Tag Archives: segregation

Segregation in “christian” Schools

After schools were desegregated, in the South thousands of segregated private Charter Schools were built.

Things haven’t changed much.

Segregation Is Still Alive At These Christian Schools

Diversity is sorely lacking at many private Christian schools, some of which were originally founded to keep blacks out.

Nothing dismantles claims of “post-racial” colorblindness quite like white Christian schoolchildren casually debating how to say the n-word. A student from the First Academy in Orlando, Florida, was criticized recently on social media for an Instagram post asking whether it was more “respectful” to use the n-word with an “er” or an “a” at the end.

While the question was originally posted in June, it got renewed attention earlier this month when a New York Daily News columnist posted it on Twitter. Leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement quickly spread it, decrying the post as another example of the racism bubbling up across America. The furor prompted the private Christian school to release a statement on “race relations.”

Sadly, the Instagram post is not that surprising, given the typical racial makeup of many Christian schools and their history of segregation.

While Catholic schools have existed throughout U.S. history, private Christian schools emerged en masse in the aftermath of the civil-rights movement. The Supreme Court declared public-school segregation unconstitutional in its unanimous Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954. Many school systems, particularly across the South, resisted compliance while some families saw the handwriting on the wall and decided to act.

Fearful at the thought of their children mingling with black students, many white Christian families founded private “segregation academies” to skirt the law. Many were “Christian” institutions, and fundamentalist evangelicals founded several of the most prominent ones. Non-Catholic Christian schoolsdoubled their enrollments between 1961 and ’71.

Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell, for example, started Lynchburg Christian Academy in 1967, when his town’s public schools integrated. Because Brown did not apply to private schools, institutions like Falwell’s could practice segregation while still receiving federal tax benefits. But all of this changed with the series of Supreme Court decisions in the late ’60s andearly ’70s that forced public schools to integrate and declared racially discriminatory private schools ineligible for tax-exempt status.

Christian Schools Segregation

Despite pressure from the government, these private Christian schools refused to go quietly into the night. Some refused to cooperate with IRS inquiries, hiding their internal operations behind the banner of “religious freedom.” Others, such as Bob Jones University, proudly declared their racist policies. But most knew they needed to change their rhetoric in order to survive.

“During this period, private Christian schools had to construct a bigger rationale for their existence than wanting an all-white classroom,” says Seth Dowland, a religion professor and author of Family Values and the Rise of the Religious Right. “Leaders outside the South helped construct the rationale as combating secular humanism and their inculcating secularism and liberalism, even though the racial component was a huge part of the story as well.”

This ‘anti-liberalism’ line was enough to provide cover for these private Christian schools. Only a few actually incurred penalties from the IRS. And similar institutions flooded the American marketplace, positioning themselves as viable alternatives to public education for white families.

Between 1970 and 1980, enrollment in non-Catholic religious schools more than doubled, to 1.3 million from 561,000. And by the early 1980s, religious right leaders like Jerry Falwell and Tim LaHaye, bragged that evangelical Christians were opening new schools at a rate of three per day. While they figured out how to win the culture wars, these white Christian leaders figured they could retreat to private schools where they could teach children as they pleased.

These schools thrived throughout the following decades with predominately white student bodies and leadership. In a sweeping survey of Christian schools, journalist Paul Parsons estimated that minorities constituted less than 3 percent of the student population in most of these schools during the mid-1980s. In 1987, the Association for Christian Schools International’s executive board included 29 white people and exactly zero racial minorities.

That history has proven difficult to shake for today’s private Christian schools. The institutions are still overwhelmingly attended by children from wealthy white families. Forty-three percent of these private schools have student bodies that are at least 90 percent white. In many Southern Christian schools, not a single black person can be found. At others, only a handful of minority children attend.

These students are shaped by Christian schools curricula that purport to teach “traditional values.” Randall Balmer, a historian of religion at Dartmouth College and author of The Making of Evangelicalism, said many popular textbooks used in Christian schools teach American history in ways that privilege white culture. For example, the books often downplay the displacement of Native Americans or minimize slavery by noting its “positive effects,” such as introducing slaves to Christianity.

“Ideas matter, and they have consequences,” Balmer says. “If children are taught to heroicize European settlement in North America, it is inevitable that you’re going to have a particular view of people who are not a part of that wave of settlement.”

