Folks, the story is getting out and about that the NEW School Board Majority is finally bringing to fruition auditoriums at Burns and Crest High Schools. Of course, that is a flat-out lie and a deception of epic proportions. All done in secret for partisan political purposes. Certainly not for the best education for our children.
So, let’s really start at the start and work our way forward. This story begins in January, 1865. Before the end of the Civil War. The 13th Amendment was passed by the US House on January 31, 1865 and ratified by the states on December 6, 1865. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. The Confederate States that had succeeded from the Union were required to ratify the 13th Amendment as a condition of them being allowed representation in the Federal Government. But, don’t believe me. Look it up for yourselves.
The 14th Amendment was ratified on July 8, 1868, one of the Reconstructions Amendments. The 14th Amendment guaranteed (supposedly) equal protection under the law for all citizens.
However, various states adopted state laws that allowed blacks to be segregated from whites as long as the black population had equal facilities. This became known as the “Separate but equal Doctrine.” Note that all county schools were segregated in Cleveland County until 1967 when Burns and Crest High Schools were built. Lots had happened from 1868 until 1967. So, let’s backup a little.
“Separate but equal” was pretty much the way it was until 1896 when the Plessy v. Ferguson US Supreme Court Decision came in. This case came about when Homer Ferguson was arrested for sitting in the “white section” of a railroad coach in Louisiana. Plesssy, who was light-skinned enough to have passed for white, was an activist who was a part of a group looking to challenge the “Separate but Equal” Doctrine in the US Supreme Court. So, Plessy deliberately sat in the White Section of a railroad Coach and then declared himself to be of color.
Plessy was arrested and his case went all the way to the US Supreme Court. But Plessy and his activist group were highly disappointed when the US Supreme Court Ruling declared that “separate facilities for blacks and whites were constitutional as long as they (the facilities) were ‘equal.’” Thus making “segregation” the law of the land. This marked the legal authority for all the “Jim Crow” laws that were to follow for over half a century.
Of course, we all know by now that “facilities” for blacks, especially schools, were never equal. That realization came to me in the 1968 Elections. I had gone to segregated school and graduated from Burns-at Fallston in 1965. I was a Junior at North Carolina State University majoring in Nuclear Engineering. I registered to vote in March of 1968 when I turned 21. Which was the law back then.
O n Election Day in 1968 I went to vote at the Fallston Precinct. The person in line in front of me was a young black man, maybe a year or two older than me, that I knew. When he was handed his ballot by the Poll worker, who I also knew, the black man asked for some help marking his ballot. He couldn’t read. I was standing there hearing the talk thinking, here I am, a product of segregated white schools and attending NC State and this black person almost my age attended segregated black schools and couldn’t read. But that is not the end of this story.
The older white man, the Poll worker, pointed to one spot on the ballot and said, “Here is where you mark Straight Democrat.” Young black man tried to ask a few questions and once again the older white man pole worker, this time in a loud voice, with his head tilted way back so he could look down his nose at the taller black man, said “RIGHT HERE IS WHERE YOU MARK STRAIGHT DEMOCRAT!!!. The young man took the ballot and went on. I have no idea whether or not he voted straight democrat. What I do know to be 100% true is that I took my ballot, and although I had registered as a Democrat, I did NOT vote for a single Democrat on that ballot. Even for those that were running unopposed. Something I continue to do till this very day.
Again, lets back up a bit and finally get back to the point.