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Friday, June 15, 2007

Reversing Faux Integration

Dr. Clayton Wilcox is directly responsible for this blog.

A couple of years ago, he started a blog in an attempt to encourage more parental and community participation. Many of us, including Michelle, UWL, and Senore Caiman/Herr Krok, and Always Questioning were participants in the forum. We grew frustrated because "Clayt", as he is known to those that are close to him, never maintained or monitored the blog and it was continual chaos. Eventually he closed down that blog, later opening another one.

It was, perhaps, an unfortunate introduction to Clayt, because the community instantly perceived him as a bumbling idiot, lacking the ability to control himself or others. Teachers grew to hate him quickly, rebelling against his idea to link pay increases to how well the children did in their FCAT scores.

Clayt is in the news again.

This time he's reversing faux integration. For once, I agree with him. As the St. Pete Times wrote, "Pinellas school superintendent Clayton Wilcox said busing has resulted in "faux integration," where black and white kids attend the same schools but generally separate at lunch tables and in classrooms."

This faux integration has been practiced since WE were young, and just as it was ineffective then, it remains ineffective now. Of course this is all predicated on the assumption that the Supreme Court "will no longer allow school districts to assign children to schools based on their race. A ruling on that is expected before the court recesses this month."

Interestingly, local studies have shown that people consistently want to locate their children in schools relatively close to their homes. Black people have said repeatedly that they'd rather not have their kids shipped off to a white school across the county, and white people also agree that location is a much higher priority to them than racial integration. Why force integration upon people who don't wish for it?

This goes against years of political correctness. We have been taught that forced integration will or may change the way the different races view each other. Time has shown us otherwise. We have been taught that it doesn't matter what people WANT, it's what they NEED. We have become officious busybodies, blithely prescribing bitter medicine to cure an illness that cannot be cured with that medicine.

Forced faux integration ignores the truths that we don't always want to hear or see. People are resistant to such integration because they don't like being forced to mix with others that they have little to nothing in common with.

However, this becomes a problem for people who want to arise above and beyond the restrictions that their own cultures impose upon them. As Thomas Sowell pointed out in "Black Rednecks, White Liberals", the black culture has repeatedly reinforced the idea that education and good behavior are "white" traits. How much more inbred will our black youths become if they're allowed to retreat to an all-black school?

These are questions not easily answered.

12 comments:

Herr Krokodil said...

Saur,

I lived in South St. Pete for 6-years so I feel I’m entitled to pseudo-racist thoughts. Kind of like that journalist that Eric Deggans is trying to get stabbed. But I digress, the reason this country is in the mess it is in is because of integration and the liberal media.

The only thing integration accomplished was that it took the impressionable poor whites and turned them into a lawless group that have no respect for their fellow man like the blacks.

I will say that if I was a dumb descendent of slaves I’d probably be a lawless thug too. You sure make a better living stealing other peoples stuff and selling crack then working at the car wash or McDonald’s.

Unlike integration, forcing employers to hire unqualified blacks for positions has been a successful program. Admittedly it makes dealing with local, state and national government offices a big headache but it has gotten blacks good jobs with defined benefit pension plans.

I’m going into town for a smoothie and a pretzel and then to Dick’s so don’t expect a reply anytime soon.

Excellent post.

Ed Abbey said...

I'm probably a little out of my knowledge base on this one. I don't know if it is state or national law but here we have open enrollment which allows students to go to the school of their choice (with some restrictions) which effectively negates segregation. If you don't like your assigned school, you and your tax dollars can go to another public school. I think this is the current solution to the old segregation problem.

AQ said...

Ok - I had to delete and repost because spelling errors drive me crazy - especially when they are mine!

I'm so fed up with the racial discussions. My kids, especially the young ones, don't see color except to describe a friend. Then they might say he's brown, or dark skinned, and then only if they are asked for a physical description. It's not until society began teaching my older ones that there "is a difference" that they thought in terms of race. And what do I mean by society teaching them? I mean race ratios in schools and affirmative action stories in the news.

The culture differences, if any, have been mostly socioeconomic to them. I think that the fact that society refuses to let this go is what continues to perpetuate the problem. Many kids are now racially mixed, so it so much different than it was when I was a kid.

The Lazy Iguana said...

I think that the usefulness of forced integration has run its course. At first it WAS needed. There was a difference in schools located in white areas and black areas. The black schools would get all the old junk from the white schools. When the white schools got new books, the black schools got the old books. And so on.

And in the early days of civil rights, it was a powerful message that the days of Jim Crow were over when black students were sent to whitey town to go to school.

But today - what is the point? Nobody has to sit in the back of the bus anymore. Anyone can go to any lunch counter for coffee. Water fountains are for whoever wants to use them.

And of course parents want their kids to go to a nearby school. Who wants to drive across town if you need to get your kid early, or to meet with a teacher? Nobody - that is who.

Schools can never really be equal. The difference in the A schools and the failing schools is not the teachers. It is not the books. It is not that the administration does not care. On the contrary - the administration cares MORE. So do the teachers. That is why they choose to stay in the "bad schools" when they could transfer to somewhere else. It is the general attitude of the community. It has a lot to do with economics. I do not know if we can simply bus our way out of this. It would be nice if we could - but I do not see this as a realistic solution.

Magnet schools are a good idea. Students - and parents - County wide can decide to apply to them, based on the student's talents. Make that system truly equal and open to all (it pretty much is now) and what else can we do?

I would have loved to read some of Krok's comments on the superintendent's blog.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Krok, sometimes your comments seem to be blatantly racist when not necessary (perhaps I'm over sensitive, though...) but this is a racial discussion so I'm leaving them up. As harshly and non-politically correct as you've said it, there is some kernel of truth in what you say. I would like to add a little to what you've said though.

1. Being a descendent of slaves has nothing to do with being dumb or being a thug, and I think you'll agree with me. After all, some countries like the Bahamas and other civilized tropical islands like Dominica (NOT the Dominican Republic, though that may have similarities) produce black people who are highly intelligent, ethical, and hard-working. However, in America there are many blacks that use the slavery of their great great grandparents as an excuse for bad behavior and lack of work ethics, and many black intellectuals agree with this (including Thomas Sowell of course).

NOTE: Not ALL American blacks are like this! One of my best friends is black and is very hard working, refuses hand outs, and is proud of her intellect.

2. I'm sure there are some intelligent and ethical blacks working in government jobs, just as there are intelligent and ethical whites and other people of color. HOWEVER, I think that one is hard-pressed to find ANYone with work ethics and intellect working in a government office. As you point out, it's an easy job without a complaint department and a certain pension... I need to get a job in the child support office, incidentally. That seems to be the place where abuse is most frequent and most often tolerated. They care nothing for anyone on EITHER side of the issue.

Ed, We have that here, too. It's called "Choice". However, we still must stick to certain percentages. For instance, if a school ends up with 90% white kids wanting IN, and they have to keep the ratio to 80% white/20% black, there will be 10% of the white kids shipped elsewhere, and 10% of black kids who would like to go elsewhere but are forced to go to that school. This would eliminated the requirements.

AQ, Frankly, I used to believe that racism was a thing of the past. Imagine, to my surprise, that there are more people prejudiced against WHITES than I would've guessed. So, although WE may be priding ourselves on our advances, others are not so advanced. And, may I add, there are more prejudiced whites than I once believed, also. We often tend to project our own beliefs on others. I removed my rose-colored glasses a couple of years ago and, to my surprise, racism is alive and well among ALL colors of people.

However, we make a mistake if we don't discuss the racial ISSUES. We simply need to discuss them without being RACIST. Sometimes that's a fine line.

Lazy, dittos all the way. And you would've been HIGHLY entertained by Krok. We ALL were. ;o) Well... some were incensed. But I have to admit that it was pretty interesting.

