Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Recommended Reading of the Day

Fearlessvk has a thought provoking post on state policies regarding racial discrimination in light of the recent Supreme Court decision. A breakdown of the "colorblind constitution" attitude and how it just doesn't reflect the reality of the situation and how simply calling an end to racism and segregation by the state is inadequate to addressing the problems.
Using this logic to examine school integration specifically, the problem with Justice Roberts' dictum becomes especially clear. Why is it that, 53 years after Brown, many school systems are still heavily segregated by race? Legal segregation has been dismantled; no states any longer require separate schools by race. Yet separate schools by race endure, not as a result of state policy but instead as a result of demographic changes. As the move outward into suburbs has been at first overwhelmingly and then predominantly white, the racial composition of school districts has reflected the resulting residential patterns of segregation, and we have seen urban schools effectively become black schools while suburban schools have effectively become white schools. The "whiteness" of suburban schools has declined in some (but not all) areas due to increasing numbers of blacks and other minorities moving to the suburbs, but even in such areas the schools left behind in the cities often hover around 98% black student populations. Because of the state action doctrine, this resegregation poses no constitutional problems - it has not been mandated by the state, but rather driven by private decisions about where to live.
The rest is also worthwhile reading.

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