Sunday, July 6, 2014

One More Week: See Exhibit on Civil Rights Art at Brooklyn Museum, in City of Segregated Schools

The art of the Civil Rights era, by artists, in the 1960s and early 1970s, in and out of the movement, captured the imagination, urgency, justice and passion of the need for racial equality and justice. Some excellent pieces are displayed in the exhibit, "Exhibitions: Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties," at the Brooklyn Museum is being held over until July 13, 2014. 

We cannot help but note and emphasize:  while of course, huge gains were made, and rights were secured that are taken for granted today, on some issues the mission of integration and justice of equality of resources remains as vital today. As the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) noted this spring, New York State schools are the most segregated in the nation. And New York City schools are the third most segregated in the nation, after those of Chicago and Dallas.

A placard next to an art piece speaks of segregationist policies in Brooklyn in the early 1960s. What a shame that this is continuing today under so-called progressive New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, so-called progressive governor Andrew Cuomo and the so-called progressive president Barack Obama. New York City's caste system of schools have up-to-date resources in the integrated schools that have more White and Asian students. Yet, in the city schools that are 90 percent plus Black or Latino students, we see the concentration of schools that lack librarians. 

Where are the Brown vs. Board of Education suits today? Oh yes, the New York City Parents Union is attacking teachers as the problem, ignoring race and class bias in the distribution of resources. As Green party candidate for New York lieutenant governor Brian Jones was quoted in the July 4, 2014 issue of "The Chief,"

"The attack on Teacher tenure is about scapegoating Teachers for the conditions of our schools," said Mr. Jones. "Why aren't they filing suit against Cuomo for shortchanging local schools for funding by $9 billion?"