September 26, 2017

Saturday Open Thread: African Americans and The Struggle for Education Equality

Good Morning POU!

Hope you’re have a wonderful weekend.

We conclude our series with a look at the “Segregation Academy” and the correlation to today’s Voucher movement, the impact of such schools on public education and the opportunities for minority children.


segregation academy was a private school in the United States that was established in the mid-20th century to enable white parents to avoid having their children in desegregated public schools, which were mandated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education (1954). It had determined that segregated schools were unconstitutional. Because Brown did not apply to private schools, the founding of new private academies in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s was a way for whites to practice segregation. While these schools were established chiefly in the southern United States, private schools existed nationwide that catered chiefly to white students, in part also because of economic class.

Since the late 20th century, as social patterns in United States have changed, many of these private schools began to admit minority students; others have ceased operations. Still others, in poor, majority-black regions such as the Mississippi Delta and the Alabama and Georgia Black Belt, continue to operate with few, if any, black students. The latter may be excluded because of economic issues as well as race, being unable to pay the fees.

The first segregation academies were created by white parents in the late 1950s in response to the Brown v. Board of Education (1954), which required public school boards to eliminate segregation “with all deliberate speed.” Because the ruling did not apply to private schools, founding new academies provided parents a way to continue to educate their children separately from blacks. At this time, most adult blacks were still disenfranchised in the South, excluded from politics and oppressed under Jim Crow Private academies operated outside the scope of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling and could therefore have racial segregation.

Reasons why whites pulled their children out of public schools have been debated: whites insisted that “quality fueled their exodus,” and blacks said “white parents refused to allow their children to be schooled alongside blacks”. Scholars estimate that across the nation, at least half a million white students were withdrawn from public schools between 1964 and 1975 to avoid mandatory desegregation. In the 21st century, Archie Douglas, the headmaster of the Montgomery Academy (reputed to have been a segregation academy) said that he is sure “that those who resented the civil rights movement sought to get away from it, took refuge in the academy.”


Seeking to revoke tax-exemption status for non-profit segregation academies, in 1983 some parents in seven southern states sued the IRS in a class action that said the agency’s guidelines to determine whether a private school was racially discriminatory were insufficient. (If a school discriminated racially, it was not to receive tax-exempt status.) In their suit, Allen v. Wright (1983), the plaintiffs named a number of Southern schools as representative of segregation academies. The parents sued the Internal Revenue Service, contending that IRS guidelines for determining whether a private school was racially discriminatory were insufficient.

The case was decided in 1984 by the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that citizens do not have standing to sue a federal government agency based on the influence that the agency’s determinations might have on third parties (such as private schools). The judges noted the parents were in the posture of disappointed observers of the governmental process, that although the complaint asserted that “there are more than 3,500 racially segregated private academies operating in the country having a total enrollment of more than 750,000 children” (J.A. 24), it cited by name only 19 “representative” private schools, and that the parents did not allege that they or their children had applied to, been discouraged from applying to, or been denied admission to any private school or schools.


A direct line runs from the “segregation academies” of the post-Brown South and today’s corporate-invented school vouchers “movement.”

Both talk the same language: a “freedom of choice” double-speak that would preserve and expand racial and economic privilege. In place of Brown, today’s voucher advocates would subsidize the “choices” that somehow become available in an American social marketplace that has historically devalued Blacks.  They would achieve this unregulated educational supermarket by liquidating the principle and promise of universal, quality public education.

Just as segregationists shut down the public schools of Prince Edward County, Virginia, in 1959 in favor of private white and Black academies, today’s voucher advocates openly agitate for defunding urban public schools. The very same rightwing forces that sought to neuter Brown at every stage in its 50-year history now push privatization as a remedy for the misery they have wrought in America’s cities. They aim to profit – literally – from their own crimes.

Rewards for racism

“The crusade for vouchers actually has its roots in an effort to continue segregation,” said Cynthia Tucker, editorial page editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in a July 7, 2002 column. “By the time of Jimmy Carter’s presidency, the parents of segregation academy students were campaigning for tax breaks for private school tuition. They formed the early core of what later became the voucher movement.”

