Remember when protecters of the status quo kept shouting, “Education is the civil rights issue of the 21st century!”?

Doesn’t 2020 just highlight how absurd that was?

1. We live in a society that is still disappearing Black and brown people. Sometimes executing them in broad daylight. Sometimes locking up children in concentration camps. Sometimes sterilizing them.

2. Schooling has long been a tool wielded against Black and indigenous people, in particular. Used to destroy culture and to give a leg up to those in power. And it still is.

3. Fascism is on the rise. But some people just want schools to have more power over children. They are conditioning children to give into authority.

Education is a civil rights issue (because all people deserve control over their lives, and children are people, too) but the people who shout about education being a civil rights issue tend not to be the ones who concern themselves with the rights of children. They tend to be working to advance the power of the institution of schooling, or they are naively trying to make the institution less harmful to students of color, as opposed to liberating young people of color.

So no, education is not the civil rights issue of the 21st century. Although it would be great if the civil rights of children were a concern.

Image: William Frantz Elementary School, New Orleans, 1960.

“After a Federal court ordered the desegregation of schools in the South, U.S. Marshals escorted a young Black girl, Ruby Bridges, to school.”

Note: Photo appears to show Bridges and the Marshals leaving the school. She was escorted both to and from the school while segregationist protests continued.