Et tu America?: Race, Trayvon, and Education
Is denying racism was not a factor, does not exist or doesn’t matter, or we should ignore it so it wont matter one day, or it harms the “beneficiaries” the new racism?
In the Fisher case (and also Grutter), the US Supreme Court essentially weighed in on these issues.
From Yahoo News:
In a blistering dissent, Thomas wrote that universities’ desire for a diverse student body is not necessary or pressing enough to justify affirmative action, which he describes as racial discrimination. Thomas compared the case for “racial tinkering” in admissions to arguments made by segregationists 60 years ago that “separate but equal” education would ultimately help black people. “The Constitution does not pander to faddish theories about whether race mixing is in the public interest,” Thomas wrote. “The Equal Protection Clause strips States of all authority to use race as a factor in providing education.”
So essentially their perpetual argument is that it is equally problematic to consider race for EXCLUSION and well as INCLUSION.
Honestly, I would be sympathetic Thomas’ (and Scalia and Rush Limbaugh etc.) arguments if America was a post-racial society. What is post-racial? From Wikipedia:
Post-racial America is a theoretical environment where the United States is devoid of racial preference, discrimination, and prejudice. Some Americans believed that the election of Barack Obama as President and wider acceptance of interracial marriage signified that the nation had entered this state.
As if our educational data (inequity in education spending, achievement test scores, disproportionality in school discipline) is not proof enough that we don’t live in a post-racial America, the Trayvon Martin case has again exposed the insidious elements in our society that cast negative racial attitudes towards Blacks (and other people of color). I perused the comments on the Detroit News coverage of the Martin case and copied a few particularly disturbing racist comments. I also noted that most of them had many “Likes.”
Is America really post-racial? People still cast dispersions and make blanket racialized statements about swaths of people solely because of the color of their skin.
In my view, not considering race, when America is clearly not post-racial is essentially locking in and gauranteeing inequality in our schools, universities and elsewhere. We must stand our ground.
See also this great blog about “wannabee thugs” by Mark Naison.
To close, a poignant comment…
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