Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Little Rock Nine at the Border

("Tears for the Border Children")

They were but children, who suffered unending physical and verbal abuse. Their arrival was opposed by the Governor of the state and it took the intervention of the President to assure their safe passage. Their escorts were members of the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army.

The year was 1957, the place Arkansas, and the children became known as the Little Rock Nine. They were African Americans seeking to integrate an all white school. They had been chosen based on their excellent grades and attendance at their former educational homes.

The recent hysteria concerning the young who have crossed the border evokes the ugliness of those days. Incendiary comments from public officials clearly intended to bring out the worst in those who can find no place in their hearts for understanding and compassion. Children who are vilified  for the unforgivable sin of the color of their skin or their attempt to seek a better life. Repelling an invasion.

Mr. Blow speaks of locating our better angels. Almost 60 years after Little Rock, we are reminded of how difficult a task that can sometimes be.

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