Dowland also surveyed major Christian school curriculum publishers and found “complaints about multiculturalism as a goal of public education.” As the University of New Hampshire historian Jason Sokol noted, “[Christian school] supporters wanted to create a world where racial tensions did not exist, so they built schools where racial differences had no place.”…Read the Rest Here

Leave a comment

Posted by on September 18, 2016 in The Definition of Racism, The New Jim Crow


Tags: , , , ,

How the Second Black Wall Street Died

Tulsa, Oklahoma was considered by many black historians to be the first black Wall Street. It had black owned banks, homes, businesses, and homes. It was destroyed in an act of white genocide when white rioters attacked and burned the town, killed hundreds of black residents, and destroyed the town beyond any hope of recovery.

The second Black Wall Street was Richmond, Virginia. Home of the first black millionaire, Maggie Walker. It met a far different fate – being a victim of the end of Segregation.

The St. Luke Penny Savings Bank in Richmond was one of the first black-owned banks in the United States.

The Rise and Fall of Black Wall Street

Richmond was once the epicenter of black finance. What happened there explains the decline of black-owned banks across the country.

On April, 3rd, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech in Memphis. In it, he urged African Americans to put their money in black-owned banks. It wasn’t his most famous line, but the message was clear: “We’ve got to strengthen black institutions. I call upon you to take your money out of the banks downtown and deposit your money in the Tri-State Bank. We want a ‘bank-in’ movement in Memphis … We begin the process of building a greater economic base.”

The next day, King was assassinated, and his hope of harnessing black wealth remains unfulfilled. Before integration, African Americans in cities like Richmond, Chicago, and Atlanta relied on black community banks, which were largely responsible for providing loans and boosting black businesses, churches, and neighborhoods. After desegregation, black wealth started to hemorrhage from these communities: White-owned banks were forced to open their doors to African Americans and the money that once flowed into black banks and back out to black communities ended up on Wall Street and other banks farther away.

“We started to lose a lot of our businesses and support for our businesses,” says Michael Grant, president of the National Bankers Association, a trade group representing nearly 200 minority and women-owned banks across the United States. “That was the toxic side of integration.” The financial meltdown of 2007 wiped out 40 percent of African American wealth in the United States, killing off many of these already-struggling community banks (they were not part of the big Wall Street bailout). Tri-State Bank in Memphis still exists, but it’s among the few that survived. Only 25 black-owned banks remain in the United States, according to the latest data from the FDIC, compared to 45 a decade ago. At their height, there were more than 100, says Grant.

The decline raises the question of whether these niche banks still have a place in modern America. I visited the Jackson Ward neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia, once dubbed America’s “Black Wall Street” and “the birthplace of black capitalism.” At the turn of the 20th century, it was one of the most prosperous black communities in the United States, with thriving theaters, stores, and medical practices. Richmond is where the first black banks opened, including one chartered to a former schoolteacher named Maggie Walker—the daughter of a freed slave. The St. Luke Penny Savings Bank, which Walker opened in 1903, made loans to qualified borrowers who were shunned by traditional banks, such as black doctors, lawyers, and entrepreneurs. St. Luke’s would eventually merge with other black banks and become Consolidated Bank and Trust. By the end of the 20th century, the bank was the last black-owned bank in Richmond and was struggling to compete with much bigger banks downtown. It had several troubled loans on its books and couldn’t raise enough capital to stay afloat. In 2005, a Washington, D.C.-based bank bought it, then a West Virginia-based bank took over in 2011 and renamed it Premier Bank. The last bank of “Black Wall Street” was gone.

Premier’s president, Darryl “Rick” Winston, says he too wonders what role black banks will play in the future. He once reviewed loans at Premier Bank when it was still the black-owned Consolidated Bank and Trust. At one point, he says, the bank had $111 million in assets and seven branches. Winston, who is African American, left for a consulting job in 2000, and returned last year to take over as regional president after the buyout. Winston drove me around Jackson Ward, pointing out the shuttered businesses that once made Richmond a bastion of black wealth and culture. “Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong stayed there,” he said, pointing to the former site of the Eggleston Hotel, one of the few upscale lodgings for blacks in the Jim Crow south. As we drove by, a construction crew was busy building a mixed-used complex that will house 31 apartments, 10 townhomes, several stores, and restaurants.

Two blocks away, Premier Bank remains in the same brick building as its predecessor. Much of the bank’s staff is the same. Winston says it’s important to make sure his employees reflect the community they serve, even if it’s no longer a black-owned institution. That’s in part because African American borrowers still face immense bias in the banking and lending industry, he says. “It’s more subtle. A black person goes into a mainstream bank and the loan officer might think of rejecting their application before it’s even complete,” he says.

