Thursday, September 25, 2014

School Dis-integration


The Connecticut Post likes to feature statistical studies on its Sunday front page. This past week it ran a lengthy article complete with appropriate bar chart that indicated that schools in Fairfield County were still largely segregated.

Thus, sixty years after the famous Brown vs. Board of Education decision that outlawed so-called separate but equal segregated schools in the South, the population of the Bridgeport Connecticut public schools is largely Black and Hispanic. At the same time the smaller communities surrounding Bridgeport have a school population made up largely of White students.

In typical fashion the CT Post followed up this shocking revelation with an editorial a couple of days later that bemoaned the situation and called for remedial action. Interestingly, the Post article included interviews with two older black men who both had attended segregated schools in the South as children. Both men praised the education they had received, and believed that it was superior to what students were getting in Bridgeport today. One even claimed that his all black school was superior to the white one in his South Carolina hometown,

Neither in the article nor in the subsequent editorial did the Post comment on or even realize the implications of the evidence provided by these two men. Is it possible that the whole school integration movement has been the problem and not the solution? Despite all sorts of social engineering involving vast expenditures of time and money, is it possible that school integration has been a disaster for three generations of black children?

Today more than 70% of black children are born out of wedlock to single mothers many of whom are little more than children themselves. Some are grandmothers before the age of forty. Today more than 70% of the inmates in American prisons are black men. Today on the streets of cities like Chicago, young black men are killing each other at alarming rates.

I was still in college when the implications of Brown vs. Board of Education began to be felt in northern cities. In these cities there were no laws requiring segregated schools, but there was what was called “de-facto” segregation. In the North children went to their neighborhood schools and the neighborhoods reflected the racial and ethnic make up of those cities.

Although there was often racial imbalance in the neighborhood elementary schools, by the time students went to high school, they would usually all attend the same high school. My wife grew up in the city of White Plains in nearby Westchester county. Pictures from her high school yearbook show a school much more integrated than most urban schools today. The school’s excellent football team reflected the racial balance in the city where about 10% of the population was black. The class President was an outstanding black student. He and other former black students attended her fiftieth reunion a few years ago, and most of them seemed to have been successful at making it in American society.

Nevertheless, in the sixties it was decreed that to achieve true integration children had to be bused out of their neighborhood communities into schools in other neighborhoods in order to achieve true racial equality and so-called “upward mobility.” This policy inevitably led to the white flight from the cities that is a matter of historical record.

You can call the Whites “rascists” but whether they were or not begs the question. Political scientists and sociologists like the ones interviewed in the CT Post article should have, with all their learning and studies, been able to predict the White flight and its consequences. I don’t think any proponent of integrated schools at the time imagined the terrible consequences that ensued.

Integration destroyed community. It destroyed both white and black communities in the cities. It can be argued that without community and the consensus it brings, it will be almost impossible to educate young children. Nowadays, everyone talks about and praises the value of “diversity.” It has become a sacred cow that must be accepted on faith. Yet, the testimony of the two men cited but ignored in the CT Post article is not irrelevant. A community is essential to education but it cannot be created by judicial order.

Moreover, as the population of American cities like Bridgeport became largely made up of former minorities, the white politicians, policemen, firemen, civil servants, and teachers kept their union jobs in the cities. These upwardly mobile positions would be largely closed to Blacks and Hispanics graduating from the city schools. What could they do to make a living after graduation? A handful might succeed in athletics but many more had no alternative but the drug trade. For young black women the choices were even fewer.

Actually, the proponents of school integration were guilty of a kind of racism of their own. Without saying it, they assumed that Blacks like the men quoted in the article would not be able to rise out of poverty unless they were provided with the example of White students. Weren’t they saying that Blacks were really inferior to Whites? Or was it that “diversity” became a goal in itself, more important than a good education?

If a White Supremacist had planned an attack on the Black community in America sixty years ago, he could hardly have wrecked more havoc than White Liberals and Black activists did in their pursuit of integrated schools and diversity. Yet, the local Professors cited in the CT Post article could only call for more of the same. Instead of local involvement and control of public schools, they want larger mega school districts where children will be bused even further away from their local communities.


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