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Integration. Separation. Segregation. Does any of it matter?
05-25-2006, 12:56 PM
Post: #11
Beyond the Segregation/Integration paradigm
Monday, April 17, 2006
Beyond the Segregation/Integration Paradigm


Guest Blogger


Heather Gerken

At first glance, Saturday's New York Time article on Nebraska's decision to divide Omaha's public school into "three racially identifiable" districts looks like a familiar and ugly story. The city's school district absorbed a number of predominantly white schools into the system, with the aim to distribute public school funding more equitably among whites and racial minorities. The mostly white suburban districts "rebelled," says the New York Times, and the legislature "drew up a measure to blunt the district's expansion." The legislature ultimately decided to divide the school system into three racially identifiable districts – one predominantly white, one predominantly black, and one predominantly Latino. Thirty of the 31 lawmakers who voted the districting plan into place were "conservative lawmakers from affluent white suburbs and ranching counties with a visceral dislike of the Omaha school bureaucrats."


What made the story unusual is that the 31st lawmaker to support the plan – and its author – was Ernie Chambers, the only African-American in Nebraska's legislature and a man famous for his devotion to the traditional causes of the civil rights movement. He proposed the plan because he wanted to "allow black educators to control schools in black neighborhoods." The basic question behind the story is whether Senator Chambers knows what he's doing.


Rather than attempting to answer that question – an assessment that would require a good deal more knowledge than I possess about local Omaha politics and sound educational policies more generally — I want to underscore how impoverished a vocabulary we have for discussing it. Such discussions generally turn on the terms "segregation" and "integration. The Times headline, for instance, is "Law to Segregate Omaha Schools Divides Nebraska" – and who wants to be on the wrong side of that fight? And even Jack's typically thoughtful post on the subject could be enriched by moving beyond those terms.


Some critical distinctions get lost when we cast this issue as a debate about integration v. segregation. The first is that these districts may be different from the racial enclaves of Jim Crow. The text of the story suggests that they are predominantly white and black and Latino, but not entirely segregated. We tend to assume that integration ideally means a statistical mirror – if blacks are 25% of the population, they should be 25% of the district – and often term institutions "integrated" even when they contain only a token number of minorities. Yet when racial minorities constitute statistical majorities in a district, we often call those districts as "segregated" and condemn them as such (forget the Times' headline – just think about the Supreme Court's Shaw jurisprudence). Even – or perhaps especially – in a world where significant racial disparities persist, we ought to think carefully before we affix the dreaded label "segregation" to school districts where racial minorities enjoy enough votes to control their own destinies.


Jack's post says that our public education system should not be thought of as a system of "racial spoils." In doing so, he puts his finger on precisely what seems bothersome about Nebraska's plan. And yet one wonders what, precisely, makes this a "racial spoils" system. Jack is not worried that racial minorities rather than whites will exercise political control over two of the three districts (although anyone who has read the Supreme Court's decision in Croson, where it insinuated that an affirmative action plan enacted by a majority-black city council was little more than a system of racial spoils, knows that such a worry can animate similar language). Jack is plainly concerned about the fact that these districts were intentionally designed to give racial minorities control over some subpart of the school system, something that seems inconsistent with our broader normative commitment regarding the role race ought to play in public education.


And yet in at least one part of our democratic system – voting rights – we often deliberately draw districts to ensure that racial minorities have a chance to control outcomes in some part of the system. It may be that the black legislator who proposed the Omaha plan was elected in just such a district. Jack himself notes the parallel, but he reminds us that the Supreme Court has allowed the deliberate creation of majority-minority districts for the sole purpose of creating integrated legislatures. And Jack – like the majority of the commentators quoted in the Times article – sees no possibility of integration here.


Here again, I think terminology can get in the way. If we imagine members of Omaha's black and Latino communities as being represented by the decisions made in their districts – by the successes and failures of a school system where they played a decisive role in shaping its policies – we might see integration, albeit of an unusual sort. If we took a bird's eye view of the entire Nebraska school system, we would see a kaleidoscope, with majority-white and majority-black and majority-Latino communities being "represented" by the school systems they created rather than the legislators they elected. Arguably, representation by institutions of this sort could constitute a richer vision of representation than one where a community elects a single person to speak on its behalf.


