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COLUMNS

Essay: What is the greatest civil rights struggle of America today?

Ray Antocicco

I write this essay on the 4th of July, the great American declaration of political freedom holiday. I write as somewhat of a reflection on Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy and somewhat as a reflection of recent Black Lives Matter protests that called for social justice changes.

How ironic, at least in my thinking, that the hero of the Civil Rights Movement of his day is still such an inspiration to what some have called, and I concur, the greatest civil rights struggle of our day. Namel, social justice via tax-supported economic educational choice for all students and families.

Such a policy would truly benefit all, since education would improve due to competition, since only the best schools and the best teachers would remain to educate students. School taxes would drop dramatically for every taxpayer. Yet, social justice advocates seldom speak out about or engage in the battle to free the poorest and most disadvantaged families among us from failing government schools simply by providing economic educational choice for their families.

Though there are exceptions. I was also moved to write this essay after meeting with Rochester’s first Black woman mayor, Lovely Warren.

Mayor Warren, a Democrat, is also a champion for the cause of educational choice, albeit, she is often opposed by strong unions and big paycheck administrators and misguided school board members when trying to advocate for economic educational choice.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful, and I am confident the mayor would concur, if Rochester could be the first city in America that responds to recent protests for social justice change by allowing economic educational choice for all its students and families, which would naturally include the poorest and most disadvantaged of Rochester families?

Well, thanks to a number of supporters from both Democrats and Republicans, the educational choice struggle is much closer to being won than ever before, as now over 30 states have some 60 plans for educational choice. Alas, New York is not one of them; however, if the Black Lives Matter movement would champion this noble cause, there is no doubt in my mind that it could truly happen across America. Also, because it is a civil rights issue that potentially unites all Americans and both parties, it could truly help heal our land and bring Americans together again.

Take heart, we shall overcome!