It’s the day after the election, and I am clicking around on one of the many interactive maps of the nation available on the Internet. I’ve found one that shows, in reds and blues, how every single county in the nation voted. You click on a state and the data for each county appear, down to the very last vote.
Although Barack Obama has won the election decisively, my home state, North Carolina, is still too close to call. I move my cursor around the eastern part of the state, looking for my hometown.
Thirty-eight years ago, when I was going into the second grade, the courts ordered my town to get serious about integrating the schools. Like many southern towns, mine had for years resisted the demands of Brown v. Board of Education with a “school choice” plan. Now faced with a court order, my town refused to open the schools. Choosing no school for anyone over integrated classrooms, the town kept the schools closed for months.