August 13, 2015 2:20 pm -

[su_center_b]Segregated-SchoolAnd, as Think Progress’ Ian Millheiser points out, the hard-right-controlled Supreme Court refuses to act.

Over the past two weeks, This American Life ran a two part series on the resegregation of American public schools. It is excellent and you should go listen to it here and here.

The centerpiece of the first part is a town hall meeting in a predominantly Missouri white school district. White residents had just learned that students from the mostly black district that includes Ferguson, Missouri would be joining their own children due to a law giving students in failing school systems the opportunity to attend classes elsewhere — and these white parents were pissed. One mother demanded metal detectors and drug sniffing dogs, because she falsely believed that the black district was struggling because of a record of “violent behavior.” “I shopped for a school district!” she proclaimed as the crowd of white parents erupted around her in cheers, “I deserve to not have to worry about my children getting stabbed, or taking a drug, or getting robbed.” …

Opponents of integration — or, at least, parents whose support for integration is tempered by NIMBYism — are winning, and they’ve been winning for a very long time. The percentage of African American students attending majority white schools has been in decline since 1988, and it is now at its lowest point in almost half-a-century.

In our national mythology about public school segregation, the Supreme Court holds a place of honor. “Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal,” Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote in the unanimous Brown v. Board of Education decision. And that decision is now almost universally celebrated as the high point of the Court’s moral authority.

The reality, however, is that desegregation did not begin in earnest until a decade after Brown, and the Supreme Court started putting limits on integration a decade after that. America’s commitment to public school integration as a serious project was surprisingly brief, and it ended with the blessing of the same institution that handed down Brown.

If you have any interest in education or the “packing” of the courts, you owe it to yourself to read the entire piece.


D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.