The haste with which southern whites established private schools after 1954 made it impossible to cloak the exodus in euphemisms – this was white flight from physical proximity to Blacks, pure and simple, and the name “segregation academies,” stuck. Whites in the North would react in much the same way when their turn came, opting out of the cities entirely to invest their taxes in quality schools for their own children in the suburbs. Those who remained in places like Boston chose private education over integration. “You saw an immediate drain of white participation from public education, going into parochial and private schools,” said Rev. Graylan Hagler, president of Ministers for Racial, Social, and Economic Justice.  “And ever since, they have attempted to redirect public dollars out of public education and into private schools.”

Racists always find a “freedom” to mask their hatreds. Segregationists in Virginia devised a “freedom of choice” policy in the mid-Fifties to allow white students to transfer out of schools slated for integration. When Prince Edward County whites finally exhausted their legal bag of tricks in 1959, they shut the public schools down and set up a foundation to support the education of whites.

The county schools were among the five cases that had been combined under Brown. The late Wilbur Brookover, a Michigan State University sociologist who testified as an expert in Brown, chronicled the county’s response to the decision:

”The White school foundation…moved rapidly to raise money to establish the Prince Edward Academy, which used a variety of facilities beginning in fall 1959. Permanent Academy facilities for both elementary and secondary students were built soon after. Essentially all of the White children in Prince Edward County were enrolled in the Academy in the next few years. Some of the poor Whites in the county were provided scholarships to pay their children’s tuition….

“Although Whites established a private foundation to provide similar opportunities for Black children, many Black county residents and the NAACP refused this on the grounds that it continued essentially the same situation that theBrown decision was supposed to end. Those opposing this effort vocalized their concern by actively working to discourage Black children from signing up for the private schools. In January 1960, the Southside Schools, the name given to the private schools, received an application from one Black student. After that, private school advocates decided to postpone their efforts to educate Black students.”

In many ways the goal of integration as an ideal of school quality has been abandoned. In fact, contemporary school activists have embraced racial imbalance in their push for charter schools. Research finds that charter schools are much more likely than traditional public schools to be racially unbalanced. A 2013 study of North Carolina schools found that 30 percent of traditional public school students attended racially segregated schools, while more than 60% of charter school students attend racially unbalanced schools. These charter schools are the impetus for “school choice” activists to push for vouchers.

The Resegregation of American Schools

Sources: Wikipedia, The Black Commentator and The Atlantic

  • crazycanuck

    Good Morning everyone. Love the weekends. I will do the minimum amount of work today,and try that relaxing thing.

    • rikyrah

      Hey cc! Enjoy this weekend.

    • goldenstar

      Good morning, all. Am on way to do some door-to-door canvassing in a +80% Obama precinct. Lovely day to be out w/ the voters!

      • isonprize

        Yay, goldenstar!! I hope folks are talking up the importance of 2014!!

      • rikyrah

        thank you goldenstar

      • Alma98

        Good morning goldenstart.
        Good on you, have fun!

    • Alma98

      Good morning cc.

  • rikyrah

    Good Morning, Everyone 🙂

    • Alma98

      Good morning rikyrah 🙂

  • isonprize

    Just in case I haven’t mentioned it before, charter schools are spawn of the devil. And black parents better start paying attention. Charter school companies are all about the profit, most of them don’t know squat about educating your children, and don’t give a damn that they don’t know. Seriously.

    In big cities like Philadelphia, integrated charter schools are rare. They are either all black, all white or all hispanic. The staff is the black schools is the same way, usually the independent charter have all black staff; the corporate charters all white. Hispanics are on staff in the spanish schools, but not as teachers. You know, receptionists, office staff, the folks who have to deal with the spanish speaking parents because the kids are usually bilingual.

    • rikyrah

      you cannot write this enough, isonprize.

      not IMO.

    • rikyrah

      I’m going to repeat what I wrote yesterday:

      see, they’re coming up against the combination of the following:
      1. Their actual RECORD.
      Folks got stats now. Longterm stats. On how charter schools SUCK.
      2. All those folks that got snookered when they first began this scam have realized that they, and their children, were conned, and they are pissed.
      3. Sad to say, but the ‘ urban’ areas were easy pickins. Now, they’re trying to expand their con into the suburbs, where people moved to, and pay property taxes BECAUSE of the school system. You think they’re gonna let the scammers come in using the same bullshyt that they used to con the ‘ urban’ areas? Phuck no.

      So, the scammers are getting mad, because they can’t do the usual with their scam.

      How you gonna close 55 schools in Chicago, and then turn around and give full funding to the charter schools. Folks don’t see it, but I feel it, the utter seething of Black folk about that.

