Change! Be the Change – Linda Brown, RIP

Go Lean Commentary

This could be just an empty platitude …

Be the Change you want to see in the world. 

… and then there are people who actually did it, not just say it!

Rest in Peace, Linda Brown.

The world is mourning the passing of Linda Brown, who died on Monday (March 26, 2018) at the age of 76. (See link to “Condolences” in Appendix B below). She was the little “Brown” in the landmark American legal case “Brown versus Board of Education”. On her behalf, the country changed! The US Supreme Court overturned the previous rulings maintaining the dignity-defying legacies of “Separate But Equal” and started the journey for full diversity in American society.

Rather that wishing for change, Linda Brown went on to Be The Change, as a Civil Rights icon.

As a little girl, Brown was at the center of the historic Brown vs. Board of Education case, which ultimately ended segregation in U.S. public schools. – Source: Huffington Post 

This actuality has been fittingly highlighted by the movement behind the book Go Lean … Caribbean. In a previous blog-commentary, it was detailed how the Supreme Court case “Brown vs. Board of Education” set a far-reaching precedence whose reverberations shook the whole world, even the Caribbean:

The issues pronounced here in the Go Lean book highlights an important factoid: de jure versus de facto

  • de jure = according to law
  • de facto = in reality

As a result of the 1954 Supreme Court’s decision, the de jure policy of the US was that of racial equality. But in reality, that decision didn’t manifest on the streets for the everyday man. The facts did not change the fiction, racism continued to dominate the American eco-system, even today. The aft-mentioned 20 million African-Americans in the US were viewed, treated and labeled as “Less Than“.

The case for little Linda Brown started the journey from de jure to de facto; eventually the de facto advanced closer to the de jure. We are here today, in a more racially-equitable America, because of that journey that was started for young Linda Brown. She will always be identified as an icon for constitutional progress – a constant feature of Constitutional History.

Now we say goodbye to Linda; but with a gracious heart full of gratitude for her accomplished life of “shifting the needle” towards a more harmonious society.

What a great role model, even for us in the Caribbean; of the 30 member-states that caucus as the political Caribbean, 29 have a non-White majority. Civil Rights matters here too! “We” all benefited from American progress as the regional hegemony. We all benefited from Linda Brown.

What a model she provided. We too, can Be the Change we want to see in the world.

Yes, this movement has consistently asserted that one man or one woman can make a difference in society. Linda Brown proved it! So too, can you, me or any Caribbean stakeholder. This is what the book Go Lean…Caribbean – available to download for free – have pronounced. The book posits that one person – advocating for progress – can make a difference (Page 122). It relates:

An advocacy is an act of pleading for, supporting, or recommending a cause or subject. For this book, it’s a situational analysis, strategy or tactic for dealing with a narrowly defined subject.

Advocacies are not uncommon in modern history. There are many that have defined generations and personalities. Consider these notable examples from the last two centuries in different locales around the world:

  • Frederick Douglas
  • Mohandas Gandhi
  • Martin Luther King
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Cesar Chavez – [American Farm Workers Advocate]
  • Candice Lightner – (Advocate for Mothers Against Drunk Driving]

The Go Lean book seeks to advocate for the Caribbean, not the US, and for the people who love our homeland. Yet still we can learn lessons from American Constitutional History (Page 145) – “separate but equal” was always a fallacy despite one Supreme Court ruling after another. We now hope to direct our regional stakeholders in our own Way Forward based on best-practices gleaned from America’s dysfunctional past. (Also see book’s Epilogue excerpt in the Appendix A below).

The book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), to reform and transform our communities, by elevating our societal engines – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The Go Lean book stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit – we must become a pluralistic democracy: Black, White, African-descended, European-descended, Asia-descended, Aboriginal, etc.. Our problems are too big for any one Caribbean member-state to contend with alone. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 14):

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xii. Whereas the legacy in recent times in individual states may be that of ineffectual governance with no redress to higher authority, the accedence of this Federation will ensure accountability and escalation of the human and civil rights of the people for good governance, justice assurances, due process and the rule of law. As such, any threats of a “failed state” status for any member state must enact emergency measures on behalf of the Federation to protect the human, civil and property rights of the citizens, residents, allies, trading partners, and visitors of the affected member state and the Federation as a whole.

xxxiii. Whereas lessons can be learned and applied from the study of the recent history of other societies, the Federation must formalize statutes and organizational dimensions to avoid the pitfalls of communities like East Germany, Detroit, Indian (Native American) Reservations, Egypt and the previous West Indies Federation. On the other hand, the Federation must also implement the good examples learned from developments / communities like New York City, Germany, Japan, Canada, the old American West and tenants of the US Constitution.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society. One entry is “10 Lessons from the US Constitution” (Page 145), detailing the adjustments and optimizing of the “living” document over the years:

The Bottom Line on Constitutional Law
The US Constitution was written in the late 18th Century, adopted on September 17, 1787, by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and ratified by conventions in 11 states. It went into effect on March 4, 1789. It was not the start, nor the end of the constitution theory process for the United States. But underlying to the codification on paper was the ideals verbalized in the Declaration of Independence of 1776, which defined that All Men Are Created Equal and Endowed by their Creator with Certain Unalienable Rights for Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

A nearly 250-year review of the process shows one consistent pattern, a desire to do better. While not perfect, the United States of America always tried to do better, from one generation to another. Whereas the Colonial/ Revolutionary America featured a country of great privileges for rich (land-owning) white Englishmen, a slow turn in societal evolution saw those privileges extended to the everyday white man, then to new immigrants, then to women, then to minorities, then to the disabled, and now to all, even those with alternative lifestyles.

