Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Segregated Schools Are Not A Thing of the Past

Brown vs Board struck down segregation in education and today, though segregation is no longer the law of the land, most people live highly segregated lives. White flight has ensured that Whiteness is nestled in safe little communities, leaving urban areas to POC. Since education funding is based in property taxes, students that are receiving public education in poor areas are attending schools that are often ill equipped to give them the skills to succeed on a global stage.  Even if they beat the odds and manage to graduate and get accepted into a  college or university, many of them find that they were not taught the skills necessary to succeed in higher education, let alone the business sector upon graduation.  Clearly, the only solution to this, is the integration of schools; however, a North Carolina School district has decided to end their busing program.  The NAACP and several parents protested and were arrested; however, this has made no change to this decision.  The very fact that the person who crafted the change in policy  is White, means that this cannot possibly be race neutral, because as a White man, he has been conditioned to support White supremacy from birth. John Tedesco would like us to believe that this is about improving education for children, but housing Black children in schools that are under performing is clearly about supporting White supremacy.  The only children that gain in this are White and judging from the fact that those supporting this change in policy are also White, clearly this is an unacknowledged fact.



While I certainly have my issues with Steve Perry the CNN correspondent for education, I think that his points on this issue are particularly salient:
04:25:  Well clearly this is an attempt at regression. This is an attempt at going backwards.  This is a generational issue because if you look at the protesters themselves you will see that the children actually disagree with this both Black and White.  You will see that the teachers association and the NAACP have come together to create a new dialogue.  It is sad to me because if Mr.Tedesco is saying there are problems/ challenges with the policy well, let's go back to the table and  come up with some better way to execute it that he feels will meet his needs, but sending children back to poor performing schools so that you can clear your schools of any quote unquote problems is not the way in which we should be dealing children.  I am troubled by the direction of Wade County.  I am troubled by the fact that there is an attempt here to justify unjustifiable foolishness.
Of course the school board is attempting to justify this decision, because it is supposedly a "path from school to the jailhouse". The Black children are the ones being bussed, and if they are willing to make the journey, then school board should be willing to support them.  But instead of listening to their desires, the White lead school board is going to act to preserve the education of White children.  If as Tedesco has suggested that the failure rate has increased with the integration of schools, that is because students and parents are not getting the support that they need and not because Black kids and White kids are sitting next to each other in a classroom.

Tedasco seems determined to channel George Wallace, because essentially he is promoting a doctrine of segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever. He even had the nerve to suggest that it was outside agitation adding heat to the fire, much like White bigots claimed when northerners traveled south to sign people up to vote, or desegregate a specific area. Where the protesters came from is irrelevant, because what happens to one Black child is a concern for the entire African diaspora.  White supremacy does not end at the borders of Wade county; we are all affected by it and if we allow a decision like this to stand unchallenged, we are only encouraging the spread of segregation.

At issue here is that these White families moved into White neighborhoods and expected that by so doing, they could protect their children from the adverse influence of people of colour.  If a policy like busing exists, it means that no matter how many gated communities they build, they cannot lead the segregated lives that they had hoped for.  This is why Whiteness has argued so strongly for freedom of association, because they have the economic and social capitol to ensure that it will necessarily exclude people of colour. When they are gathered in all White communities, interacting with all White people, of course they see nothing wrong with this.  What could be wrong with sticking to your own kind?  Well this sort of thinking means the best resources are reserved for White communities, leaving neighborhoods of POC to falter, that is until they decide that it is time for a little urban renewal. I am not from Wade County, but from view, anytime someone is advocating putting children of colour into schools  that are designed for them to fail, not only are they displaying their racism, they are assaulting our future progress.

Incidents like this are exactly why WOC have had to focus our attention on motherhood.  White feminists can afford to ignore motherhood or the rights of children, because what ever advantages are to be gained from birth, are firmly associated with White babies.  When I go to a blog like feministing, I see post after post to maintain abortion rights and yet few will directly address motherhood, except to say that single mothers are disproportionately poor.  Motherhood has stopped being a priority for White feminists, because White patriarchy is happy to support it, as to do otherwise is to cease fighting the upcoming minority majority status of the U.S.   They are even willing to ignore that little girls are being disproportionately affected by this policy, because race trumps gender every time in  feminist circles.

When we look at media stories like this it is important to call out the people directly responsible for the discrimination; however, we should also look at what other entities are furthering this agenda by their silence.  When people ask me why I am so against things like inter-racial adoption, incidents like this prove my position.  Whiteness has proven time and time again that they have no interest in ensuring that our children succeed.