The point of this post, then, is not to disagree with Jack's analysis. He has intelligently canvassed the costs associated with Nebraska's plan, and his worries about potential dangers (like funding inequities or the danger that truly homogenous racial enclaves will develop in the long run) are especially well taken. The point is simply that we do not have a sufficiently capacious language, constitutional or otherwise, to describe the benefits that might be associated with Nebraska's plan. We need a language that moves beyond the segregation/integration paradigm, one that recognizes that minority-dominated institutions might be importantly different from homogenous minority enclaves. Without such a vocabulary, any discussion of Nebraska's plan seems likely to be one-sided at best.


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05-25-2006, 02:14 PM
Post: #12
ground covered already i think..
that sounds like Harold Cruse to me...

Stressing the importance of self-determination within the larger context of the nation. Cruse's stance to me was that every group comprises a "nation within a nation" and that each should be allowed to have a sort of nationalists bent. By helping those groups becoming self-determined culturally, spiritually, economically we build for the good of the nation as a whole.

The problem, he said, was that white Americans have monopolized the generic group... leaving everyone else to be the groups. And he also said that Jews realized they were sort of second in command. (Whether you agree with that or not, I'm merely retracing his theory from "Crisis of The Negro Intellectual". Because they realized they were second in command, they were/are hesitant to help other "groups" become strong in themselves. Or if they did, they were sure not to let them become stronger, or as strong as them. Whites he said, had everything to loose by admitting that there is no majority group in fact. And so they are least likely to accept this type of mental/cultural/social/political/economic restructuring. So in fact he seemed to be saying that "white" should be broken down into it's various nationalistic groups (kinda like you hinted at Nate) and allow no one to have a monopoly on the single worded "American" instead we are all compound words. Cruse seemed to suggest that it doesn't necessarily have to end up in separation. But there must be a conscious allowance of groups to build themselves up and an unashamed desire to focus on one's own unique culture, economy and politics.
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06-04-2006, 12:30 PM
Post: #13
 
I have some observations and questions regarding both the issue of Islamist enclaves and school (place-based) seperation.

The Commerce clause of the U.S. constitutions holds that only Congress will have the power to treat with foreign nations and Indian Tribes. The Supremacy Clause of the same documents holds that Treaties are the law of the land. (Of course, this is why Tribes have sometimes won in court with regards to Treaty issues). What is called "Indian Law" is a body of law hundreds of years old in terms of American jurisprudence, and it is a very large, sometimes meandering, sometimes purely fictive, complicated set of laws and doctrines. If someone explained to various Muslim leaders that they would have to learn and comply with this particular body of law if allowed to create enclaves under religious tenets that would not supercede the rights of the individual, I wonder if they would agree to it? One of the startling facts about Indian law is that the U.S. courts do not get involved in Indian on Indian crime committed on many reservations. That might be reason enough to want to create one's own community, but it has largely only worked where the landbase is large enough to support a legal infrastructure than can insure some transparency. But, having a set of definable boundaries outside U.S. jurisdiction, also means that a community like this itself has to think through how they want to then construct a social identity (religious in the Muslim instance) in the midst of a nation largely indifferent, if not opposed to their particular set of beliefs etc. Indian Reservations are not religious enclaves, or even ethnic enclaves, as such. But they have definable boudaries, different laws, varying religious and cultural values, traditions, and institutions. Ask people from a given reservation community what the state of Indian & non-Indian social and economic relationships are really like and I would bet a lot of different groups would re-think the proposition. (Issues of religious practice where it concerns Indigenous people does not really fit with this comparison.) Now then, maybe Muslim communities would be willing to trade then with Congress and broker deals with Lumbees (American Indians) in Baltimore and North Carolina... only the Lumbees, while they know they are Lumbees, the federal gov't has only recently been willing to acknowledge their claims to land and resources etc.... My point here is two fold: The U.S. is going to be amendable to proposals by religious organizations to form enclaves in the U.S. because in some small way it echoes the formation of religious communities from the colonial period. I am not saying it would be an accurate comparison, but it might (if lawmakers could be convinced, and lawmakers at the moment are convinced often by money) beget a response from lawmakers like 'This is why America is great country!' or something like that. Second, I think that inserting a separate but equal doctrine places this debate within a discussion of civil rights (via Brown v Board) will on the surface will only cut the surface and force talk centered on already existing religious and cultural tensions in the U.S. without actually addressing why it is that Muslims feel the need to create separate communities in the first place. Issues in Black and white and Indian and Latino communities centered around placelessness and dislocation and forced migrancy will be ignited once again. (Making Home and healing divisiness takes time and resources, right.) Ironically, In the 1950s many reservations did prohibit alcohol from being sold on respective reservations, and today, living in a world of unfettered access to liguor stores, drinking takes place either as an open secret or on the borderlands, which comes along with increased car accidents and real social tension and conflict. But, again, this cuts across issues of trade and commerce... and the U.S. hates to think of itself as anything less than perfect, so I'll stop here, lest I start a debate that will result in my having to actually run for Congress Big Grin