      I loved the story that you posted about those parents in Philly, that despite them changing all the rules to put the fix in for the charters, those parents fought back and voted that shyt down.

      I am encouraged by the parents who are calling out that fraudulent group that wants to turn Dallas into a charter school haven, and have put the spotlight on it, thus forcing them to scramble because they thought they could just roll in and roll over people with their lies.

      I am glad that the parents in Newark said no to the charter schools’ handpicked stooge for Mayor. Folks are waking up.

      And Charter schools are nothing but a union-busting tactic.

    • Kennymack1971

      The charter school movement is a con. It’s a trojan horse designed to pave the way for the privatization and re segregation (as has been pointed out in this week’s most excellent series) of public education. This needs to be called out and I’m glad folks are doing just that.

      • isonprize

        And a well financed con, at that. Black folks need to wake up!! Charters ARE NOT THE ANSWER!! (This is one area where I vehemently disagree with my President.)

  • rikyrah

    this biyotch here:


    Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move!’ goes too far

    By Kathleen Parker,

    Published: May 30

    To hear tell, the mean ol’ GOP is waging war on Michelle Obama and, brace yourself, America’s children.

    Got it?

    The newest war on women and children relates to the first
    lady’s well-intentioned but disastrous school nutrition program,
    otherwise known as the Dumpster Derby.

    First to good intentions:

    to Obama for recognizing and trying to address childhood obesity. If you think health care is expensive now, wait until these little human pillows reach adulthood and then, assuming their hearts hold out, advanced age. Assuming, too, that our bottom-line bureaucrats haven’t begun recycling high-maintenance humans by then. Might want to keep an eye on the Soylent Green market.

    No, I’m not suggesting death panels. I’m employing hyperbole in the service of a point, the necessary clarification of which highlights our mind-numbing politics and our nation’s diminishing sentience.

    • Kennymack1971

      Lord…if these white folks want to feed their kids Cheetos, Twinkies and Coke all day then just pack that shit in their lunches and keep it moving. Kathleen Parker can go sit her ass down.

      • Admiral_Komack

        And if they did, they’d blame the Obamas.
        Fuck them.

    • Alma98

      This is nothing but click bait, she knows her racist readers will flock to anything about the Obamas. And sure enough they’re in the comments. I’m sick of this ignorant shit. I wish the Obamas would start touting breathing is essential to living, let the chips fall where they may.

    • This didn’t really bother me. Parker is a conservative cranking up the the old keep the government out of our lives routine. Nothing new although I gotta admit the Soylent Green reference made me laugh.

  • Alma98

    Good morning all.

    • GreenLadyHere

      – —GOOD SATURDAY MORNTIN’ Alma98. ***BIG HUG*** :>)Aaahhh — -“Mr. SUN” —Showin’ Through The “PURPLE ONE’S” – -ENVIRONMENT. :>) –Luvin’ IT. :>)– –

      – — —☺

      Thank U 4 –Brangin’ the SUN —HERE. :>)

      B BLESSED –U♥/Family♥ :>)

      • Alma98

        good Saturday morning GLH! I hope your weekend is going well. I’m going to try and get some more yard work done and shop for mom a bday present. Blessings to you and the family.

        • GreenLadyHere

          Alma—Thank U —as ALWAYS :>)

          —-☺IMMA send some HELP: – – –
          — – ——♦

          – – – — ♦

          – – – – — -♦

          – –Annnnd I’ve paid them —TEN-TEN — -$10.10 — — -:>)

          — –Happy shoppin’ – –[6/4♥] :>)

          • Alma98

            LOL I love the gifs, thanks GLH.

          • GreenLadyHere

            LOLAlma—-My Pleasure. :>) —THEY betta — WERK! :>)

          • crazycanuck

            The black woman is the only one dressed appropriately lol.

          • Alma98


        • TyrenM

          Is it mom’s bday too? Sweet.

          • Alma98

            It’s June 4th.

  • GreenLadyHere

    – —THANK U Miranda♥ —One of those “ONE ROOM SCHOOL HOUSES” -WAS STARTED 2 B- – “SEPARATE –BUT NOT EQUAL”. – – -Learning sooo MUCH. :>)– –

    – — ———☺ Because the ruling did not apply to private schools, founding new academies provided parents a way to continue to educate their children separately from blacks. [humph!]
    ———– -☺With a “LITTLE HELP From – Their FRIENDS” —–SCOTUS: —The case was decided in 1984 by the U.S.
    Supreme Court, which ruled that citizens do not have standing to sue a federal government agency based on the influence that the agency’s determinations might have on third parties (such as private schools).

