Shit that pisses me off:
TOPEKA, Kan. — Sixty years after the Supreme Court outlawed “separate but equal” schools for blacks and whites, civil rights advocates say American schools are becoming increasingly segregated, while the first lady, Michelle Obama, lamented that “many young people are going to schools with kids who look just like them.”
“Today, by some measures, our schools are as segregated as they were back when Dr. King gave his final speech,” Mrs. Obama told 1,200 graduating high school seniors Friday here in the city that gave rise to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case.
In a speech that was part commencement address, part policy pronouncement and part journey into her own past, Mrs. Obama said that Brown’s advances were being reversed. “Many districts in this country have actually pulled back on efforts to integrate their schools, and many communities have become less diverse,” she said, leading to schools that are less diverse.
“And too often,” Mrs. Obama said, “those schools aren’t equal, especially ones attended by students of color which too often lag behind.”
Today about four in 10 black and Latino students attend intensely segregated schools, the federal Department of Education reported on its official blog on Friday, adding that only 14 percent of white students attend schools that could be considered multicultural.
“We have slowly and very steadily slipped backward,” said Catherine E. Lhamon, the department’s assistant secretary for civil rights. “All over the country we are seeing more and more racially segregated schools.”
For Mrs. Obama, too, the visit was personal. She was born in Chicago at a time when public schools were still resisting integration. By the time she entered high school, the city — under pressure from the federal government — opened an integrated magnet school for high achievers, which Mrs. Obama credits with setting her on a path to Princeton and Harvard.
There was a time in this country when if you were white you went to one school and if you were black you went to a different school, even if you were next-door neighbors or lived across the street from the other school. That was de jure segregation. It was struck down in schools before I (or either of the Obamas) was born. Later the ban on segregation was extended to all areas of life.
After segregation in schools ended kids of all races went to whatever the local neighborhood school was. But since neighborhoods were still de facto segregated, the schools the schools were de facto segregated too. Even worse, those horribly racist white people were moving out of the cities into the suburbs, leaving minorities behind. (The minorities were free to move too, but many of them couldn’t afford it.)
So every village, hamlet and wide spot in the road with more than two schools started apportioning school attendance districts according to racial criteria. This is commonly known as “busing” because many kids were bused across town in order to achieve a proper racial balance in each school. Those were good times. I was about 8 years old when busing came to Merced.
Some people didn’t want their kids bused across town. Most of these busing opponents were white. They were also Democrats living in what we now call “blue” states like Massachusetts and Illinois. The City of Chicago has been firmly in the grip of the Democratic party since before they invented electricity.
By the time they were having busing riots in the North, the South was already desegregated. Kansas, by the way, was strongly pro-Union and abolitionist during the Civil War. Go figure.
De jure segregation was a very bad thing and it needed to stopped. But people are weird and they don’t always do what the experts think they should do. Go look at the lunchroom of an integrated high school and you’ll see the students self-segregating by age, race and gender. Nobody is making them do that, they just do it.
Diversity is a wonderful concept, but is it really appropriate for the government to mandate it? Strike down the barriers, but let people make their own choices. Right now they are trying to enforce racial and gender diversity in every school, occupation and neighborhood, and anyone who objects is denounced as a racist, a sexist, or both.
Worst of all, none of the stuff they are doing seems to have made the least bit of difference in eliminating poverty, crime and illiteracy. Remember Trayvon Martin and his girlfriend Rachel Jeantel? I’m pretty sure that Miami schools are desegregated.
But wait! There’s more!
Mooch and Barry always have to make it about themselves:
She told the students in Topeka that when she was feeling discouraged, she liked to “take a step back and remind myself” of all the progress she had seen.
“I think about my mother, who, as a little girl, went to segregated schools in Chicago and felt the sting of discrimination,” she said. “I think about my husband’s grandparents, white folks born and raised right here in Kansas — products themselves of segregation,” who helped raise a biracial grandson.
“And then,” Mrs. Obama said, “I think about how that child grew up to be the president of the United States, and how today, that little girl from Chicago is helping to raise her granddaughters in the White House.”
Isn’t that inspirational?