Sunday, July 01, 2007

Intergration Killed Black Education.


Last summer, my boss David -a truly phenomenal human being- said to me one of the best things a progressive minded person can do is start a school. The Supreme Courts decision on desegregation's makes this statement ever more relevant.


Concluding its current Term with a historic ruling on race in public policy, the Supreme Court divided 5-4 on Thursday in striking down voluntary integration plans in the public schools of Seattle and Louisville. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., wrote the majority opinion in the combined cases. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy did not join all of the majority opinion, but joined in the result. Kennedy suggested in a separate opinion that the Chief Justice's opinion, in part, "is at least open to the interpretation that the Constitution requires school districts to ignore the problem of de facto resegregation in schooling. I cannot endorse that conclusion."
Recent History
By the early ’90s, support in the federal courts for the central work of Brown — racial integration of public schools — began to rapidly expire. In a series of cases in Atlanta, Oklahoma City and Kansas City, Mo., frustrated parents, black and white, appealed to federal judges to stop shifting children from school to school like pieces on a game board. The parents wanted better neighborhood schools and a better education for their children, no matter the racial make-up of the school. In their rulings ending court mandates for school integration, the judges, too, spoke of the futility of using schoolchildren to address social ills caused by adults holding fast to patterns of residential segregation by both class and race.
Now The Libertarian is my L-school best friend. And I wanted to Karate chop his @ss on Friday while we were talking about this topic.

Him: Do you think that the all black journalism program discriminates against whites?
Me: The question is how do you define discrimination? So, In this instance No.

Him: How so?
Me: Because white people are not underrepresented in Law, Medicine, Business
or anything else.
Him: What about a basketball camp for chinese players only?
Me: Basketball isn't nearly as fundamental to life as education. And Black people have a legacy in this country that the Chinese, and for that matter anyone else. We are this countries oldest residents and most recent citizens.
Him: Do you think that should be the role of the government?

Me: If not them, then who the f*ck else is gonna do it?

Just by nature of his gp analysis, the governement shouldn't be involved in the citizens day to day affairs as little as possible.
I feel him on that in many instances, JUST NOT in this one.

But peep this.

If integration is an institutional problem, doesn't it require and institutional solution?
Institutional racism occurs where an institution adopts a policy, practice, or procedure that appears neutral on its face but has a disproportionately negative impact on a racial or ethnic minority group.
Sweet Jesus lit a fire underneath my @ss earlier this week when he

Peep how Juan Williams neo con @ss in the New York Times reflects on Thurgood Marshall's analysis re Brown v. Board:
If black children had the right to be in schools with white children, Justice Marshall reasoned, then school board officials would have no choice but to equalize spending to protect the interests of their white children.
What ended happening is that the Black kids ended up in schools w/ the poor white kids.

The education was STILL halfed @ss and damn near criminal.
Black people underestimated that white people would sacrifice THEIR poor by having them attend school with Negros.

Here is the rub yall. Again. I am going to have to fight to stay in school.
So this issue has IMMEASURABLE significance for me.

I have taken eery opportunity that has been handed to me since

So if IM HAVING PROBLEMS what the hell is the fate of the average Black/Brown kid?

Whenever I am in a disagreement with a school administrator about my progress,
standing or capability, I always ask myself,

"Would they be saying this to me if I was their child?"

"What advice would they be giving their daughter?"

I call it the daughter test. As in "would you like a particular young man if your daughter brought him home?"

Speaking of schools making decision as if their OWN children were students, there is a charter school in Manhattan that is removing the parent-boardmembers
and replacing them with boardmembers with public relations experience and fundraising experience.
My question is what happens to the level of parental engagement once they are removed from the board? How is their voice going to be heard?

How can people, who are NOT the parents of a children, care about said children?
The last forty years of public education have said that that is damn near impossible.

What bums me out abut the decision and the conversation with The Libertarian is that
he will be in a position of power one day.

And I wonder if he will take my point of view regarding Black people
and their lack of access to power into consideration when making decisions. In researching this post I came across a solution to Black Here is an idea.

