In Aurora, Colorado, an elementary school set up an after-school tutoring program from which white students were deliberately excluded. When the mother of a 10-year-old white girl complained, she got a phone call from Mission Viejo Elementary principal Andre Pearson explaining that the program is “focused for and designed for children of color.”But we might go back even further to the local hero Chief Justice Roger B. Taney (he was raised near Prince Frederick, Maryland, on a tobacco plantation in a little town called Adelina, which still exists). In the memorable decision, Dred Scott vs. Sandford, Taney wrote:
This revival of public-school segregation — unexpectedly! — caused Pete Da Tech Guy to notice that Aurora school policy sounded oddly familiar:
We consider the underlying fallacy of the plaintiff’s argument to consist in the assumption that the enforced separation of the two races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority. If this be so, it is not by reason of anything found in the act, but solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction upon it.Of course, that’s from the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision, which upheld the “separate but equal” rationale of segregation.
The question before us is whether the class of persons described in the plea in abatement compose a portion of this people, and are constituent members of this sovereignty? We think they are not, and that they are not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word "citizens" in the Constitution, and can therefore claim none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States. On the contrary, they were at that time considered as a subordinate and inferior class of beings who had been subjugated by the dominant race, and, whether emancipated or not, yet remained subject to their authority, and had no rights or privileges but such as those who held the power and the Government might choose to grant them.He would understand completely!