Racial bias in the lending industry remains all too common, despite legislation aimed at preventing it. In 1992, a landmark study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston examined 4,500 mortgage-loan applications and discovered that black borrowers were twice as likely to get rejected for loans than white borrowers with similar credit histories. More recently, an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts found that banks in Boston and across the state of Massachusetts continue to reject black and Latino borrowers for home mortgages at a much higher rate than whites….Read the Rest Here

The author is partially correct. The partial end of segregation did lead to black folks putting their money into white banks. White owned banks offered services, and capabilities the smaller black owned banks couldn’t. But the real destruction of community banking started under Raygun with “deregulation”. the destruction of “brick and mortar laws”, and the changes in the interstate banking laws which allowed the big banks to spread like wildfire across the country, buying out of shuttering small banks.

Now we have banks which are “too big to fail”, and a credit system which segregates by other means.

“deregulation” and “privatization” are nothing more than another means of domestic terrorism and financial genocide against minorities.

Leave a comment

Posted by on September 4, 2016 in Black History, Domestic terrorism


Tags: , , , , , ,

Dealing With Segregation in NYC

In actuality, the most segregated school systems in America are in the Northern Big Cities. Hyper-segregation at the neighborhood level leads to segregated schools. This enforces, and supports different outcomes for black and white children. While black kids certainly don’t need white kids around to learn…It seems far too many school administrators and teachers need white kids around to teach.

Why Liberal New York City’s Schools Are Among the Nation’s Most Segregated


New York City’s public schools are among the most segregated in the country – a fact that flies in the face of the city’s history as a bastion of progressivism. For this podcast, I spoke with former ProPublica reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones, now a New York Times Magazine staff writer, about her decision to delve deeply and personally into that paradox.

Hannah-Jones wrote about the public school her daughter attends in New York City, PS 307. The school is populated by poor children of color from nearby housing projects. It also became the site of community tension when predominantly white and well-off parents living nearby were pushed into its school zone to ease crowding at another school.


Leave a comment

Posted by on June 28, 2016 in The New Jim Crow


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Jim Crow, Charter Schools, and Race

Charter Schools were initially set up throughout the South as a methodology to try and defeat integration and Civil Rights. The function of todays’ hyper-segregated Charter Schools really isn’t any different.

Edmund Lee, 4th Grader

Jim Crow lives on in Missouri: Student banned from St. Louis charter school because he’s black

Missouri law forbids black students in certain districts from attending, echoing charter schools’ racist history

The legacy of Jim Crow laws lives on, five decades after they officially ended.

Edmund Lee is a third-grader at Gateway Science Academy in St. Louis, Missouri, a charter school he has attended since he was in kindergarten. Yet his family recently learned that he will no longer be able to attend the charter school because he is black.

Lee’s family is moving to a new school district, where decades-old state laws do not allow black students to attend charter schools.

“When I read the guidelines I was in shock,” Lee’s mother LaShieka White told a local Fox affilliate. “I was crying.”

School officials say they are unable to override the state law. But the school’s principal and staff have come out in support of the young boy and his family.

“To not see his face in the halls next year would be extremely sad,” Lee’s third grade teacher told local media. “The family is saying they want to stay. I don’t understand why they can’t.”

The young boy’s mother created a petition, imploring Missouri state officials: “Don’t let race determine my son’s enrollment.”

“My son Edmund is an awesome young man. He currently has a 3.83 GPA, and has above average testing scores in language arts, math, and science. Edmund is very loving and the first to extend a helping hand if a fellow student needs help,” White writes in the petition.

“So imagine our shock when we found out Edmund would no longer be allowed to attend Gateway Science Academy because he is African-American,” she continues.

“The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education should not deny my son admission based on his race,” White adds. “We are going to show Edmund that his parents, community, and people across the country will fight for what is right.”

As of Thursday morning, more than 20,000 people had signed the petition. Some staff members at the charter school have signed it as well.

This incident echoes the racist history of charter schools, which were used at the time of desegregation in order to continue running de facto white-only schools.

Critics say charter schools — which are strongly backed by large corporations and hedge funds — not only undermine public education and leave poor students with access to less resources and opportunities; they also reinforce racism and segregation.

