjected to a year of physical and verbal abuse (i.e., being spat on and called names) by many of their fellow White students. 20 From August 1958 to August 1959 the Federal Courts ruled against Democratic Governor Faubus' efforts to delay de–segregation, only to see him pass legislation that enabled him to close all public schools so he could set up private schools for White students, only to see three (3) segregation supporting school board members voted out of office and the public schools reopened on Wednesday, August 12th, 1959. 21 Although the Lost Year had ended, the Black students who returned to the high schools had to get past lynch mobs to enter the school and suffer physical and emotional abuse. 22 Looking Forward To The Civil Rights Movement By 1959 Martin Luther King, Jr., had visited Gandhi's birthplace, wrote the "Measure of a Man," received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for his book "Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story," met Vice President Richard Nixon and said: "If Richard Nixon is not sincere, he is the most dangerous man in America." 23 By the end of August of 1959 I was three (3) years old.

Is Violence Necessary To Combat Injustice?
"The Negro people can organize socially to initiate many forms of struggle which can drive their enemies back without resort to futile and harmful violence." — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., The Southern Patriot debate with North Carolina NAACP leader Robert F. Williams 24

The Southern Patriot Published in the October 1959 Edition of The Southern Patriot, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. debated North Carolina NAACP leader Robert F. Williams and wrote the following as he addressed the United States Supreme Court upholding the Pupil Placement Law and the ever present need for Federal action. 25 "For The Negative: King Sees Alternative In Mass Actions" "Paradoxically, the struggle for civil rights has reached a stage of profound crisis, although its outward aspect is distinctly less turbulent and victories of token integration have been won in the hard-resistance areas of Virginia and Arkansas. The crisis has its origin in a decision rendered by the Supreme Court more than a year ago which upheld the pupil placement law. Though little noticed then, this decision fundamentally weakened the historic 1954 ruling of the Court. It is imperceptibly becoming the basis of a de facto compromise between the powerful contending forces. The 1954 decision required for effective implementation resolute Federal action supported by mass action to undergird all necessary changes. It is obvious that Federal action by the legislative and executive branches was half-hearted and inadequate. The activity of Negro forces, while heroic in some instances, and impressive in other sporadic situations, lacked consistency and militancy sufficient to fill the void left by government default. The segregationists were swift to seize these advantages, and unrestrained by moral or social conscience, defied the law boldly and brazenly. The net effect of this social equation has led to the present situation, which is without clearcut victory for either side. Token integration is a developing pattern. This type of integration is merely an affirmation of a principle without the substance of change. It is, like the Supreme Court decision, a pronouncement of justice, but by itself does not insure that the millions of Negro children will be educated in conditions of equality. This is not to say that it is without value. It has substantial importance. However, it fundamentally changes the outlook of the whole movement, for it raises the prospect of long, slow change without a predictable end." 26

I agree with Dr. King. Don't you?

Supreme Court Decisions And Federal Troops Are Not Enough
"The Negro cannot win … if he is willing to sell the future of his children for his personal and immediate comfort and safety." — Martin Luther King, Jr. ("The Living King", Ebony, Vol. 41, No. 3, January 1986, Page 63.) 27

I am often asked about Black American leadership's devotion to government welfare programs and our acrimonious relationship with the Pro-Life movement. Specifically, I am asked why Black American leadership cannot see the obvious correlation and natural relationship between the Civil Rights movement and the ProLife movement. The answer lies in the fact that much of Pro-Life movement is consumed with developing political equity and reversing United States Supreme Court decisions instead of moving the hearts and minds of people by meeting the need of women and children. The Little Rock Nine are the latest case in point in this series of columns. Neither United States Supreme Court decisions nor political equity was enough overcome the evil in the heart of segregationists. Why? I believe Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would have put it this way:

"It is obvious that Federal action by the legislative and executive branches [is] half-hearted and inadequate. The activity of Negro forces, while heroic in some instances, and impressive in other sporadic situations, lacked consistency and militancy sufficient to fill the void left by government default. The [Pro-Abortionists] were swift to seize these advantages, and unrestrained by moral or social conscience, [defined] the law boldly and brazenly. The net effect of this social equation has led to the present situation [i.e., life versus death], which is without clearcut victory for either side. Token [Pro-Life gains] is a developing pattern. This type of [progress] is merely an affirmation of a principle without the substance of change. It is, like the Supreme Court decision [of 1973], a [bold] pronouncement of ["reproductive justice" for women], but by itself does not insure that the millions of Negro [women and children will live] in conditions of equality. This is not to say that [political equity and United States Supreme Court decisions are] without value. [Both have] substantial importance. However, [emphasis on either] fundamentally changes the outlook of the whole [Pro-Life] movement, for it raises the prospect of long, slow change without a predictable end." Forty (40) Years And Over Fifty-Five (55) Million Lives And Counting
No community or people group can survive without their women and children living in conditions of equality. In the last forty (40) years, with the exception of

