Friday, June 29, 2007

i hope little jimmy likes his new kindergarten class. it cost america yet one more freedom.

but hey, i can see how superior coloring-inside-the-lines skills are totally worth challenging brown v board. your kid actually IS more important than black america. i get it.

sigh. there's no point in putting it off any longer. i have to have my say about the whole "supreme court" debacle.

quick recap, for those who have trouble focusing their eyes on newspaper headlines (that's not meant to mock, its sometimes very difficult): the supreme court passed down a decision 5-4 declaring that attempts to maintain diversity and integration in public schools which explicitly factor in the student's race are unconstitutional. The five who voted for this decision were, of course, Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy, with Kennedy making a sidenote that sometimes, maybe race could be taken into account.

obviously this decision is a bit of a shot in the face to like, you know, justice. and as a sidenote, "shot in the face" will be one of my new catch phrases, in honor of our vice president. but i digress.

"the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race," 'justice' Roberts said, "is to stop discriminating on the basis of race." and i truly do believe that if the good justice roberts just perserveres a little bit longer, his saintlike conduct will be rewarded by god himself, and roberts' sight will be returned to him. all these years of true colorblindness have made him a beacon of honor in our society, but it will be nice for him to finally be able to tell the difference between water and wine.

but i don't want to take up too much space being angry at the whole "the way to make society colorblind is to just say 'i'm colorblind'" argument. because its stupid. and the fact that the majority of our supreme court justices are willing to say things that make them look like they don't have the capacity to reason is troubling to me, because i'm betting they're not ACTUALLY idiots, which makes the whole thing just a tad more sinister. what i'd like to think about briefly are some of the different issues being brought to the surface because of this decision. already the discussion has moved past "i agree" and "i disagree" to "i'm clever enough to nuance this argument and I say the real issue is the achievment gap." an op-ed in today's new york times entitled "Don't Mourn Brown v. Board" is one such article. the author is apparently also the author of a book with the scintillating title, "Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America.” a lengthy title, yes, but full of chutzpah. culture of failure. them's fighting words. especially coming from someone who went to all the trouble of finding nuanced things to say about our school system and could only come up with "better schools are needed for all our children." gee, thanks. maybe we need to look into the culture of failure in today's media.

but in all seriousness, i mention this article because despite the fact that it had little to no point, the author brings up a couple of interesting questions that he refuses to follow to their logical conclusions. he notes, for example, that in the midst of bemoaning the loss of Brown v. Board, no one seems to notice that Brown v. Board did not, in fact, work. our schools are more segregated than they ever were, and the achievment gap is, at this point, ridiculous. he also notes that one of the biggest causes of unequal education in this country is unequal spending. it seems to me that given those two points, the next thought is not "why not reverse brown v board," but "how can we create an equitable funding system for our public schools." brown v board didn't work, that's true. but i'm pretty sure this new decision is making things harder, not easier. and that, my friends, is like buckshot to the face.

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