In its larger contexts the topic of this issue of Ethnic Studies Review, “Fair Access,” has many referents. In 2004 we are marking the fiftieth anniversary of Brown v Board of Education which stated unequivocally that separate but equal systems of education did not and could not exist, and yet equal education for all our children still does not exist. Recent reports detail that in many urban areas school systems are at least as segregated as prior to the Brown decision, and all levels of government seem satisfied with that status quo. We watch with astonishment as over six hundred people are being detained by the United States Government without charges against them or access to lawyers at Guantanamo. We witness at the moment of Haiti's celebration of its 200th anniversary of independence not only the mysterious removal of the democratically elected President of Haiti but also the continual refusal to grant refugee status to fleeing Haitians while it is granted to Cubans almost automatically, thus creating great inequities in immigrant access. We decry the Patriots Act passed by the Congress of the United States at the instigation of the Bush Administration that whittles away at the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution. We know that many do not have access to health care in the United States. These and other issues of fair access must be our daily concern.

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