Personhood, 28 not one Pro-Life strategy to end abortion has been embraced by communities of color. As a member of a community of color and with the survival of our women and children at stake and on my heart, I am concerned that another forty (40) years of the "art of compromise" 29 and half-hearted court decisions will indeed mark the end of my people. 30 Brothers, we really need to talk.
Note(s): · American Dream:" The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States; a set of ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility achieved through hard work. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, 'life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement' regardless of social class or circumstances of birth. The idea of the American Dream is rooted in the United States Declaration of Independence which proclaims that 'all men are created equal ' and that they are 'endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights ' including 'Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness .'" Review online reference here: http://bit.ly/12DcrM ·· Abortion Debate: "The abortion debate refers to the ongoing controversy surrounding the moral and legal status of abortion. The two main groups involved in the abortion debate are the self-described 'pro-choice' movement (emphasizing the right of women to choose whether they wish to bring a fetus to term) and the self-described 'pro-life' movement (emphasizing the right of the unborn child to be born)." Review online reference here: http://bit.ly/2euSAf.

Reference(s): 01. 101st Airborne at Little Rock Central High, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/iJ7AqI). 02. Ulysses S. Grant, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/110cKI). See also American Dream note above. 03. Orval Faubus, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/LpnYgs). See also Little Rock Nine, Armed Escort, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/LrdMEg). 04. Brown v. Board of Education, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/mK1Nv). 05. Plessy v. Ferguson, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/mMv0D). 06. Brown II, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/KWXnbP). 07. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (349 U.S. 294), Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/KWXnbP). See also Griffin v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, 377 U.S. 218 (1964), Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/KI7JOI). 08. Circumventing Brown ruling by new state efforts to maintain segregation, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/Lc7V5h). See also Brown II, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/KWXnbP). 09. Massive Resistance, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/G1WN6). See also Freedom of Choice: Most public schools remain segregated, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/MXV2QI). 10. Ibid. 11. About the Pupil Placement Law, The King Center's Blog (http://mysp.ac/Lpv8RL). See also THE SUPREME COURT: Presumption of Faith, Time Magazine, Monday, December 8th, 1958 (http://ti.me/8Pm08T). 12. Ibid. 13. Brown II, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/KWXnbP). 14. Griffin v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, Background (http://bit.ly/Nq4Php). 15. Brown II, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/KWXnbP). See also Smith, Bob (1965). They Closed Their Schools. University of North Carolina Press (http://bit.ly/LpyC6N). 16. Little Rock Nine, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/9KjkVR). 17. Orval Faubus, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/LpnYgs). See also Armed Escort, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/MwiCxi). 18. The Lost Year, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/LJyg9Y). 19. Ibid. 20. Ibid. 21. Ibid. 22. Ibid. 23. Nixon, Richard Milhous (1913-1994), King Encyclopedia (http://bit.ly/LfSO9g). 24. Marting Luther King, Jr., And The Global Freedom Struggle, "The Social Organization of Nonviolence", October 1959 (http://bit.ly/KqRZJD). 25. Ibid. 26. Ibid. 27. Martin Luther King, Jr., "The Living King", Ebony, Vol. 41, No. 3, January 1986, Page 63 (http://bit.ly/LzCLHI). See also Stride Toward Freedom by Martin Luther King, Jr.: "The Negro cannot win the respect of his oppressor by acquiescing; he merely increases the oppressor's arrogance and contempt. Acquiescence is interpreted as proof of the Negro's inferiority. The Negro cannot win respect of the white people of the South or the peoples of the world if he is willing to sell the future of his children for his personal and immediate comfort and safety." (http://bit.ly/LccWus). 28. What is Personhood?, PersonhoodUSA (http://bit.ly/fuMEMw). 29. Donald J. Boudreaux and Dwight R. Lee , "Politics as the Art of Confined Compromise" (http://bit.ly/c0XxHS). 30. Salman Nizami, "No Society Can Survive Without Women, The Practice Of Female Foeticideis A Violation Of Human Rights", published Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 (http://bit.ly/JUNpU9).

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