    ———☺2014 –“BACK 2 the BEGINNING”:— –A 2013 study of North Carolina schools found that 30 percent of traditional public school students attended racially segregated schools, while more than 60% of charter school students attend racially unbalanced schools. These charter schools are the impetus for “school choice” activists to push for vouchers. – —RE-SEGREGATION

    – —–Sooo —-“DA STRUGGLE” —CONTINUES — – – –Shamefully!

    — – — – -☻ENJOY♥ —[An African Breakfast:] -

    — —B BLESSED annnd RESTED♥ — —
    [As we Participate –“In Da Struggle”] :>)

  • GreenLadyHere

    Miranda♥ – —LOL “Mother Nature”- – -“Brangin’ Da JOY” —-
    – -☺

    – – —☺@BestEarthPix[THANK U♥] :>)
    3 Giraffes say Cheese!

    – —–ENJOY♥ –:>)

  • GreenLadyHere

    – -Miranda♥- -MR. PRESIDENT: – –Presses ON –
    “YEAR of ACTION”
    – – —Weekly Address: Reducing Carbon Pollution in Our Power Plants
    – —–In this week’s address, President Obama discussed new actions by the Environmental Protection Agency to cut dangerous carbon pollution, a plan that builds on the efforts already taken by many states, cities and companies. These new commonsense guidelines to reduce carbon pollution from power plants were created with feedback from businesses, and state and local governments, and they would build a clean energy economy while reducing carbon pollution.

    The President discussed this new plan from the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where he visited children whose asthma is aggravated by air pollution. As a parent, the President said he is dedicated to make sure our planet is cleaner and safer for future generations.

    – –THANK U — SIR♥ :>) —

  • GreenLadyHere

    Miranda♥- —He’s On the ballot — — -BUT- —
    Mich. won’t appeal Conyers ballot decision
    —– –Michigan won’t appeal a federal judge’s ruling that placed Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) on the Democratic ballot, ending the threat that he would have to run a write-in campaign.

    —WILL he get —the VOTES??- – -WATCHIN’. . .
    —[Apologies ifff a dup.]:>)

  • GreenLadyHere

    Miranda♥ – – -WHOA! – – –“WHYCOME” – – -U gotta — –SPEAK —Da Mighty —TRUTH? — -:>)

    — —-☺ ‏Kennymack1971 [THANK U♥]

    And I bet these folks who are ready to drop gloves if you so much as roll your eyes at Hillary won’t say a word in FLOTUS defense.

    – — DEY–been like THIS —evasince 2008 – –


    Annnd BTW – – – -STUDENTS R — -EATING annnnd BUYING —HEALTHY LUNCHES!! – —
    Annnd they R NOT beggin’4 pizza annnd hamburgers; orr THROWIN’ —food away – —as da –HATAS —-R describing. – –THEY needta –GO annnd C!!

    • rikyrah

      this is absolutely true

  • lamh36

    well it seems Jorge Ramos is on a roll. first calling out Boehner to his face on camera, now calling out O’Reilly while on his show.

    Bill O’Reilly Stunned When Jorge Ramos Calls Him Out For GOP Bias (VIDEO)

    Jorge Ramos offered a blunt and critical assessment of the American press this week. but Bill O’Reilly wanted to make sure the popular Spanish-language broadcaster wasn’t talking about him…

    But surely Ramos recognized there are exceptions to the rule, asked a smirking O’Reilly. The Fox News pundit did not like the answer he received.

    “Of course there are exceptions, but we all have biases,” Ramos said. “You have your own biases. I mean, whenever you’re covering Obamacare or Benghazi or supporting the Republican Party more [than] the Democratic Party.”

    O’Reilly, who has called himself a “traditionalist” for years while insisting that he’s every bit as tough on Republicans as Democrats, couldn’t believe his ears.

    “Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa,” O’Reilly said. “Have you ever seen me do a softball interview with anybody?”

    Ramos said he had indeed seen O’Reilly conduct tough interviews, but he added that he’s also seen O’Reilly “supporting more Republicans than Democrats.”

