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Old 05-06-2004, 04:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Brown VS Board of Education has failed! Racial integration is a myth!

Link to article in the Omaha World Herald.



Quote:
LINCOLN - Racism continues to pervade U.S. education 50 years after the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark school desegregation decision, Brown v. Board of Education, one of the "Little Rock Nine" said Monday.

Terrence Roberts, who in September 1957 was a 15-year-old high school junior, was one of nine black students who braved white mobs to attend Little Rock Central High School. Roberts and the others volunteered to become the first black students to attend the school following the court's 1954 decision.

"We were there to go to school," Roberts said Monday. "We weren't there to integrate; we weren't there to desegregate; we weren't there to provide black bodies to sit in desks next to white bodies. We were there to educate ourselves."

Roberts spoke at the Law Day luncheon hosted by the Nebraska State Bar Foundation and the Nebraska Supreme Court. His appearance was underwritten by the Robert J. Kutak Foundation.

Speaking before an audience of about 150, including six teenage winners of the Law Day essay contest, Roberts told of a horrific year. He said white students put him in fear of his life as they tried to drive him and the other black students from the school.

"I learned about fear that year," he said.

Roberts now holds a doctorate in psychology and is co-chairman of the master's in psychology program at Antioch University. He speaks with pride and bleak humor about his experiences at Central High School.

Nebraska Chief Justice John Hendry asked Roberts to grade racial equality in the schools today.

"An F, without hesitation," he said. "We have failed miserably. We have lacked the will and the commitment to bring about real change."

Roberts said courts have been unwilling to take up educational access cases, unless they are brought by white men claiming reverse discrimination. Meanwhile, he said, well-to-do white families enroll their children in private schools or move to all-white enclaves, while public schools increasingly become dominated by minority children.

Roberts said Little Rock Central High's enrollment now is more than 90 percent black and Hispanic.

"We are a country that believes in mythology," he said. "The myth is that the issue has been settled because Brown versus Board of Education was passed."

President Eisenhower had to call out 1,000 troops from the 101st Airborne Division to get the students into school after Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus summoned the Arkansas National Guard to keep them out.

Roberts said one white boy - his personal tormentor - followed him around, hitting, kicking and cursing him. Roberts said he was threatened with a baseball bat and beaned with a padlock in a locker room. He said he was afraid to call his mother; he knew she lived in fear of getting a phone call telling her that he'd been killed.

A few years ago, Roberts said, he ran into a former schoolmate at an airport. The man tearfully told him that he'd always regretted not coming to the assistance of the black students.

"'I did nothing, I sat on my hands,'" Roberts quoted the man as saying.

In that way, that man suffered more pain and agony than if he had helped, Roberts said.

"It would've hurt - they would have beaten him up," Roberts said. "But he wouldn't still be feeling the pain all these years later."
When I first read this, this morning, I wanted to call bullshit. However, after thinking about it for a minute, I began to see that Mr. Roberts may have a very valid point. Although we have made some tremendous strides in race relations, and make no mistake, we have come a long way since Selma and Birmingham, we still have a hell of a long way to go. As I sit here, contemplating Terrence Roberts' remarks regarding the "all-white enclaves", and the private schools, I have no choice but to concede that the man has a very valid point. Even here in the heartland of the good ol' US of A, Omaha, we have pseudo-affluent white families flocking to the western suburbs, with their gated communities, as Muslims to Meca.

We are only two, maybe three, generations removed from segregation. Since most of you are...*ahem*...younger...I'm interested in hearing your take on racial equality as it applies to education. If this discussion deviates far from that point, I'll kill the thread where it is. I don't want this devolving into another "African-American" thread. (mine also, by the way) So, with that in mind, let's discuss racial equality in education over the past...what...50 years, where we are now, where we are going, and where we need to go, in the future.
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Old 05-06-2004, 05:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have never been in the private education system. I went to a NYC public schools, for elementary, junior high, and high school tracts. I went to a CUNY university to get my BS.

In each place I learned in, I was one of the small minority of white kids there, and (through high school) we got picked on by other students quite a bit for this fact, but we also had alot of black friends, who stuck with us through the worst.

I have come to the conclusion that there are really only two "races" of humans in the world - people and rodents. Typical rodent behavior would be to crush those who are weaker than them, and grovel to those who are stronger, or get the upper hand by subterfuge. Real people try to help those weaker than themselves, for the good of society as a whole.

This has nothing to do with skin color, but with the way they see the world around them. I have met both groups represented by people of all races. All races in the world have plently of people and plently of rodents. I'd say the split is close to 50%.

Half the population, if they have the upper hand over another group, will fight to maintain it by putting down those who don't. But there are also alot of people of different races are who have transcended such behavior and truly work towards unity.