The Civil Rights Project, a project at the University of California, Los Angeles, found in a 2010 report titled “Choice without Equity: Charter School Segregation and the Need for Civil Rights Standards” that, while “segregation for blacks among all public schools has been increasing for nearly two decades, black students in charter schools are far more likely than their traditional public school counterparts to be educated in intensely segregated settings.”

“At the national level, 70 percent of black charter school students attend intensely segregated minority charter schools (which enroll 90-100 percent of students from under-represented minority backgrounds), or twice as many as the share of intensely segregated black students in traditional public schools,” the report noted.

The Civil Rights Project points out, “Patterns in the West and in a few areas in the South, the two most racially diverse regions of the country, also suggest that charters serve as havens for white flight from public schools.”

1 Comment

Posted by on February 25, 2016 in The New Jim Crow


Tags: , , , , ,

Travelling During Jim Crow

As a kid growing up during Segregation, I attended a segregated elementary school. My parents were both teachers, and every summer meant an adventure travelling somewhere by car or train to one or the other location across the US. I got to see the Tetons, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and many of the great sights around the country as part of these trips. I recall my parents planning such trips, including stopovers at cities or towns along the way. We often stayed with relatives, if any were located in a town or city along the way, in a reciprocal agreement among family members.

Cruise Boat at Tappahannock Dock

The day of the trip, I remember my Mother always packing a cooler with drinks and food. In Virginia, along the old Rt 1, and a number of other Highways such as Rt 29 heading towards Charlottesville there were frequent pullovers with picnic tables and grills. Since the Restaurants were segregated, these provided places for black families to stop and picnic along the way, such as to avoid unknown towns where there may or may not have been facilities where they were allowed to eat. Travelling out of state, to except the big cities was an exercise in planning to find the “black community area” where there would be Motels and eateries for black folks. There were guides published by several enterprising outfits which listed black owned (and therefore safe) businesses in the various towns and cities. Headed south to my mother’s home, we always stopped in a certain town for gas or food. That town was Taphannock, Virginia – which at one point enjoyed a bustling black owned business environment supported in part by Casino Boats which plied the river.

So there were places to eat, stay, and the local gas station would sell you gas (for the most part).

I never saw a Green Book, but I saw several similar publications during that time. We never traveled South – so I have no idea how conditions were in the Southeast.



The forgotten way African Americans stayed safe in a racist America

For African American travelers, much of the U.S. could be a hateful and dangerous place, even into the 1960’s.

Jim Crow laws across the South mandated that restaurants, hotels, pool halls and parks strictly separate whites and blacks. Lynchings kept blacks in fear of mob violence. And there were  thousands of so-called “sundown towns,”including in northern states like Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan, which barred blacks after dark, an unofficial rule reinforced by the threat of violence.

So in 1936, a postal worker named Victor Green began publishing a guide to help African American travelers find friendly restaurants, auto shops and accommodations in far-off places. Green dubbed the guide after himself – the “Green Book” – and published it for decades. Green says he was inspired by the Jewish press, which had long published information on restricted places.

The images below come from the New York Public Library, which recently digitized 21 volumes of the Green Book, from 1937 to 1964.

Jim Crow laws across the South mandated that restaurants, hotels, pool halls and parks strictly separate whites and blacks. Lynchings kept blacks in fear of mob violence. And there were thousands of so-called “sundown towns,” including in northern states like Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan, which barred blacks after dark, an unofficial rule reinforced by the threat of violence.

So in 1936, a postal worker named Victor Green began publishing a guide to help African American travelers find friendly restaurants, auto shops and accommodations in far-off places. Green dubbed the guide after himself – the “Green Book” – and published it for decades. Green says he was inspired by the Jewish press, which had long published information on restricted places.

The images above come from the New York Public Library, which recently digitized 21 volumes of the Green Book, from 1937 to 1964.
The Green Book included listings for hotels, restaurants, gas stations, bars and beauty salons across the U.S., as well as travel articles, paid advertisements, and stories about local attractions. The guide first focused on New York, but was gradually expanded to cover the whole U.S. The first edition said on its cover, “Let’s all get together and make motoring better,” while the 1949 edition featured a quote from Mark Twain – “Travel is fatal to prejudice.”

While poverty and discrimination kept many African Americans from owning cars, a new black middle class rose up in the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s, and many of them were eager to escape poor treatment on public transportation.

