Arthur Flemming, as Secretary of HEW said,
“At least this is the beginning of a process
Evaluating the impact.”
He was speaking of schools that were closed
Because the Supreme Court had the proper audacity
To say that we should all learn together.
Old Flemming was referring to schools
That were closed because some people had the idiocy
To think the Supreme Court was wrong.
So they closed the schools,
Coincidently, it was thirteen backwards thinking districts
Where over one million school days were lost.
The South looked bad while the newspapers proclaimed
Real progress was being made in the North,
Where integration was described not morally, but for its practicality.
The righteous ones above the Mason-Dixon line
Touted progress in railroads, airlines and department stores
As examples of the integration of the races.
Really? That’s all they had?
I suppose that’s better, but I’m a white guy,
What do I know about being on the other side? Just seems incomplete…
I know our history can be disgusting.
I know the present is better than 1958.
I know we have a lot of work to do for things to be right.
(New York Times: 12/2/1958)