For one reason, minorities are seriously underrepresented in the legal profession. For instance, only 4% of the nation’s lawyers are Black even though Blacks represent 13% of the population of the United States . This lack of representation has far ranging effects including limited access to power. Ever notice how many of the power brokers in the United States are lawyers?. Perhaps a more significant effect is ever growing distrust of the legal system by racial minorities, in significant part, because of the lack of lawyers and judges that look like them.
Affirmative action and test scores have been turned on their head at Lowell high school in 'Frisco. Lowell has had to figure out a way to reduce the number of chinese kids admitted. They were scoring too high on the admissions exam. Lowell is like the Stuyvesant of San Francisco. 'Erry body wanna go but only the selected few get in.
Proponents also point out that the majority of volunteer work and fundraising is done by the parents of Caucasian students, and the school would suffer were these parents' children to leave Lowell.
White mommas make a big @ssed difference at a school.
Our friend Jeff "Egg recepient #2" Chang, breaks down the Lowell situation here.

The bug out is that Asian students out score Blacks, White, Latinos on standardized tests across the boards so white people get heated, but have no room to talk because they STARTED THE standardized testing in the first place.
Led by Berkeley professor Ling-chi Wang, Asian American progressives pressured these universities to review their policies. Audits at Brown, Stanford, Harvard, and U.C. Berkeley later confirmed that campus officials made secretive decisions that negatively impacted Asians’ chances of being admitted. Asian admits were required to have higher test and grade scores than whites, giving whites a distinct advantage in a supposedly open competition for admission. (Not surprisingly, after the audits were made public, Asian admissions usually leaped.)

What is the racial make up of your high school?

What is the racial make up of your kids school?

Why do you think the civil rights leaders were so SHORT SIGHTED with regard to integration and public education?



Anonymous said...

Why do you think the civil rights leaders were so SHORT CITED with regard to integration and public education?

thats a good question.

part of the reason black folk in the late 60s (and still today) did not believe in the good intentions of the white world was due to the fact that the honorable elijah muhmmad and malcolm x had created a world where distrust of the white world became logical common sense. before the emergence of the noi, this was not the case . importantly, brown v. board happend in 1954, just one year after malcolm is released from prison. i really don't think the general distrust of the white world by black folk occured until the noi created an organization that facilitated such common sense thinking. the national state of black racial consciousness was simply not a point in 1954 to see that integration would be not be the answer to the educational problems of black folk.

M.Dot. said...

the national state of black racial consciousness was simply not a point in 1954 to see that integration would be not be the answer to the educational problems of black folk.
Your time line nails it.

IS that you Matt?

We were gettin harassed, burned, lynched, emmit tilled, Muhammed Ali'd, Josephine Bakered...where was the Black Skepticism- based on how we were treated publicly- of White People in power?

Anonymous said...

I jus sent you back a youple copies w/ some edits. um i hope they make sense. get back @ me w/ your thoughts or hit me up on AIM: Dookie Hendrix. I'd love to figure it all out in the closest thing to a conversation as possible. smell me?

M.Dot. said...

Dookie Hendrix
^^^ a problem

neo said...

I'm just aggy after reading all this.


We always gotta fight, fight, fight, fight for something...


I don't have it in me right now to say much..but..

it is true, for any upward mobility with regards to blacks we must be in positions of power. The more ppl like us that are there the better chances we have. However some of the few in there ain't doing jack. E.g. Thomas who actually favored the ruling against AF-action...

Anonymous said...

yeah its matt. is it that damn obvious?

We were gettin harassed, burned, lynched, emmit tilled, Muhammed Ali'd, Josephine Bakered...where was the Black Skepticism- based on how we were treated publicly- of White People in power?'

don't let me say that there was no black skepticism about the intensions of white folks. there ceratin was, has been since 1619 and will be until this shit is fixed.

i once had an old head tell me that the greatest accomplishment of elijah muhammad was the fact the had got black people to beilive that white folks were devils. now he didn't say this because he believes that all white folks are devils (because he does not.) he said that this was an important accomplishment because once black folk were convinced that white folk were devils it meant that black folk could not count on white folks to make their situations better.

i think that brown and what you call short sightedness was actually a necesarry moment in the historical evolution of black consciousness because without the failure of school integration the incredible agency assumed by black folk in the black power movement could not have happened. its time simply would not have come beacuse the failur if integration may not have been visible. would the world be a better place if such a movement had not been needed? absolutly. however, i think its important that people interested in justice begin to see struggle agaisnt domination is a historical process that builds upon what came before.

each historical achievment in struggle against oppression creates a new set of circumstances (i.e. the end of slavery and betrayal of reconstruction created the circumstance we know as jim crow. the struggle against jim crow racism set the stage for the great migration and the civil rights movement, which created the conditions for an urban struggle against racism to occur).

i think all the events you mentioned, along with the struggle against racism in the form of advocating integration set the stage for the devlopment of a higher stage of black racial consciousness. at the time they had yet to galvanize around each other. it took a national movement such as the noi to to articulate the reality of the situation to the masses of black people and simply confirm what black folk already knew. with emmit till and the 62 masque shootin in la, black folk were able say, "damn, its like this all over the country. not just down south." a national movement provided strength and a point from which to galvanize around.

sorry to be so long winded though.