Yet car ownership came with its own challenges. Many African Americans would pack meals, blankets and gasoline in their cars on trips in case they ended up somewhere where they wouldn’t be served or didn’t want to ask.

Green Books were sold at Esso service stations, one of the few gas station chains that served African Americans. The first edition retailed for a quarter, and Green soon upped the price to 75 cents.

Though the Green Book was a life-saving tool at the time, it’s also a vivid reminder of just how discrimination and prejudice made — and still make — the world much smaller and less free.

Though Green’s list was far from comprehensive, many states have only a handful of listings, and the guesthouses and motels featured in the photos look small and somewhat shabby today.

In the introduction to the 1949 edition, Green writes: “There will be a day sometime in the near future when this guide will not have to be published.”

“That is when we as a race will have equal opportunities and privileges in the United States. It will be a great day for us to suspend this publication for then we can go wherever we please, and without embarrassment. But until that time comes we shall continue to publish this information for your convenience each year.”

The last edition, published in 1963, was an international edition which described itself as a guide to “vacation without aggravation.” Green died in 1960, and the book gradually lost some relevance after the creation of a national highway system in 1956, which meant travelers no longer ventured as much into cities and towns, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed discrimination in hotels, restaurants and other public accommodations…See More including interactive maps here


Posted by on January 10, 2016 in Black History


Tags: , , , , , ,

Black Conservative Snidely Whiplash Repeats White Supremacist in Rant

For those of you who may be too young to remember an animated series on the “Rocky and Bullwinkle Show” show called ” Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties“, the principal villain in the show was “Snidely Whiplash” best known for tying innocent vixen Nell to the railroad tracks to be run over.

Never ones to stray from character, or be particularly inventive, we have the black Snidely – Peter Kirsanow, who was the right’s Lawn Jockey on the “U.S. Commission on Civil Rights” to support the racist groups under the Bushit Administration. So no surprise the black Snidely is quoting white supremacists, such a Jonah Goldberg of the racist infested National Review.

Civil Rights Official Cited By Scalia Dismisses Black Lives Matter Protesters As ‘Precious Little Flowers’

When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Wednesday suggested that black college students should choose a “less-advanced” or “slower-track” institution, he referenced a brief filed by lawyers Gail Heriot and Peter Kirsanow, two opponents of affirmative action who say that the policy discourages black students from studying science and engineering.

It turns out that Kirsanow, who is black, is also not a fan of minority students protesting institutionalized racism, as he noted while discussing the Fisher case Monday on a panel at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

Responding to an audience question about the Black Lives Matter movement and students “browbeating” for reforms on college campuses, he questioned the existence of institutionalized racism in education and dismissed the Black Lives Matter protesters as “precious little flowers.”

“They are these precious little flowers that believe they’ve been discriminated against, 50 years after passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act,” he said. “It is incredible what we’re countenancing here.”

Calling institutionalized racism “a feeling,” he later added: “I keep hearing about white privilege. The most privileged students in schools in 2015 America are Hispanic and black students by far.”

Both Heriot and Kirsanow serve on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and were appointed by President George W. Bush.

During the court’s oral arguments on Fisher vs. University of Texas at Austin, an affirmative action case in which the plaintiff, Abigail Fisher, claims she was rejectedfrom the University of Texas at Austin in part because she is white, Scalia suggested that black students should not receive preference because they fare poorly at elite schools. He drew from several briefs filed in favor of Fisher and arguing against affirmative action, including Heriot and Kirsanow’s brief, which cites data to claim that fewer black students pursue science and engineering fields when admitted through racial preferences, and that black students in these fields do not come from prestigious research universities.

“One of the briefs pointed out that most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas,” Scalia said. “They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they’re being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them.”

Scalia then argued that because of that, schools like the University of Texas “ought to have fewer” black students.

“I don’t think it stands to reason that it’s a good thing for the University of Texas to admit as many blacks as possible,” he said.

On the panel, Kirsanow also discussed the “mismatch” theory, proposed by UCLA law professor Richard Sander, whose brief Scalia also cited on Wednesday. It claims that minority students admitted to elite universities under affirmative action find classes too rigorous and eventually have to drop out. That theory has been widely debunked.

Further, while it is true that the majority of Black graduates in the STEM curricula graduate from HBCU’s – the majority of those gradates who do matriculate to the Masters and Phd levels from non-HBCUs, and a  portion finish their PHd’s at elite universities. Unfortunately there are few African-American STEM graduates.

