This is the story of what is happening in Little Rock, Arkansas, told by a white parent with children in the public schools. Barclay Key is a professor of history at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock.

Little Rock has a special place in our nation’s history. In 1957, three years after the Brown decision declaring “separate but equal” schools unconstitutional, nine black students attempted to enroll in Central High School. Governor Orval Faubus called out the Arkansas National Guard to prevent the students from entering. The NAACP won a federal district court injunction against Governor Faubus. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. urged President Dwight D. Eisenhower to intervene. President Eisenhower sent the 101st Airborne Division to protect the students and uphold the law.

Fast forward to to 2015. The schools of Little Rock are again under siege, different cast of characters. This it is about both race and power.

Parents have been trying to protect their public schools against a Walton takeover. What is the metaphor? Not David and Goliath. More like the lone young Chinese man who stood up against a long line of tanks during the suppression of the rebellion in Tienanmen Square.

Barclay Key writes::

“From the chaos of initial desegregation efforts to the white flight of the past few decades, Little Rock’s hopes for strong public schools have consistently been sacrificed on the altar of white supremacy. As a historian, I knew the general contours of this story before my family and I moved here in 2012. The story differs only in its details as one travels the country….

“One cannot possibly overlook the state’s role in suppressing black political power and local white elites supporting that suppression. Even though students in the LRSD have been majority black for forty years, a white majority controlled the school board until 2006. We had a democratically elected board with three new black members and a strong white ally. The state board of education replaced our democratically elected board with Tony Wood, the white state education commissioner. He literally had no specific plans for the LRSD or the “academically distressed” schools, outside of what was already occurring. There was no magic wand, no special scenario that he or the Arkansas Department of Education was prepared to implement.

“It’s worth noting, however, that the state immediately took one action. It appointed Baker Kurrus to chair a “budget efficiency advisory committee” for the LRSD. The district was not in financial distress. Cuts were looming because of the loss of those desegregation funds, but plans were already being developed by the elected board to minimize the effects of that loss. The state’s sudden concern over LRSD finances suggested fears over a progressive-minded school board with a facilities plan and firm commitment to equality that would almost certainly give a fair share of business to minority-owned companies for construction and renovation projects. Kurrus, a white businessman and attorney, previously served on the LRSD board for twelve years. The state, which had just complained of long-term dysfunction on the LRSD board, chose to appoint as superintendent a former white board member who served during some of the board’s most tumultuous—some might say dysfunctional—years….

“This point deserves emphasis: a majority black school board in a majority black school district was displaced by whites who accept the status quo about the education of many of our children. Democrats were responsible for the initial damage, but now Republicans have taken firm control of state government to continue the barrage. Mr. Wood resigned his position as state education commissioner and our new governor, Asa Hutchinson, appointed a white political crony named Johnny Key to take his place. His only qualification appears to be service on the state senate’s education committee and operation of a private Christian daycare. Indeed the governor announced his appointment before the law could be changed to make Key eligible to serve in this capacity. And by serve I mean make $130,000 per year….

“Now on the eve of another school year, the state just announced that it will renege on its contract with our teachers, citing financial worries. The negotiated agreement has been in place for fifty years, and these financial worries didn’t prevent Mr. Kurrus from giving teachers a one-time bonus of $350 in the spring. Most of our teachers deserved that and more, I’m sure, but it was irresponsible to give those bonuses and clearly intended to placate union leadership before this contract controversy. I’ve been around public education for all of my life, but I’m having a difficult time understanding how undermining our teachers’ financial stability, cutting their benefits, and targeting their union for destruction will help our “academically distressed” schools. We will neither attract nor retain the best teachers for our students. Even a casual observer must admit that the state of Arkansas seems hell-bent on destroying our school system, maintaining white supremacy, and keeping our most vulnerable children in a cycle of poverty. The vultures of privatization are circling.”

And so the story goes. The billionaires are buying the schools, the children, our democracy.

Where is the national media? 60 Minutes? Rachel Maddow? Anderson Cooper? The New York Times? The Washington Post?