Sunday, March 27, 2011

Extended Comments: Nick's Post

"Society:*Gives a curt nod to Wise before clearing his throat* Thank you. The American people respectfully deny your misinformed claim. We admit that there are some instances that might appear to be segregation, but we assure the court that it is not. Where parents choose to reside is their decision, and consequently, that is where their children enroll in school.  People are habitual, they return to their roots, make friends with people of the same social status and race as them, and then live near one another.  It is not due to any actions on the part of anyone else. It is their decision. There are no excuses. And blaming the white population at large of 'segregation' is an excuse.
(Above quote is by Wise)"

Nick’s blog was so cool I decided to use if for “extended comments”, in particular answering his question about what we should do to end segregation in schools.  I had heard about a lot of trouble that came about in regards to busing in Boston in the 1970s in an attempt to end segregation.  (Here is a Wikipedia link about it: ; while I am well aware that it is the much feared Wikipedia, I contend that this is a digital medium, and Wikipedia is a useful place to get a brief, decent overview of the idea.)  Basically the idea Nick is getting at and the issue about busing students was this: if a neighborhood is predominantly of one race causing the neighborhood school to be of that race, is that segregation? If so, what can be done to end it? 
As Bob Herbert points out, poor minority kids do a lot better when they go to schools of mostly white middle class kids.  Herbert doesn’t make this claim explicitly, but I think it can be inferred that the consequence of doing this will be that those poor minority kids will grow up to be successful adults of color.  Which is what everyone wants right? Kids of all races to grow up to be successful?
The argument against taking explicit measures to integrate schools is discussed by Nick, and the result of busing in Boston.  Don’t kids have a right to go to their neighborhood school? I want an integrated school, but I would pretty mad if I had to go from my home in Lincoln, to say South Kingstown to go to school every day.  Not only would the drive annoy me, but I wouldn’t be able to make local friends.  As a result, I think I would be pretty resentful, and as a result I would probably become a lot more racist.  It’s hard to say what the solution is here.        

1 comment:

  1. Mary, i agree with you on the last couple lines where you say you wouldnt want to go to a different school... it seems as though that would be the only solution to this issue, but i'm sure nobody would want to move schools away from their neighborhood and friends...