Another Lawn Jockey of the Month award for Snidely…

Black Conservative Jock Strap Award



Leave a comment

Posted by on December 11, 2015 in Black Conservatives


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Why Charter Schools Won’t Die

While at one of the downtown festivals a few weeks ago the subject of Charter Schools came up in casual conversation with a white friend who is involved in local politics. Over the past several years, the Charter School movement has been a disaster in DC, with one school after another either failing, or failing to provide the same level of education for the City’s bad Public Schools. My friend responded that the Charter School movement was now being driven by Gentrification. That the young, hipster white parents moving into the old neighborhoods didn’t want any part of the failing DC Public School System, and as such were the force behind continuing Charters.

This article sums up what is happening…

Burroughs School in NE Washington, DC in 1955

Why White Parents Won’t Choose Black Schools

Last year when I attempted to pick my daughter up from school, the volunteers in the carpool line tried to put a fourth grader in my car, not the four year old I was attempting to retrieve. Both of us were vehemently shaking our heads, both of us looked totally confused, but the man with the radio would not be deterred. There are only a handful of white kids at my daughter’s school, and only two of them are car-riders. One of them gets picked up by her mom, the other, her dad. This white girl went with the white mom, and I was a white mom. This must be the right van.

This slightly awkward, but hilarious interaction strikes at the heart of the change in our neighborhood. While we were once one of the only white people in the neighborhood, most of the abandoned houses are now snapped up and fixed up by young white couples, often with kids. Those kids don’t go to our school.

Though my daughter is not the only white kindergartner in my neighborhood, she is the only white kindergartner in her class. My new neighbors, ones who come into the neighborhood raving about how much they love it, do not send their kids to the school. While they love my neighborhood, they do not love my school.

A friend and I were recently chatting about her move to the neighborhood next to mine. I was surprised that she didn’t even look across the dividing line road we live about two blocks from. She shrugged her shoulders, “yeah, I really like your house but our real estate agent said we shouldn’t even look there because of the schools.” Because of the schools. The school I send my daughter to. She did not look at the houses with more square footage and a smaller price tag because someone who has never been in the school doesn’t find it suitable.

This summer, when I told the other moms at the pool where my kids went to school. I was repeatedly told to move them. This from women who had never ever set foot in my school. They had not had contact with our deeply passionate, and very responsive principal, had not met the pre-k teachers who my daughter loves more than Santa. They had not toured the various science labs, or listened as their child talked incessantly about robotics. They don’t know that every Tuesday Juliet comes home with a new Spanish song to sing and bothers me until I look up the colors in Spanish if I can’t remember them from High school. Juliet loves her school. Her mother, a teacher at a suburban school, and her father, a PhD candidate at the state university, both find the school completely acceptable, more than acceptable. We love it too.

But my neighbors will not send their kids there and my friends won’t even move into the neighborhood. They will whisper about it. They will tell their friends not to go there. They will even tell a stranger that she should move her kids immediately as they both wait for their children to come down the water slide. But they will not give the neighborhood school a chance. They will even go to great lengths to avoid the neighborhood school.

In July, through the neighborhood list serve I got invited to attend the charter school exploration meeting. A group of parents were attempting to start a charter school to center on diversity. They wanted a Spanish program and a principal that was very invested in the neighborhood. After inquiring I discovered the local elementary school had not even been contacted. The one with a principal who left his high profile high school job and came back to his neighborhood to an elementary school where he immediately implemented a Spanish language program. Before starting their own charter school, not one person had bothered even contacting the school already in existence. The school that has made huge strides, and could do even better with some parents who had this kind of time and know how. No one was interested in the school of the neighborhood.

The same people who were questioning the school I picked for my girls and starting their own charter school, wanted to talk to me about the This American Life Podcast about segregated schools. They wanted to talk to me about things I already knew. Our schools are more segregated than they have ever been. Our educational system is deeply inequitable. Things are only getting worse. They shook their concerned liberal head in sadness wondering what they could do. Then they made sure their child got into the very white, pretty affluent charter school that is not representative of their neighborhood. When one didn’t exist, they took their resources and began creating one.

When I am able to move past the anger, the frustration that people are talking about a school they know nothing about, I listen to what they say. Behind all the test score talk, the opportunity mumbo jumbo that people lead with, I feel like what is actually being said, and what is never being said is this: That school is too black. …The rest here…

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 19, 2015 in The New Jim Crow, The Post-Racial Life


Tags: , , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: