This week, we jet forward about 150 years in time. Airplane Toy A lot has happened during those years. Among the highlights: Manifest Destiny westward expansion, American Civil War, Reconstruction, Industrial Revolution, continuous fighting in Europe, including two World Wars, the start of both the Atomic Age and the Cold War. School Segregation Banned NewspaperThis week’s destination is the Letters to the Editor Bureau of the local newspaper in Topeka, Kansas in 1954. A few days ago, the paper’s Headline News Bureau printed the Supreme Court’s full opinion of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954); the case can also be found in the Resources section of this classroom. (Side excursion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d98aGdkX15U) Now, the Letters to the Editor Bureau is simply swamped by the thousands of letters which have just arrived to express their authors’ opinions about the case. Since we’re here, let’s help the newspaper assistants cull through the letters so as to publish a few which represent public opinion about whether treating people equally mean treating them the same. The editor wants to show newspaper readers: (a) how central the law is to theories and research in philosophy, social science, business, and public policy, (b) the role and authority of the judicial system in interpreting the U.S. Constitution, (c) how the law can infringe on personal liberty, and (d) the impact of multilateralism on Supreme Court precedent. 1 Pointing Finger In your initial post, provide the newspaper assistants with letters to the editor that advocate various positions; do not select the same perspective as that adopted by another student who has already made the initial post. For example, you could present one of the following positions: principal of one of Topeka’s whites-only school, principal of one of Topeka’s blacks-ony school, owner of the Chinese restaurant in downtown Topeka, school textbook salesperson, small town mayor in rural Arkansas, big city school superintendent in Georgia, local community college adminstrator in Ohio — there are so many from which to choose. You can even project ramifications of the Brown case into the 21st century so that readers in 1954 can try to envision the impact of this case. Stained Glass 2 Then respond to at least two other posts in the forum by elaborating or countering the legal arguments presented in them. **NOTE: You must cite sources in Bluebook format to support and defend your position. Remember to post your initial comments [at least 500 words (which is the equivalent of 1.5 typed pages, double spaced)] by Thursday, and respond (responses must be 250-350 words per post) by Sunday to two of your classmates’ postings as well. You will be graded strictly against the Forum Participation Rubric, which can be found in the Resources section of this classroom.
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