Monday, September 08, 2008

Not Africa, but a reminder of the past

Hard to believe that this is the way things were... From Wikipedia:

On September 14, 2007, The United States Postal Service honored the 60th anniversary ruling of Mendez v. Westminster with a 41-cent commemorative stamp. On November 15, 2007, the United States Postal Service presented the Mendez v. Westminster stamp to the Mendez family at a press conference at the Rose Center Theater in Westminster, California.

Mendez v. Westminster School District, 64 F.Supp. 544 (C.D. Cal. 1946), aff'd, 161 F.2d 774 (9th Cir. 1947) (en banc), was a 1947 federal court case that challenged racial segregation in Orange County, California schools.

The Ninth Circuit ruled only on the narrow grounds that, although California law provided for segregation of students, it only did so for "children of Chinese, Japanese or Mongolian parentage". And because "California law does not include the segregation of school children because of their Mexican blood," therefore it was unlawful to segregate the Mexican children.

Presumably, a similar lawsuit filed by "Chinese, Japanese or Mongolian" children in segregated schools would have had the opposite result. This was remedied in California later that same year, on June 14, 1947, when California Governor Earl Warren signed a law repealing the remaining school segregation statutes in the California Education Code.

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