The Go Lean movement calls on every man, woman and child in the Caribbean to be an advocate and a champion, or at least appreciate the championing efforts of previous advocates. Their examples can truly help us today with our passions and purpose. Consider this sample of prior blog/commentaries where advocates and role models have been elaborated upon: Viola Desmond – One Woman Made a Difference Carter Woodson – One Man Made a Difference … for Black History Caribbean Roots: John Carlos – The Man. The Moment. The Movement Caribbean Roots: Esther Rolle of ‘Good Times’ Edward Snowden – One Person Making a Difference The NBA’s Tim Duncan – Champion On and Off the Court Role Model Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight Frederick Douglass: Role Model for Single Cause – Death or Diaspora Role Model Bob Marley: The legend lives on!

Thank you Linda Brown, for your good role model … and Rest in Peace. See VIDEO below.

The movement behind Go Lean book, the planners of a new Caribbean, stresses that the same as change impacted the delivery of Civil Rights in America – which eventually transformed their society – a ‘change will also come’ to the Caribbean. This commentary continues this short 3-part series on “Change” in society. The full catalog of commentaries in this series are as follows:

  1. Change! Observing the Change – Student Marches for Gun Control Reform and Action
  2. Change! Be the Change – RIP Linda Brown; the little girl in “Brown vs Board of Education”
  3. Change! Forging Change – Citibank’s Model of “Corporate Vigilantism”

All of these commentaries give insights on “how” the planners of the new Caribbean can persuade people, establishments and institutions to forge change in their communities.

Remember the 5 L‘s. We want to learn from the US Constitutional History– the good, bad and ugly lessons. As planners for this new Caribbean, we have looked, listened, learned and lend-a-hand for the American experience; we are now ready to lead our own homeland to be a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix A – Epilogue – Future Focus – Brown v. Board of Education (1954)

This was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional. The decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896, which allowed state-sponsored segregation, insofar as it applied to public education. Handed down on May 17, 1954, the Warren Court’s (between 1953 and 1969, when Earl Warren served as Chief Justice) unanimous decision (9–0) stated that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal”. As a result, de jure racial segregation was ruled a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution (Fourteenth Amendment). This ruling paved the way for integration and was a major victory of the civil rights movement.

This landmark ruling created chaos for nearly 60 years; the animosity created was real and every aspect of American society was affected. (Most legislative assemblies in the southern states passed resolutions and sanctions condemning the Supreme Court decision, though the federal law superseded all state legislations). Cities and urban areas suffered from white flight, where white Americans fled the cities to move out to the suburbs to avoid the integration of urban schools; with their flight went their capital and tax base. Many American cities have still not recovered, for example Detroit filed for Bankruptcy in July 2013 after suffering the pangs of distress from this white flight for 60 years.

So why would the learned men on the Supreme Court make this unanimous ruling and caused so much havoc on American life. Were they not wise, could they not “read the writing on the wall”? The answer is an emphatic No! They knew the real beneficiary of their judgment would come later. Their wisdom was strewn from the experience of modern society waging two world wars, the last of which was just concluded 9 years earlier. They saw the rampage, saw of devastation of 60 million deaths around the world and appreciated the wisdom that a downtrodden people would not stay down, that they would rise and revolt, that they would risk their lives and that of their children to pursue freedom. The Warren Court knew that the status quo of race inequality could not continue, but in order to effectuate that change would take writing-off an entire generation (or two). That time had come, the generation was now (1954); but the hope was with the next generation, and so the curative measures started with the children of that day, so that inevitably, future generations would inhabit an America that would not judge its people by the color of their skins, but rather the content of their character.

Source: Book Go Lean … Caribbean Page 251


Appendix B – Condolences – Civil Rights Icon Linda Brown Remembered On Twitter: ‘Rest In Power’-

“Generations stand on your shoulders.”

See the condolences, comments and tributes in the link here from many, public servants and private individuals, celebrities and commoners alike.


Appendix C VIDEO – Remembering The Life Of Linda Brown | Morning Joe | MSNBC


Published on Mar 27, 2018 –
Linda Brown, the Kansas girl at the center of the 1954 Supreme Court ruling that struck down racial segregation in schools, has died at age 76.
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