This Week in 1954: Supreme Court Overturns Its Own Disastrous Decision


May 17, 1954 was the day that Brown vs. Board of Education ended “federal tolerance of racial segregation".

Ironically, it was issued one day shy of the anniversary of the historically awful “Plessy vs. Ferguson” 1896 decision that it overturned..

All during the post-Civil War era there was exactly one institution with both the power and the duty to force change on Southern states: the federal government. 

All three branches had both the power and the duty: to pass laws, to enforce them, and to uphold them. 

But empirical evidence shows us that the federal government was either a) okay with entrenched Southern institutional racism, or b) too powerless and afraid to do anything about it.

Blame Southerners and their culture, of course. It was their system, they built it, and they own it. 

But the federal government was empowered to fix it, as a basic question of Constitutionally-guaranteed human rights, and for whatever reason did not, and must not escape accountability.