Anonymous said...

very interesting once again.

My uncle the former dean of law of howard and Superior Court judge told an interesting tale at my sister's law school graduation reception. in brief it was the story of the first white woman to graduate from howard law when (white) women weren't allowed law degrees and she went on to found American University which of course banned black students upon its inception.....

This speech historical in content was important and relative to the fact that howard has and will continue to produce some of the great black legal minds, and stands on a great wealth of history that spurned ever greater growth in the legal community.

having grown up in the NOI i don't think that I would agree that Elijah Muhammad created the idea of the "white devil" he just made it okay to call a spade a spade.

Slavery, legal torture in the form of hangings, burning at the stake, cutting off gentitals and making postcards documents the white devil, he was ready made when he got here.

we as blacks, children of the diaspora were not invited members to the party of America, we were slaves and that alone has been a factor in the way in which our politics have been shaped.

my two cents!

Anonymous said...

yo thanks for clearing that up. i didn't mean to infer that he created the idea but as you said just made it okay to call a spade a spade. if you don't mind me asking, in what years did you grow up in the noi?

M.Dot. said...

anony #1 aka Matt,


Its obvious that you are who you are because I am noid and I watch everything:)

If BLK power is about cycles, then what IS about to pop off now?

without the failure of school integration the incredible agency assumed by black folk in the black power movement could not have happened.
But here is the rub.
Some schools failed.
Some were segregated and fine.
What some Black and white people don't realize is that WE LIVED AND WE ATE PRIOR TO :
a. Integration
b. Welfare
c. Being allowed INTO THEIR SCHOOLS.

We had our little aparthied existence and kept it moving.

Where is the economic analysis of the impact of substandard education on local and national economies?

I know what I would call it.
Black Men:
Good For Prisons, Bad for Taxes.

Anonymous said...

I have one simple response to the question you posed - no.

The fight to desegregate was not short sighted. The objective was to equally distribute resources to educate all. What the visionaries of that movement were not aware of was that American's would make a choice to trump progress of any poor people.

In a society that likened nothing like what we now know, nothing would have suggest 50 years ago that government would say: Great, let's leave all the workers children behind (no need to teach any blacks, whites, or others because they will never run our society).

I will also argue that the needs of schools to prepare children for a future life in a society - culturally, financially, and socially was not on the agenda.

When it comes to the 3r, we don't have issues what know what they are, we know you can learn them anywhere/anytime - the issue is if you can teach these topics to the whole person and that is the matter with integrated learning environments - they don't teach the whole child because they are not equip to handle culture, linguistic and social diversity.
Boys and girls are different.
Workers and owners are different.
Natives and immigrants are different.
If the way we live is different - once we admit that the way we learn is also different local communities wil start to take responsibility for educating their children, or perish...

Nexgrl said...,

I read this post and left it alone, came back and left it alone again. I have now read some of your comments.

Initally, I didn't post because my parent removed me from public school after the fourth grade.

My high school racial make-up, at the time 65% white, 35% hispanic, 4% black, 1% asian.

I don't have any children, but I have always said that if I did, they wouldn't attend public school.

Like you have said, I don't think the Civil Rights Leaders were short sighted. I think that they their arguments were based on the inequalities of the education at the time.

M.Dot. said...

@ ng.

1. I enjoy the fact that my writing tugged at you. I think it pleases Zora too.

2. Are you ambivalent about not attending public school?

3. Did you attend "private" or "catholic" school?

Nexgrl said...

I'm not ambivalent. I do realize now that my parents took me out of public school at the right time. I began to notice the teacher trying to steer me in a direction where I wouldn't excel. We were able to work at our own progress. If I went further than any other student in the lessons, she would tell me to wait for the other students. I was also bussed to a new school almost every year that was on the opposite side of town.

I went to catholic school. My elementary school was majority black students. My high school was all girls. That is where I think I missed out, but just on the socialization aspect. We had dances, but we were responsible for recruiting male attendance.

M.Dot. said...

I began to notice the teacher trying to steer me in a direction where I wouldn't excel. We were able to work at our own progress.

I swear, after Goldman Sach's I am starting a chain of math centers.

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