    O’Reilly said that might be true “editorially,” but “never in an interview.” When O’Reilly lamented that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) won’t come on his show, Ramos observed that the program probably doesn’t have trouble attracting Republicans…

    • crazycanuck

      Reilly is the only person who doesn’t know this lol

    • rikyrah


  • GreenLadyHere

    Miranda♥— -HONORS 2 —The DREAM DEFENDERS– – –

    – – – – –☺@Dreamdefenders[THANK U♥]

    Look what’s growing locally in #tallahassee thanks to hard work of many in the community! @CronianGypsy for more info
    —YUMMY! :>)

  • GreenLadyHere

    Miranda♥- —RE-THUGS – –BLOCK — -IMMIGRATION—BUT — —

    – —LOOK —FACTS!! —

    – –☺@FactTank[THANK U♥]

    60% of America’s top 25 tech companies founded by immigrants per @kpcb #InternetTrends report

    HAH! – – –BUT when do —those —RACIST –eva let FACTS – —get in the way of their – –RACIST ACTIONS? – – – -NEVA!!

  • GreenLadyHere

    Miranda♥– – -[Apologies ifff a dup] – –THIS- –WARMONGERin’ — -RACIST!! –[Appreciatin’ the VISUAL] :>)

    – – – -☺@CallOut4[THANK U♥]

    All the Countries John McCain Has Wanted to Attack! h/t @Auriandra

    —THANK U 4 –WINNING – – — MR. PRESIDENT♥ — –:>)

  • lamh36

    So I’m watching Designing Women again on LOGO and trying to plan my trip to DC for late July.

    I think I’ve got the transportation down to and from DC from NOLA (cheap tics from Southwest to Baltimore, hopefully still available next Friday when I plan to pay for bulk of trip and reserve things), but I’m struggling with finding a nice place to stay that’s affordable and still easy access from attractions.

    I could rent a car for the trip, stay in the Bmore area and just drive and park it at local park and ride stations, or I could hopefully find a hotel that provides shuttles to the rail stations.

    So anyway, any suggestions of accommodations or any other way to do DC on a somewhat limited budget? I’m into planning ahead and I’d like to have as much of our plans wrapped up as possible by end of June.

    • Town

      Where you plan to spend the bulk of your time is where you should stay. I don’t how you would get from Bmore to DC without a car.

      • lamh36

        Yeah. I was thinking that too town. When I went to DC in 2009 (Same day that MJ died!!!), if I recall, we did rent a car to get from airport to hotel. Then if I recall we stayed at a place that was close enough to the rail system. So I’m guessing it must have been in DC or VA…right?

        • Town

          The Metro runs thru MD too, it just doesn’t run up to Baltimore.

          I’ve never stayed in DC, I would think it would be pricey.

          How long are you staying? You might want to stay in Baltimore & rent a car, but when you want to go to DC, drive to a Metro station.

          NOTE: if you want to go to Georgetown, the Metro doesn’t go there.

          • lamh36

            My stay will be from July 21 until at least July 25th. I plan to buy the plane tickets Friday. I’m thinking the best plane will be to rent that car stay in Bmore and like you said drive to Metro stations.

            I’m just trying to remember if I stayed in Arlington or Baltimore on my last trip…jeez, I can’t remember

          • Town

            Well, if you’re flying into Baltimore, you might as well stay in the Baltimore area (Tip: DONT stay at the Knights Inn in Jessup…or Jessup period).

            That’s because getting from Arlington back to Baltimore might be a pain. I couldn’t tell you how to get from Arlington to the BW Parkway and going back down 395 to 495 to….it’s gonna be a pain.

            Plus if you stay in Arlington you might as well fly into National Airport…it’s right there.

    • rikyrah


      did you see the suggestions from BJ about you staying in suburban MD just right outside of DC- they said that the hotels were cheaper – just get one near the metro line

      • lamh36

        Yeah I’ve been looking into every suggestion.

        But what I’d considered suburban MD?

        • rikyrah

          I didn’t know if it was suburban MD or suburban VA. I just remember them saying to make sure you’re near a metro station.

  • lamh36

    @markknoller 2m
    Aboard rescue helicopter, Bergdahl wrote “SF?” asking if his liberators were US Special Forces. Yes, they said, bringing tears to his eyes.