On the subject of schools in Nebraska, I don't necessarily think that what is being proposed in Omaha is a good or a bad thing. It seems to me to fit into the realm of contingency. It seems as though students are learning first hand lessons of what economic disparity and place-based economic and social segregation has had on education, and that this is necessary at all is really the issue. My usual take on this is that in order to create more economic parity, we are going to have to rate certain kinds of technologies and then ask state leaders in Education to make absolutely certain that funds are directed toward to schools so that these technologies are available to all students. How they do that would be telling, but usually I find that a person has to ask for something first and then say yes and no, and maybe until they get what they want. That is also to say that I think we cannot ask schools to be the center of where all community issues must be solved. I think it is sometimes a mistake to place all our hopes for a future for on the youngest generation during moments of struggle and then say we are putting off that future off until tomorrow instead of saying 'the time is now' and then doing a little something today to insure a better quality of life today that effaces in some small way what is happening at the child's school.
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06-12-2006, 12:02 PM
Post: #14
 
Analysis: an unanswered, delicate race question

Posted by Lyle Denniston at 07:54 PM

Last October, judges on the Ninth Circuit Court observed that "the Supreme Court has never decided a case involving the consideration of race in a voluntarily imposed school assignment plan intended to promote racially and ethnically diverse [public] schools." A year ago, judges on the First Circuit Court said much the same thing: the Supreme Court "has not yet considered a constitutional challenge to a voluntary race-based transfer policy for elementary and secondary schools..." The Court had a chance to consider that issue last December, but passed up the chance. Now, with a change in composition, the Court has opted to take it on. There may be a connection.

In more than a half-century of dealing with racial issues in the public schools, the Court has not ruled on a case in which race is not used as a way to separate the races in the K-12 grades, in which race is not used to provide a benefit to one race but not to others, and in which racial assignments or busing are not used to dismantle official segregation of schools, classrooms or faculties. In other words, the new generation of cases on schools and race are not the traditional kind under the original 19th Century purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause. "We are here working from doctrines concerning the use of race-based criteria that are mainly the product of 20th Century jurisprudence," remarked First Circuit Judge Michael Boudin.

Put in the most benign way, the new race-based plans are designed to achieve educational and social benefits of "exposing youngsters to those of different races," in Judge Boudin's phrase. That is a precise echo of some of the Supreme Court's sentiments in ending official school segregation in 1954 in Brown v. Board of Education, and thus gives such plans their most positive cultural character.

But, to opponents of such plans, they are nothing but "racial balancing" that sends "the wrong message to our children -- that racial discrimination is more important than individual rights and liberties in today's society," as the Pacific Legal Foundation's Sharon L. Browne has put the matter.

