Tuesday, December 05, 2006


As I write this, my high school yearbook sits open, allowing me to thumb through the photos of people who certainly have changed in the ten years since I left. We weren't a diverse group of students. In the 130 students that are pictured, the demographics are as follows:
Girls--70 Boys--60
Caucasian--122 African America--5 Asian--1 Hispanic--1 Pakistanian--1

The Hispanic student and the Asian student were both Exchange Students, and they only attended my senior year.

I give the framework of my history as evidence that, other than a fervant belief in the equality of humanity, I don't have a great deal of credibility in discussing race in education. Which is why I found the New York Times' coverage of race as a deciding factor for school attendance an interesting read. And, as serendipity might have it, I found the article while in the middle of Senator Obama's chapter on race in his recent book The Audacity of Hope--this being the second plug for his book!
The New York Times implies there is a bit of Conservative vs. Liberal agenda coming from the two court cases being discussed. That any attempt to stop race as a determining factor for school admittance must be a strictly right wing idea. And, that affirmative action policies are only supported by those affiliated with the left. This implication reduces a complex issue to something that it is not, and has never been--simple.
Bathed in my whiteness, I cannot sympathize with the inner city Black student who lives a much different, and yet so similar, existence as I had. That student, like me, is concerned with family, friends, and getting through school. But we would be ignorant to deny the different educational experience that suburbia offers.
And so, while some might try to convince you that using race as a determining factor for school assignment is wrong because race is the determining factor, one might also ask, "so what?" Almost certainly, if the reverse were true, and race was being used to impede minority students from the placement they desire, charges of discrimination would abound--and perpaps rightly so.
We must struggle with whether or not this supposed reverse discrimination is all that bad. Because, though in pricinple quite accurate, the doors that are opened to minority students who take ownership of their education may be more important. If we are ultimately honest with ourselves, we must admit to the obvious failure of our public schools to equally provide for our students. The suburbian, the inner-city, and the rural school student do not experience the same education. We are still separate. We are still not equal.


At 11:32 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

We offer cheap rates and terms, provide the foremost cash, and acquire you money quicker than the other investor. It takes simply minutes to induce the money you would like with our automotive title loans auto title loans. So, don’t think about mercantilism your motorcar to lift the money {you require|you would like} in time of monetary need. Keep your motorcar, and acquire a automotive title loan with U.S..


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home