Friday, December 15, 2006

"If It's Voluntary, It's Not Segregation"

There's an Afro-centric "school within a school", as reported by the Chicago Tribune. It's open to everyone, but only blacks have signed up for it. Some question whether that results in segregation.

"There's a can-do attitude here," said Supt. Hardy Murphy, who heads Evanston/Skokie District 65. He balked at the notion that the program reintroduces segregation by race. "If it's voluntary, it's not segregation," Murphy said.

Really? I wonder if school officials in Seattle and Louisville, who are arguing modern-day busing before the Supreme Court, would agree? I mean, people can live wherever they want. Since it's voluntary, it's not segregation--so why would you bus a student across town, on the basis of his/her race, just to achieve some racial balance in a school? There's no segregation involved.

Personally, I think the idea behind this school is ridiculous. As I've said on other posts, students need to know that they can accomplish something to be proud of--not be "proud" of something that someone who might have looked like them on a different continent a couple of hundred years ago did.

But if the parents want this school, and the district provides it, more power to them. I just find it entertaining to note that Supt. Hardy's comment about segregation is completely at odds with the liberal elite today, especially in education.

1 comment:

allen said...

This'll poop out before too long now that the value of race is being degraded and legal enforcement of racial segregation is being dismantled. It's also the second step in assimilation.

First there's enforced segregation. Then there's self-segregation and finally the group-identity organizations become a fun place to hang out with people who have last names similar to yours.

Right now blacks are coming to the tail end of the self-segregation period. On college campuses there are black fraternities and sororities, black student organizations and other examples of self-segregation. But segregation carries a price tag and the people unwilling to pay the price learn to ignore the differences on which the segregation, or self-segregation, is based.

When presented with the option of joining a small, black fraternity or a big fraternity, the former gets the nod when there's no choice or when race has a significant value. But when neither apply, when Jim Crow laws are struck down and the insularity, isolation and small-town intrusiveness of self-segregation starts to loom larger then the value of belonging, that's when the organizations based on these arbitrary differences start to dissolve.

My guess is that it's already happening.