I find it odd that when affluent white parents choose to send their kids to private schools, those who cannot afford to do so feel somehow wronged. If I went out and bought a $50,000 car and parked it in a $10,000 car neighborhood, would I be committing an act of injustice, by making people jealous? No, I'd just get keyed.

The normal human behavior in this case would be to strive towards the same goal instead of waving the race card and trying to get in just because of skin color alone.

On the other side of the coin, private school officials should judge students' academic excellence, and not the overall skin color of their institution, as I am sure many private schools do today.

So in conclusion, I feel there are very few true racial conflicts these days - mostly just groups of "people" who feel they are somehow better than their neighbor of another color, and stiving to put them down, whether through beaureaucracy, politics, or just brute force.

It is our responsibility as people to work together in fighting rodent influence, in all spectrums of skin color.
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Old 05-06-2004, 05:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Well, my thoughts on the matter are a bit realistic, whereas Mr Roberts is somewhat naive on the true voids of our society.

My generation (I'm 33), was one of the first to be wholly intergrated in our educational system. We students were mostly put together using the illustrious science of geography. A school serves a community, that is, a geographic locale.

The divide in the educational system doesn't stem from any race based beliefs, for the majority of the people, it stems purely from a socio-economic source.

The poor and down-trodden simply cannot afford to live near the affluent. This is the major disparity here. I know that they'll always be racism in some form, but this isn't necessarily the case with all forms of seperation. I choose to live in a neighborhood of my peers. Most do.

Saying that, it's very unlikely that we will ever achieve the dream of equality in education until it's equally available to everyone. By that I mean online education. I think in the future we will go to an online source. As the technology grows and cheapens and the cost of education rises, someone will realize that we can hire the very best to teach the masses for a minute fraction of the cost.

Twenty years from now, schools will exist only in cyberspace. Teachers will be abundant and hopefully, in competition with each other for our educational dollar. I believe that this will acheive equality in exposure, as well as an evened playing field.
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Old 05-06-2004, 05:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The public schools here in the Maryland suburbs of Washington are a joke. Crime and drugs rule. Violence is an every day occurance.

The population is split about even between black and white, but you would never know that looking at the classes. White children are almost rare.

We started homeschooling five years ago after a semester of American History, which according to the text book should have covered the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, instead studied Black History exclusively.
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Old 05-06-2004, 06:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Funny, I thought the point was about equal access to quality education not having an "appropriate" racial mix of children. If he's arguing that public schools are not up to snuff then how about making that point instead of making it about race? I certainly agree that there are big issues in our urban schools and drastic steps need to be taken to address them. Throwing race into the equation will only serve to change the focus and increase the chance that any reform fails.
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Old 05-06-2004, 06:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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There is no such a thing as racial "integration" in the classroom...

Meeting a quota in order to get federal or state funding is not integration but mere toleration. And no amount of Supreme Court case decisions or federal laws will change people's hearts.

The law may tell us to stop racial segregation but in their hearts most white Americans still hate black people and don't want to associate with them.
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Old 05-06-2004, 06:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The public elementary school my children attended until this year was written about this past Sunday in one of the major NJ papers as being the most diverse school in the state. The population there is equally divided-26% white, 26% black, 26% hispanic and 23% asian or other(decimals were not used to bring it to 100%).
The mandatory test scores have not dropped significantly due to the aggressiveness of the staff to develop language and reading skills of the lower-scoring students.
This being said.....as a former employee of my district's school system, I couldn't help but notice that the vast majority of students enrolled in the special education and basic skills classes are almost all minority with over half of those being Hispanic but not necessarily foreign-born. Perhaps 3-5 were white in a group that encompassed about 50-60 students.
It would seem to me that, until everyone embraces the idea that the only way to make one's life enriched is through education, regardless of one's background, then there will be disparities. Right now, parents and guardians of these children, in way too many cases, toss their children into the schools and say, 'here, teach'em', without first teaching a little themselves. One doesn't need to be college-educated to teach their own child; they only need to spend time reading to them and sharing time with them.
The same newspaper, two days later, ran a story about 5 black brothers, all lawyers or about to be lawyers. They were raised mostly homeless, living in a car with their mother at times. But no matter where they moved to, she insisted that they take their books.
Cultures and situations aside, it is possible to achieve. But nothing stands strong without support. And condescending to any particular group is, in my opinion, not support.
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Old 05-06-2004, 06:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by doncalypso
The law may tell us to stop racial segregation but in their hearts most white Americans still hate black people and don't want to associate with them.
That's a rather broad statement, wouldn't you say? I'm sure that it's true in some cases, but certainly not most.