AQ said...

I don't dispute that racism exists. But I wonder how much of it is perpetuated by the focus of society. It sure upset people to be forced to go across town for school because they had to integrate. Is it possible some of the anger over that gets displaced toward other races?

daveawayfromhome said...

Wow, Saur, this one's a toughy.

I would have just stated my standard line, that bussing was one of our standard American (lazy) shortcuts, where we apply one-size-fits-all answers to complex problem (much like No Child Left Behind does now), but Lazy's comment about the signal that Jim Crow was over was a good one.
Still, one cannot deny that things probably would have gone a lot smoother if they had just concentrated on paying attention and paying for the neglected and under-funded black schools rather than forcing everyone to mix (especially when it became formulaic rather than by necessity), and avoided the jerrymandering of school districts (still a problem) after integration.
Or not.
Certainly there is more mixing of the races than there probably would have been without it, and that is ultimately a good thing. My kids go to school with and are friends with children of all color. Like AQ's kids, my youngest daughter describes classmates as "pale" and "brown" when need be, and merely by name any other time.

Any more I think much of what we call "racial" issues in American society are actually cultural issues. There is a difference, and while I dont like racism, things like Rap culture and "thugging" and the aforementioned anti-education stance (which is real, my wife has been teaching in the inner-city Dallas school district for 10 years and has some stories) are not racial perogatives, but cultural choices, and as such are no more sacred than Brooks Brothers slacks, Pat Boone or brie.
Destructive cultural choices are destructive, "pride" or not.

I believe the solution can ultimately be found in the line from the movie "Bulworth": Everybody fucking everybody else until we're all the same color.

Then we can find something else to argue about.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daveawayfromhome, us white people tend to think if we were all of the same color, it would be over. Not by a long shot.

You see, my friend Rosie would be the first to tell you of how many fellow black people hate her because her skin tone is lighter than theirs. It's a hierarchical issue in the black community, perhaps stemming from the days of slavery when the 'whiter' slaves worked in the mansion and were higher up than the field slaves. This thinking won't go away when and if everyone is brown, because there will be different TYPES of brown, you see.

No, it's just not that easy. I wish it were.

And there will always be the "browns" that are educated and live in good neighborhoods, and the "browns" that are thugs and live in bad ones.

You are completely correct that it's all cultural. The question is: Which culture will survive? Will one drag the other down or boost it up?

AQ, No. Forced busing is the least of the troubles. In fact, if the black community is allowed to retreat to itself, it may worsen the problem, as the black community is already suffering from a great deal of prejudice already directed toward people of other colors (white, asian, hispanic). How much easier will it be when they aren't regularly interracting with other races? And the same could be applied in the opposite direction, too. But, overall, it makes sense to encourage kids to go to school in their own community, IMHO. The other social experiment didn't go well - let's see how THIS one plays out.

As for prejudice, see my comment to Dave above. There will ALWAYS be prejudice - it's not a matter of color, it's a class system (think of India's caste system, for example). Mankind has a driving need to be "better" than others, whether it's simple competition or something more insidiously evil.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I'll stay out of this, the US has a greater problem with integration that the UK does and this discussion wouldn't even occur within the UK as we have nothing similar.

Does make me worried though...

Herr Krokodil is an asshat though Saur.

Wai U Shao Ting said...

Dan,

Did you get my message?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

You are a sock puppet of herr krokodil, does it feel good talking to yourself to make it feel like you've got more friends?

daveawayfromhome said...

I'd say that a part of the trouble is that the only people "allowed" to criticize black culture are black people themselves. Anytime a non-African-American does so, we're considered "prejudiced". If I say that, for instance, rappers are bad because they are black, that would be a racist statement. If, on the other hand, I said that rappers were bad because they didnt integrate Thackery, Keats, Hardy or some other white author, that would be a "culturist" statement (and stupid, but that has nothing to do with my point).

To criticise someone for inherited traits is rascism. To criticize someone for learned behavior is not.