Washington, DC – Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid issued the following statement on the 51st anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education Decision:
“A quality education is the great equalizer in America, and the key to getting ahead. It was for me growing up in the small town of Searchlight, NV, and it remains so for children across the country today.
“That is why the milestone we remember each May 17th is so important. The anniversary of Brown versus Board of Education provides us with the opportunity for us to look back at how far we’ve come, and examine how much work we still have to do.
“The proclamation that separate was not equal had a profound impact on our country and moved us closer to the founding ideals of equality and opportunity for all. It was the great catalyst America needed to move toward equal opportunity for all children, not just in the South but in states like Nevada as well.
“But fifty-one years after this landmark decision, too many barriers to opportunity still exist. We still live in a country where the color of your skin or the family you were born into factors into the quality of the education you receive. As long as this is the case for a single student in the United States, we still have work to do.
“Brown v. Board also exemplifies how our nation’s judges and courts have often been the last resort for minorities seeking redress from inadequate or unfair laws. Today though, our system of constitutional checks and balances faces the threat of Republicans that seek to turn the Senate into a rubber stamp to approve seven radical judges.
“An independent federal branch is paramount to maintaining respect for the rights of the minority, particularly when the same party rules both the White House and the Senate. Without an independent judiciary, we would not be celebrating this milestone today. We must keep struggling until we can live up to the spirit of the Brown ruling, and to the letter of the Civil Rights Act that followed 10 years later. And we must protect the rules that allow us to stand up for minorities and working men and women in this country.”