Wednesday, July 25, 2007

 

Diversity under attack

Warning: Tear-jerker to follow:

“Seventeen-year-old Quantae Williams doesn't understand why the U.S. Supreme Court struck down his school district's racial diversity program.

“He now dreads the prospect of leaving his mixed-race high school in suburban Louisville and returning to the poor black downtown schools where he used to get in fights.”

Yep – it’s the end of diversity as we know it. And Reuters’s Andrea Hopkins is there to document its demise. Students, schools fear end of racial diversity - washingtonpost.com

Perhaps constrained by space, Ms. Hopkins doesn’t get a similar quote from the poor schlub who had to be bussed to the “poor black downtown schools” where Mr. Williams once fought. No – this is a we-are-the-world piece - complete with one of those one-of-my-best-friends-is quotes (in this instance: “One of my best friends is Guatemalan”). The emphasis is on how diversity is PERCEIVED to be threatened in the wake of this dastardly act by the Supreme Court


Of course, nowhere in Ms. Hopkins piece does she – or any of her sources – explain exactly how the recent Supreme Court decision now forces Mr. Williams or anyone to go to a certain school. It doesn’t. It merely says you can’t deny entrance to a certain school simply because that school is maxed out on the color of the prospective student.

Ms. Hopkins explains:

“The Supreme Court's new conservative majority declared that taking race into account to integrate a school is just as bad as using race to segregate one. Justice Clarence Thomas, the court's sole black member, agreed.”

(For the uninitiated, the term “conservative” is usually a pejorative in the Reuters lexicon…and why do you think she specially mentions Justice Thomas?)

And glossed over in the middle of the article is how the Supreme Court came to opine on the matter in the first place:

“Some schools remain majority black, however, and some parents resented having their children bused to a lower-performing school in the name of racial diversity.

“Crystal Meredith sued in 2003 when her 5-year-old son was refused a place in his preferred schools because he was white.”

Ms. Merdith’s son was little more than a human pain pill, used to try to assuage liberal guilt in Louisville. For all their talk about diversity, I’m going to guess none of the struck-down program’s defenders would go on record criticizing such non-diversity programs as the United Negro College Fund or the gender makeup of Smith College. We should want to ensure that the likes of Mr. Williams have access to decent schools but not at the expense of Ms. Merdith’s son.

I dunno – maybe look into vouchers?

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