Pur Autre Vie

I'm not wrong, I'm just an asshole

Saturday, June 06, 2009

So Say We All

I have no idea if this is where the Battlestar Galactica phrase originated, but it's a hell of a paragraph anyway. From p. 696 of The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Master of the Senate, by Robert Caro (I have not amended his use of the term Negro):

For three days that December, the Supreme Court heard arguments on Brown, and five months later, on May 17, 1954, the Court ruled that separation of races in schools violated the Fourteenth Amendment's pledge of equal protection of the law, "that in the field of public education, the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place. Separate but equal facilities are inherently unequal. . . . To separate them [Negro children] from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority . . . that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone." The Court's Chief Justice understood as Lyndon Johnson understood the importance of unanimity, and Earl Warren had obtained it - even from Justice Stanley F. Reed of border-state Kentucky. Reed, who had been the last holdout, was looking down from the bench at Thurgood Marshall, who had led the fight in Brown, when Warren uttered the words, "So say we all." Reed "was looking me right straight in the face, because he wanted to see my reaction when I realized he hadn't dissented," the great black attorney would recall. The two men exchanged nods, barely perceptible. But there were tears on the Justice's face. All across the United States black men and women knelt to give thanks to God.

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