Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Busing: A Subtle Form of Racism?

Busing children to out of neighborhood schools to achieve racial balance is racism, especially when inner city/ghetto kids are invariably bused to well-heeled suburban schools. The idea seems to be: learning can only occur when the economically dispossesed learn in the same classrooms with the 'possessed'. Does that mean black, or Latino...or even poor white kids...can't learn with people of their own race or culture.

Does that mean ambition, hard work, study habits only be learned cross-culturally? That black kids can't be inspired to learn by other black kids; Latinos by Latinos? That their parents can only be motivated to get involved with their children's education by getting joining the PTA at white suburban schools?

Busing advocated mean well...but they should put the extra dollars into the whole educational system, Black, Latino and Caucasian...and focus their energy on student learning and not forced, and, I would argue, naive social integration. Look at most 'integrated' schools: even after decades of busing black kids are still (logically enough, they have more in common) hanging out mostly with black kids; Latino kids with Latinos; Caucasians with Caucasians.

Real educational affirmative action should be color and race blind. The legacy of slavery and the difficulty of immigration will not, and cannot--and should not be solved--by throwing us all together and then proclaiming us equal.

We are not. Each group is starting off their group educational quest from a different basis...and each group needs different...and different amounts of...help to achieve equality of opportunity and eventual through that equality of opportunity equality of achievement.

Blacks and Latinos--and even 'white trash' for that matter--don't have to be bused to the suburbs to discover they might want a pretty house and a pretty yard. Talk about a racist concept! Wanting more/better is intrinsic in all human beings...and if it is only culturally induced (which I don't believe) Blacks and Latinos certainly can 'learn' to want more and better on their own by watching TV and films; not to mention rubbing elbows with the successful lifestyles of other Blacks and Latinos. They don't need to have their economic shortcoming school-daily shoved in their face.

Spend educational money on the schools...bettering them...where ever they are located. And let educational need dictate school budget allocation. Make us all students equally educated according to their needs, and sooner rather than later we will feel and act integrated...because we are educationally, and then economically, and then socially...really equal (as part of the America experience).


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