In so far as "toleration" goes...what's wrong with that? I think that first we have to learn tolerance, then comes understanding, followed by acceptance. You're not going to change generations worth of thinking overnight. It takes time. Or, am I just over simplifying things?
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Old 05-06-2004, 07:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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When I was in school, there were probably only a few Africian Americans in my class, I think three at the most. Not only were they accepted into the more popular groups, but the three also accepted everyone else in the school.

In fact, I had to actually think hard about whether or not we had any Africian Americans in my schools. There were some older than me, as well.

But, you also have to consider the fact that I lived in a nicer part of town, in small town Iowa. There aren't many Africian Americans living here to begin with.

I think that eventually, with unbiased parents (or at least parents that appear unbiased) racism will be muted out as more and more children grow up with multi-racial and multi-ethnic classmates and situations.

I also wonder if our school systems are teaching kids about racism and segregation at too early of an age. I know that I learned about it in my earlier elementary school years, and before that point I had never thought twice about an Africian American student. After we had learned about it, however, I almost had a guilty conscious about it, and I think that that can be hard on young children, and in some could have a negative effect on theml; having an influence on them somewhat like a bigoted parent.

I do believe that children need to learn about it, but at an older, more mature age.

That is my spin on the whole thing.
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Old 05-06-2004, 09:58 AM   #10 (permalink)
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On a wide tangent, but still related.

This is why I think private-school vouchers should come with additional-cost restrictions. If you accept public money (vouchers) for educating kids, you cannot accept more than a small amount of additional money.

Having schools compete for students is a good thing. Having students bid for schools will simply exagerate already existing economic segrigation.

If schools who accept vouchers cannot take more money, all they will care about is the quality of the student who applies, and far less how much money mommy and daddy have to enrich the school.
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Old 05-06-2004, 10:23 AM   #11 (permalink)
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i really dont think it is a race thing anymore. people just like to complain.

i went to private schools for my entire education and paid for most of it myself. my family is not well off, we are quite poor. i busted my ass everyday of my childhood& teenage years to pay for my education and it pisses me off when people say that private schools are for rich white people who want to segragate themselves from minorities... private schools are for people who want a better education and are willing to sacrifice for it. it isnt my fault if these minorities would rather spend there money on ther things.

adding to that... i would not like to see vouchers for private schools, it is a waste of my tax dollars. if someone wants to go to private school they can work for it like everyone else.


Quote:
Originally posted by Rubyee
I also wonder if our school systems are teaching kids about racism and segregation at too early of an age. I know that I learned about it in my earlier elementary school years, and before that point I had never thought twice about an Africian American student. After we had learned about it, however, I almost had a guilty conscious about it, and I think that that can be hard on young children, and in some could have a negative effect on theml; having an influence on them somewhat like a bigoted parent.

I do believe that children need to learn about it, but at an older, more mature age.

That is my spin on the whole thing.
very good point..

Last edited by animosity; 05-06-2004 at 10:29 AM..
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Old 05-06-2004, 11:38 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Kids seek out the familiar.

Sometimes race isn't an issue. Jocks seek out jocks, nerds seek out other nerds and most times their common ranking in the caste system overrides the race factor. Cliques and factions arise and they turn to castigating anybody not of their kind and different. It doesn't get more different than skin color, howver, to be fair, it's not just whites picking on minorities, that street goes both ways.

I think racial integration, for the most part, is a success. You have pockets of resistance, like our beloved former Gov. Faubus , but overall it seems like it worked.

You just don't hear about the good things and the bad things get way too much attention and blown way out of proportion.

I think the vast majority of incidents aren't even racial, but one story about white kids picking on black kids and suddenly everyone screams racism. Sure there are instances where race is a factor, but there are just as many instances where race wasn't a factor.

It's hard to believe, but everybody gets picked on from time to time and sometimes, just sometimes it has nothing to do with race. Sometimes they're just assholes.
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Old 05-06-2004, 09:20 PM   #13 (permalink)
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In a New England town of 60,000 with less than 100 minority families, I can say that integration is a myth. I live in a town with a lot of ignorant people, and they aren't about to change.
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Old 05-06-2004, 10:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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It really depends on where you live

If you live in say Los Angeles, you're going to get a very broad mix in public education

But it is true that many people still move out to segregate themselves from others for whatever reason...

And to be honest enclaves are always there still... the area I used to live in was predominately Asian and Hispanic... just south of there it was a predominately White enclave.. and so on
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Old 05-07-2004, 12:53 PM   #15 (permalink)
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This has been a problem here in North Carolina too. Greensboro especially. I just read a huge article in the local paper about a couple high schools in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Raleigh.
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