  • lamh36

    LaSanya Rucker ‏@sanacardi 1m
    “We cannot wait to wrap our arms around our only son. … Today, we are ecstatic!” – Family of U.S. Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl

  • lamh36

    NBC Nightly News ‏@NBCNightlyNews 8s
    DETAILS: When rescuers confirmed to Bergdahl that they were Special Forces, he broke down crying

  • crazycanuck

    Joy Reid ‏@JoyAnnReid now
    The right, some of whom attacked Bergdahl as a possible traitor, now attacking POTUS for thanking Emir of Qatr who helped broker the release

  • TyrenM

    Good afternoon POU,

    Off to spend birthday with daughter outdoors. Hoping it doesn’t rain. Have a good weekend all.

    • GreenLadyHere

      GOOD SATURDAY MORNTIN’ TyrenM :>) —***BIG HUG***

      BIRTHDAY? —WOW&1/2 :>)- —-Hadta do some shopping: :>)
      — —☺




      — – —-☺Annd –Of Course —THIS♥- -

      — – —- —-☺ B BLESSED♥

      —-Have a BLESSED DAY- — DAD/Family♥ :>)

    • Alma98

      Happy Birthday!

  • lamh36

    Alright now Dick Van Dyke!

    @denisleary 23h

    Father Time can suck it. Dick Van Dyke Dancing In A Store At Age 88:

    • isonprize

      Dick VanDyke git it, git it! LOLOLOL Age ain’t nothin’ but a number!!

  • lamh36

    ‏@mpoppel 30m
    STATEMENT by the parents of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl:

  • crazycanuck

    Retweeted by GoBrooklyn
    Pushy Kaili Joy Gray ‏@KailiJoy now
    Ah, John McCain. Right about everything always. …

    • (Wipes forehead) It can never be stated enough how the United States and the rest of the world lucked up the day this ignoramus went down to defeat.

  • Alma98

    Come on black people, please stop this foolishness!

    • crazycanuck


    • GreenLadyHere

      Alma – —-☺



      – – –☺Annnnnd – —IMMA B Right Back – -

      LOL – –Thanks 4 the LAFF :>) ***HUGS*** :>)

    • GOVCHRIS1988

      PLEASE let this be photoshopped.

      • Alma98


    • rikyrah


    • Tafr

      Not cute, not funny but potentially dangerous. Please tell me this is a hoax.

      • Alma98

        As you can see the guy on the right is looking at the baby, smh. Or this is a very good photoshop.

    • isonprize

      Um, uh, what in the FRESH HELL?? Please tell me that this is some kind of tacky decoration idea that involves a babydoll.

      PLEASE TELL ME??…. Please?… sigh…

  • Alma98
  • GreenLadyHere


    – – —-☺May 31, 1924
    Patricia Harris, the first Black woman to hold a presidential cabinet position,
    is born in Mattoon Illinois.


    – –☺

    – – — -☺“Senator, I am one of them. You do not seem to understand who I am. I am a black woman, the daughter of a dining-car worker If my life has any meaning atall, it is that those who start out as outcasts can wind up as being part of the system.”
    Patricia Roberts Harris quote


    – – –☺

  • JB20005

    The web site Cryptome posted free PDF copies of Glenn Greenwald’s book “Nowhere to Hide,” basically daring him to do anything about it.

    On one hand, it cuts into GG’s book sales. On the other hand, if he does anything about it, he looks like a money grubbing hypocrite.


    • Alma98


  • GreenLadyHere

    Miranda♥ — – -MR. COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF — —“YEAR of ACTION”– —

    – — – Bowe Bergdahl, U.S. soldier held in Afghanistan, freed in swap

    – ——Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the American soldier held captive for nearly five years by militants during the Afghanistan war, has been released in exchange for five Guantanamo detainees, authorities said Saturday.

    “Today the American people are pleased that we will be able to welcome home Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl,” the White House said in a statement.

    Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said in a separate statement that he had informed Congress of the decision to transfer five detainees
    from Guantanamo Bay to Qatar in exchange for Bergdahl, who was the only remaining American soldier captured from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    “A few hours ago, the family of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was informed by President Obama that their long wait for his return will soon be over,” Hagel said.

    – – – –SNIP — —

    – — -A statement from Bergdahl’s parents, Bob and Jani, said: “We were so joyful and relieved when President Obama called us today to give us the news that Bowe is finally coming home! We cannot wait to wrap our arms around our only son. We want to thank Bowe’s many supporters in Idaho, around the nation and around the world. We thank the Amir of Qatar for his efforts. And of course, we want to take this opportunity to thank all those in the many U.S. Government agencies who never gave up. Today, we are ecstatic!”

    —-THANK U – – -MR. PRESIDENT♥- –:>)- —