The Supreme Court may not embrace either one of those descriptions when it rules on the two cases that it accepted on Monday for review at its next Term: Parents Involved v. Seattle School District (05-908) and Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education (05-915). But it has given itself the task of drawing some historic constitutional conclusions, and its change in membership may make the difference in how those are framed. At this stage, it may be a matter of total uncertainty how the Court will come out, making the new cases potentially the most closely-watched of the new Term.

The Court, it seems clear, has not been eager to get involved in this new racial controversy. Before it granted review of the two cases from Seattle and Louisville, Ky., it had considered them at six consecutive Conferences. That was not an indication that the Court thought the cases lacked importance. It more likely was a sign of hesitancy about whether there really is a conflict in the lower courts in judging such plans, so it wanted to be satisfied that the time had definitely come for it to move into the fray. There also could have been some defensive concerns, supporting a resistance to review when the voting lineup would not be predictable.

When the Court had before it one of these plans, from Lynn, Mass. (in Comfort v. Lynn School Committee [05-348]), Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was still on the bench. At that point last December, however, it was still uncertain when O'Connor's retirement would occur, and when her replacement, Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., would arrive. Although this cannot be known by outsiders, the chances are that the Court at that time was avoiding major controversies in which the Justices almost certainly would wind up deeply divided. It took but one look at the Lynn case, and passed, even though the differences between that case and the ones now granted are by no means glaring, and the constitutional issues are virtually identical.

Justice O'Connor, of course, wrote the majoity opinion in 2003 when the Court -- dividing 5-4 -- decided the constitutional issue that is newly at stake in the public school cases, but it did so in Grutter v. Bollinger, a case confined to the public college level, dealing with admissions criteria. The Court then allowed limited use of race in college admissions decisions. O'Connor's opinion was joined by the Court's four moderate to liberal members -- Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David H. Souter and John Paul Stevens.

Those other four remain on the Court, as do three of the dissenters -- Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, the fourth dissenter, is now deceased. There is no way to predict how Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., will approach the new public school cases, nor is there about Justice Alito. But the two of them do appear, at least at this early stage, to hold the balance of voting power.

Part of the cloud of doubt surrounding the new cases is that there is little in O'Connor's Grutter opinion that suggests definitively how she or her voting colleagues would have viewed the same constitutional question in the K-12 context. The lower courts that have applied it to elementary and secondary schools find in that ruling a set of principles flowing out of the notion that racial diversity is a positive value, at whatever level of public education it might be pursued. The difficulty for them -- and this is likely to be true, too, for the Supreme Court -- is in determining whether the details of a particular plan make the means of achieving that goal valid.

But, perhaps before getting to those crucial details, the Court may have to confront directly the core claim of opponents of those plans: that race cannot be used at all in public school student assignment, unless it is "remedial" -- that is, correcting for identifiable, continuing discrimination against identifiable students. And that could force the Court to answer a simple but profound question: is the achievement of racial diversity itself in any way "remedial", and, if it is, what evils does it remedy?

It is not clear, yet, how many school districts across the country may have plans akin to those now before the Court. By one estimate, some 1,000 districts are using or experimenting with “racial diversity” in their student assignments. No doubt, the numbers will get more precise by the time the Court takes up the cases in early winter. A flood of amici filings are sure to come.
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06-16-2006, 04:29 PM
Post: #15
a review I wrote a while back...relevant to the topic
“If you want to see a really segregated school in the United States today start by looking for a school that bears the name of Rosa Parks”
--from The Shame of the Nation
The Shame of The Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America. New York: Crown Publishers. 2005. 404 pages.

