Thursday, February 28, 2008

Constitutional Property to Constitutional People

UNCA Office of Multi-cultural Studies, Mission Hospital, Buncombe County Dept of Social Services, and the Asheville Chamber of Commerce is hosting a 2 day Math Summit at UNCA.

Tonight, Dr. Robert Parris Moses was the key speaker, to a packed house of students, faculty, community members, and local students and educators. A quiet speaker, who was unfraid to pause at length, he commanded the attention of the audience, giving a history of the US constitutional process through the eyes of the disenfranchised, our movement from Constitutional property to Constitutional People, and ended with an appeal for a national conversation to start on the importance of amending the US Constitution to include eductional as a national citizens' right, not just the right of a state citizen.

"the strongest argument for doing it is its doable..."

Dr. Moses was a key voter registration organizer in Mississippi and field secretary for SNCC during the Civil Rights era. In 1982 he founded the Algebra Project, "an organization devoted to improving minority education in math."

The evening was a powerful delight...

I tried to post this last night just after the event but Blogger was down...


timpeck said...

So a black man wants to put legal slavery back into the Constitution.


How far we've come.

Admin said...


Admin said...

sorry tim,

but im gonna have to trust dr. moses, a man who has dedicated his life to the betterment of this nation and its citizens, someone who has bled in the struggle for civil and human rights, someone who on a daily basis plants himself on the frontline in the war on poverty, rather than your bitter denial of the value of public education.

what have you done for us lately?

jatkin02 said...

Timpeck, I very strongly suspect that you have no idea whom you are commenting about.

Once you figure out "who," then perhaps we can talk about "what."

Dr. Moses' point is that we have a sharecropper education system controlled by the states, which in turn devolve some of their authority to local control.

That educational system inherently preferences some groups over others, just as economic, cultural,and racial aspects of historical sharecropping did.

The rich get better resources and better outcomes. Better access to political and economic agency.

The poor don't, and because as students they have no valid constitutional right to redress, they are powerless to affect change.

Very similar overall situation to the right to vote for all citizens was federalized by the 14th & 15th amendments, then by a series of civil rights and voting rights acts.

The solution, Moses argues, is to establish the right to education constitutionally, thereby granting students federal legal standing to pursue redress and parity. And therefore access to economic, political, and cultural agency.

States rights advocates will scream about this, just as they did when the "state's rights" of slavery and ballot access were federalized and all those black people suddenly had the temerity to stand up and do all those radical, evil things.

Like vote.

James A.