Fiftieth anniversary of the Little Rock Nine

Filed under: Teens, Celeb Kids, In The News, Day Care & Education

Fifty years ago, nine very brave children went to school. What made those nine different from every other student at Little Rock Central High was a minor physical characteristic -- the color of their skin. In the wake of a Supreme Court decision declaring school segregation unconstitutional, these nine students were enrolled in a formerly all-white high school.

Sadly, it didn't go as smoothly as one might hope but the students did attend the school and segregation is, more or less, a thing of the past. Yesterday, to mark the fiftieth anniversary, those nine students -- now all grown up, of course -- gathered once again at their old high school to look back on the changes that have taken place since.

Former President Clinton was on hand to hold the door open for the nine former students as they entered their old school, this time without the need for a military escort. "I'm grateful we had a Supreme Court that saw 'separate but equal' and 'states' rights' for the shams they were, hiding our desire to preserve the oppression of African-Americans," Clinton said. "And I am grateful more than I can say that we had a president who was determined to enforce the order of the court."

I grew up in San Francisco and my high school buddies included white, black, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Jewish, and Hispanic kids. We never thought twice about such differences, except, perhaps, in terms of what sort of girls we all fancied (which, actually, was pretty much "all of the above"). I'm really hoping that my kids grow up the same way and that by the time the 100th anniversary rolls around, even in Louisiana, skin color will be as insignificant as shoe size when judging others.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.