Jonathan Kozol is back with his eleventh book on the subject of public education. Kozol, an author and educator who began his teaching career in 1964 in Boston, Massachusetts after the murders of civil rights workers Cheney, Goodman, and Schwerner, gained fame for his scathing critiques of the inequalities of public education in America.
The Shame of the Nation is written in the same conversational style of earlier works, and it follows much the same pattern; Kozol travels to schools around the country to hold conversations on education with students and teachers. Kozol’s ability to draw poignant admissions and observations from his subjects carries his prose briskly through this book.
Readers of Kozol’s previous works, such as Death At An Early Age and Savage Inequalities, won’t find many new revelations here. The disturbing trends of educational apartheid have only intensified in the last quarter century. School segregation, exacerbated by white flight and housing segregation, is on the rise since the 1990s, while teacher salaries and per pupil spending in most predominantly Black and Latino school districts lags far behind white school districts.
Educational pedagogy is increasingly dictated by the logic of the global economy; poor students are trained to be ‘managers’, ‘technicians’, and ‘cashiers’ in a world market dominated by the super rich.
The effect of the No Child Left Behind Act has been to strip math, science, and reading down to performance on a yearly test. So important is this test to student and teacher evaluation that a recent Washington Post article (1/22 A7) reported schools starting in mid-July to prepare for it. Teachers regularly speak of ‘performance oriented learning’, as if they were corporate executives evaluating employees. Many teachers in this book express frusturation with the unrealistic standards and the harsh curriculum requirements. Art and music programs are usually the first to be cut from this education based on the ‘remorseless application of cold objectives.’
But for all Kozol’s moral outrage, the book raises lingering questions about the nature of a ‘good’ education. For example, Congressman John Lewis closes the book with a statement about the evils of segregated education. “Integration is, it still remains, the goal worth fighting for.” This is an assertion that demands to be unpacked. For integration is many things to many people, but it most assuredly is not is a panacea for the ailing public education system. How would integration make public education more culturally relevant for black and Latino youth, especially without a massive effort to retrain teachers?
Kozol’s point is that integration can help spur a more equitable distribution of resources in the education system. He details the efforts of lawyers, such as Theodore Shaw of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, who must face the reality of de facto apartheid and are challenging the inequities of school funding for poor districts.
Kozol says school integration helps young children to break down cultural and racial barriers when placed in a suitable envirornment together, but with a climate of low expectations and a high turnover rate among the teacher corps, how will this be accomplished? When black kids are tracked into the lowest classes, or when white teachers consciously or unconsciously see dark skin as a ‘discipline’ problem, no amount of integration will yield a fundamentally different result. If white adults in America continue to live a modern version of apartheid in their daily social habits, how much will an integrated school change the paradigm?
Jawanza Kunjufu, in his book Black Students, Middle Class Teachers, writes “I am concerned about schools that have a 50% or greater African American student population but less than 5 percent African American teaching staff.” Given this reality, Kunjufu’s goal is to train ‘master teachers’, black and white, who can teach in a compassionate, responsive, and liberatory fashion.
Kozol interviews some of these teachers, who are saddled with mountains of arbitrary paperwork and oftentimes forced to implement diabolical curriculum experiments funded by massive corporate dollars. The book does an excellent job detailing the difficulties facing these teachers and their students, but, it does not relate the overarching goal of integration to desegregating the teacher corps.
Other than these critiques, I found the book to be informative and well-researched. Kozol includes an Afterword on Curriculum, extensive notes for further research, tables of per pupil spending in six metropolitian areas, and an index. This is a valuable tool for those wishing to keep current on trends in educational theory, as well as those engaged in the ongoing struggle to define a pedagogy of liberation.
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07-02-2006, 12:39 PM
Post: #16
 
Quote:is the achievement of racial diversity itself in any way "remedial", and, if it is, what evils does it remedy?

they used that term racial balance... i think RELATIVELY, racial balance is not worth as much as equal access to proper resources, etc...

in other words give the schools the same equipment and im sure the kids could care less about if they have an equal amount of all races at their lunch table.
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07-02-2006, 01:07 PM
Post: #17
 
there's alot in what aanikenz said there. and to be honest, i didnt get it all... but i'll try and give an echo.

the whole muslim-juxtaposed-with-indian-law thing went over my head... i'm not really getting your point here.

Quote:My point here is two fold: The U.S. is going to be amendable to proposals by religious organizations to form enclaves in the U.S. because in some small way it echoes the formation of religious communities from the colonial period. I am not saying it would be an accurate comparison, but it might (if lawmakers could be convinced, and lawmakers at the moment are convinced often by money) beget a response from lawmakers like 'This is why America is great country!' or something like that.

then here...

