“While we think the enforced separation of the races, as applied to the internal commerce of the State, neither abridges the privileges or immunities of the colored man, deprives him of his property without due process of law, nor denies him the equal protection of the laws, within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment, we are not prepared to say that the conductor, in assigning passengers to the coaches according to their race, does not act at his peril,”1
“We consider the underlying fallacy of the plaintiff's argument to consist in the assumption that the enforced separation of the two races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority.”2 “If this be so, it is not by reason of anything found in the act, but solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction upon it.”3
The judges justified their decision through several reasons. The first was that the act of forcing a person to sit in a different section based on their race was not only lawful but also a reasonable decision. They also reasoned that this act was not humiliating and that it didn’t “stamp” anyone with a “badge of inferiority”. Thirdly, they argued that only African-Americans see it as such. However, Justice Harlan’s dissent towards the ruling of the Supreme Court proves the inherent racism of Justice Brown’s opinion.
“Everyone knows that the statute in question had its origin in the purpose, not so much to exclude white persons from railroad cars occupied by blacks, as to exclude colored people from coaches occupied by or assigned to white persons.”4
“It is one thing for railroad carriers to furnish, or to be required by law to furnish, equal accommodations for all whom they are under a legal duty to carry. It is quite another thing for government to forbid citizens of the…