What is with this state? In the 1950s, high school Afro-Americans were not allowed to enter an all-white high school. Now, in 2015, Cher and others are again approaching the Governor of Arkansas on another matter of equality for the LGBT community.
A New Form of Hatred and Bigotry – 2015.
The Arkansas House of Representatives voted 57-20 in favour of bill that will allow people to discriminate against the LGBT community on matters of conscience. What it means is that a bakery will have the right to refuse to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage. When you look at the outcome – it is scary and has all the ingredients of segregation of the 1950s and earlier. Just as Afro-Americans were denied jobs and apartments simply on their race, now the people of Arkansas can do the same on the matter of their Biblical conscience. Cher took to Twitter to express her frustrations. Cher is openly supportive of her transgender son, Chaz Bono, stating “Most important to me is that he is very happy. That’s all I care about.”
History Repeating Itself.
It was 1957 and Martin Luther King, Jnr and Freedom Marches were front and centre in the southern states. The capital of Arkansas was in the evening news and in all the newspapers. A group of nine African-American students called the “Little Rock” nine enrolled in Little Rock Central High School. The Governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, barred these students on segregation laws. It took the intervention of President Dwight D. Eisenhower to allow them to enter.
Woodrow Wilson Mann, the Mayor of Little Rock, asked President Eisenhower to send federal troops to enforce integration and protect the nine students. On September 24, 1957, the President ordered the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army —without its black soldiers, who rejoined the division a month later—to Little Rock and federalized f the entire 10,000-member Arkansas National Guard, taking it out of the hands of Faubus
Supreme Court Intervention
If you have a Governor like Faubus or the present Governor of Arkansas, then minorities will not get justice. They have to turn to the Supreme Court. In the case of the Little Rock Nine, the U.S Supreme court issued its historic Brown v Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas in 1954. Remember that the Little Rock Nine were trying to enforce this law three years later in 1957! Tied to the 14th Amendment, the decision declared all laws establishing segregated schools to be unconstitutional and it called for the desegregation of all schools throughout the nation.
It is the Supreme Court and the same word “unconstitutional” that is opening the homophobic gates to same-sex marriage. Arkansas hasn’t changed. No doubt, many of the legislature and government have ancestry that belonged to the lovers of segregation or were members of the KKK. History repeats itself, or some people will never learn that justice must prevail. paula.