Quote:Second, I think that inserting a separate but equal doctrine places this debate within a discussion of civil rights (via Brown v Board) will on the surface will only cut the surface and force talk centered on already existing religious and cultural tensions in the U.S. without actually addressing why it is that Muslims feel the need to create separate communities in the first place. Issues in Black and white and Indian and Latino communities centered around placelessness and dislocation and forced migrancy will be ignited once again. (Making Home and healing divisiness takes time and resources, right.) Ironically, In the 1950s many reservations did prohibit alcohol from being sold on respective reservations, and today, living in a world of unfettered access to liguor stores, drinking takes place either as an open secret or on the borderlands, which comes along with increased car accidents and real social tension and conflict. But, again, this cuts across issues of trade and commerce... and the U.S. hates to think of itself as anything less than perfect, so I'll stop here, lest I start a debate that will result in my having to actually run for Congress

...sounds like you are saying here kinda what brandi was talkin about, no? that issues of "placelessness" and identity should take priority? i agree with that. but if so, how would running for congress help that?

Quote:On the subject of schools in Nebraska, I don't necessarily think that what is being proposed in Omaha is a good or a bad thing. It seems to me to fit into the realm of contingency. It seems as though students are learning first hand lessons of what economic disparity and place-based economic and social segregation has had on education, and that this is necessary at all is really the issue.

i guess i agree that it sounds like contingency.. in that it really is a band-aid for the larger problems discussed above. but how do you solve those issues of identity and placelessness if not through education of the younger generations?

well... i guess we all have to fight these issues by healing ourselves to serve as examples to the youth as oppossed to just trying to teach what we are unable to do ourselves.

meaning dont we have to begin to live lives that reflect that we are battling against our "placelessness" and for our identities?

meaning that we have a duty to discover and practice our identities that are seperate from the dominant structure... and in that aren't we fighting against our "placelessness"?... actually creating a place (community) even tho it doesnt necessarily depend on a physical place?

Quote:My usual take on this is that in order to create more economic parity, we are going to have to rate certain kinds of technologies and then ask state leaders in Education to make absolutely certain that funds are directed toward to schools so that these technologies are available to all students. How they do that would be telling, but usually I find that a person has to ask for something first and then say yes and no, and maybe until they get what they want.

not a bad idea. i see that the nebraska congressman is doing this sort of... meaning that he is doing what he feels is the best we can do in the immediate... because healing "placelessness" and finding identity may be percieved by him and others as being too long term of an issue to tackle with any one measure and some people prefer to work in the immediate to feel a sense of achievment.

Quote:That is also to say that I think we cannot ask schools to be the center of where all community issues must be solved. I think it is sometimes a mistake to place all our hopes for a future for on the youngest generation during moments of struggle and then say we are putting off that future off until tomorrow instead of saying 'the time is now' and then doing a little something today to insure a better quality of life today that effaces in some small way what is happening at the child's school.

hmm... so you then do think that the what people like the congressman are doing are doing (looking for more immediate solutions) are worthwhile? are they priority over the battle against placelessness and for identity then? or no?
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07-02-2006, 01:30 PM
Post: #18
Re: segregation is schools reply
Brandi Wrote:I understand the want to integrate because White schools have more money, more resources, better teachers, and the list can go on. What I do not understand is the devotion to fighting for integrated school as opposed to working to perfect or even simply improve Black schools.

brandi i think we are seeing eye-to-eye here.. u seem to be saying that both of them might be important issues but that working on ourselves is a priority. would you agree?

would you also agree that sometimes issues like integration might seem more immediate? like during "brown v. board of education?"

and surely it is more romantic to "fight" a galient battle for something than to find it in yourself, no?

so we can see how we so easily fall into that trap.

then there is the fact that we feel we deserve to be "given" SOMETHING!

i guess for me i recognize that fact... but like you hinted at... it's a matter of how much energy to we put into fighting for that when the other side doesnt want to give it?

