Brown Brought Us Down
To the Editor:
Brown v. Board of Education has become a sacred cow of American culture. Despite all the cooing and clucking in the Flyer ("Integration and Innocence," May 20th issue), there is a dark side to Brown that needs to be considered, lest we repeat the mistakes of the past. It is incontrovertible that public education has declined seriously since Brown. Even Mayor Herenton admits that his segregated high school was a better school than it is today. Liberals say that the solution to this decline is spending more money on schools. However, more money has been spent virtually every year since busing went into effect, and every year standardized test scores have been trending downward. Parents seeking the quality of education they received in Memphis public schools before Brown are now forced to move to the suburbs or send their children to expensive private schools.
More importantly, Brown marked the point at which the Supreme Court's power of judicial review began to be used cynically by a small group of social revolutionaries on the bench to transform society without the consent of the governed. The drafters of the U.S. Constitution never intended the Supreme Court to be the primary arbiter of social and cultural policy in America.
Subsequent judicial decisions -- a constitutional right for abortion, taking prayer out of public schools, and numerous decisions making it more difficult to apprehend and convict criminals -- are direct descendents of the blueprint for change used by the court in Brown.
Basically, Brown, in an effort to right a great wrong, undemocratically altered our constitutional system. This explains why there is currently such a bitter struggle about the appointment of federal judges. And this, unfortunately, is the ultimate legacy of Brown.
Keith M. Alexander
To the Editor:
Most Americans were angered by the pictures out of Abu Ghraib not because of their love of "torture porn" (Viewpoint, May 27th issue and the Flyer's Web site) but because the pictures showed nitwits engaging in behavior that most Americans do not condone. Ed Weathers' theory that most Americans are "titillated by the images of helpless, naked men forced to perform fellatio on each other and to pile into heaps of faux-homosexual activity" probably says more about him than it does about anyone else.
Weathers is right in his belief that not enough people read and that many couldn't "draft a letter explaining an error on their credit card bill." I often have to respond to letters from customers, and I frequently find myself wondering: Why did this company turn this person loose with a typewriter and their company letterhead? But when Weathers looks out at America, all he sees are a bunch of pseudo-literate puritanical perverts who love homoerotic S&M. Perhaps he needs to look with better eyes, because people -- including Weathers -- tend to see and hear what they want to see and hear.
To the Editor:
The behavior of the U.S. soldiers toward the murderers and terrorists under their supervision at Abu Ghraib was disgusting and beneath us as Americans. They will clearly be disciplined severely and deserve the punishment they will receive. So, enough already of the whining, hand-wringing, and misplaced outrage. How about some outrage over Nicholas Berg? How about remembering September 11th?
One of your letter writers asked, "Why are we in Iraq?" (May 13th issue). Perhaps she should ask the children of Iraq, especially the little girls who are attending school for the first time in their lives. Ask the sick Iraqi who is receiving care in one of the many hospitals we have opened. Ask the man who found his brother in one of Saddam's mass graves.
We are at war! We are facing the most dangerous enemy the world has ever known. I am thankful to God every day for a president who has the courage to stand up for what is right, even when it is not politically expedient.
God bless America and God bless President Bush!
To the Editor:
Bo List's review of Shrek 2 (May 27th issue) seems to have missed part of the moral of the two Shrek films. As I saw it, the message of these movies was: It's okay just being you -- unless you are too short or a "merry" man (wink, wink, get it?). If you fall into either of those two categories, then it is perfectly okay for people to ridicule you unmercifully and kick your ass for no good reason. Fine, funny films? Sure. But their uplifting message falls just a bit ... short.
Michael B. Conway