The Impact of Brown vs. Board of Education

Benjamin H. Kizer, The Impact of Brown vs. Board of Education, 2 Gonz. L. Rev. 1 (1967)


As a nation, we spend much too little on education, much too much on preparation for war.  Yet it is education that helps us to become wise and civilized, to speed us on our way toward the humane world of the future.  It is war that does most to degrade us, to revive the savage in man.
Nowhere is there so little wastage in government as in the money spent on education, nor so much wastage as in the money spent on preparation for war.  Yet we are parsimonious about education and complain of its costs, while we are extravagent in our preparation for war yet make little complaint about its expenses, so many times in excess of the total cost of education.
When the United States Supreme Court turned its attention to education in Brown v. Board of Education’, it recognized the primary importance of education in mankind’s greatest task, the civilization of man.  The Brown decisions came upon us in the manner of a great earthquake.  There were premonitory tremors and quakes, indicating that a major legal quake was impending.  Then came the Brown case which destroyed Plessy v. Ferguson and threatened the massive legal structure erected on a “separate but equal” foundation.  Just as with a major earthquake, the Brown case has been followed by a series of minor legal “quakes” which, taken collectively, have been quite destructive of the earlier decisions influenced by racial prejudices and thought-limitations.

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