i would consede that we should give some energy to it, but surely not as much as we have been given to it and surely not as much hope as we have been placing in it... right now the ratio is like:

80% fight for things we feel we are owed
20% concentrate that energy inwardly toward identity (educational, cultural, economic, spiritual... etc)

where perhaps it should be flipped around. but when it gets flipped around we have to be clear that when we say "concentrate inwardly" we are not talking about bill cosby's statements or sentiments that black women need to just stop having babies, etc... rather we are challenging cosby too and saying that he too is not living up to his dilligent search to find identity (one not attached to this structure)... because he's done jello commercials... so-called "color blind" comedy, etc... surely that doesnt make him a living example for the youth of how to discover who we are... and when we say that we should reduce the amount of energy that we are spending on fighting for things we are owed... we are stating the obvious argument that we should not put too much hope in that anything we are "granted" or "given" will actually solve the foundations of our problems.

agreed?

Quote:Why are we always begging to get what White people have? Of course there is so much more that Black people as a whole need to work on, but even if those issues aren’t fixed do you really think that integration into a White school for Black children is going be affective for all(everyone of them) when they go back home to their crazy hoods after school? It’s not, because going to school with White kids isn’t the answer to the problem. Community repair, ethical repair, self repair and solidarity among Black folks are the solution. That is a lot to ask, but it’s real.

i agree... i think we are in agreeance here, to what i said above.

Quote:In all, I think that Black people spend so much time concentrating on what we don’t have or rather what White people have taken away that we forget to ask ourselves what it is that we aren’t doing so that we can alleviate some of the issues within our communities.

well we have to be careful here becuase if what we need to do is concentrate on rediscovering our identities so that we can conceive alternatives based on that historical identity... the first step is to realize that our identities WERE TAKEN... and just as historical lesson, we should be truthful and identify WHO TOOK WHAT.

so just want to note that. i agree with you though that we dont need to get caught up on it and that is the problem i see.

Quote:I’m working on a report and I came across an article that I think is somewhat relative to post. This article touches on the gaps between Black and White students SAT Scores. It also brushes over some of the why questions we may have. Looking at these scores and stats should make you think about the current state of Black education and how much work we really need to invest in our children. This is so serious. We can send our children to White schools, but I don’t think that is going to deal with deep rooted issues that exist. It just brushes over the surface. What do you all think some solutions are?

i think the identity issues is paramount... it requires motivation for a student to see value in education...

the money motivation (good career, lawyer, doctor, celebrity actor/artist, etc..) motivates some but even that is not properly grounded in anything substantial... and for others for whom money comes through different fields (perhaps illegal ones) it really throw education out the door as something necessary...

so what should the motivation be? the motivation has to be that there is a need to build and contribute to the maintenence of a way of life that is a viable alternative for people ("our" people, whoever that students people are, be she black, native, latino, etc...)

that starts with simply informing people that this system is destructive and cannot be maintained (thus illustrating the need for an alternative)... i'd argue most kids in the hood can sense this instinctively tho...

then we empower ourselves with a knowledge of self... an identity in a historical context that says this is the alternative way of life from which you come... and pointing out how it is distinctly different in that it is not destructive and it is sustainable...

in review: money and materialism have captured the immaginations of our kids... rather than the persuit of justice, balance, oneness with nature, community, etc... and so our kids are motivated by them.

simply put, you dont need education to get money (at least that's the perception that we have bought)

so the logical follows... why do i need to pass the SAT?

and for those who do pass the SAT, they too are doing it money and materialism... so are they really any better then the kid on the street selling dope?

both of these issues are rooted in lack of identity... being our of touch with the measures of "success" that are NOT money and materialism...

right now... nothing but money and materialism means success... and that plagues the kid on the corner and the kid who just graduated from college.
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08-08-2006, 03:06 PM
Post: #19
 
Here is the link to the Nebraska law calling for the separation of the Omaha school disctrict into 3 distinct and self-governing "learning communities"

http://www.mpsomaha.org/mps/docs/documents/LB1024.pdf
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