Self-Segregation, and other observations
The other day, my friends and I were discussing the way the school systems have taken to bussing kids from one place to another in an attempt to make their schools more “diverse”.
As a side note: I put “diverse” in quotation marks because of an interesting experience I had in Person County Schools. We visited one school, which confessed to being 90% white, and 10% black. That mean that out of the 200 children in the elementary school, 2 of them were black. It looks alot worse when you say that 2 out of 200 children are Black. At any rate, when we visited the school across town I asked about their demographics, and wondered if they were more “diverse”. The white teacher nodded eagerly and said “Oh yes! We’re extremely diverse! We’re 80% Black, 10%Hispanic, and 10% White”. I was confused at that point, because I didn’t think “diverse” translated into “We have a lot of Black people here”.
We noted that these school systems had a lovely habit of shipping kids based on socioeconomic status, which is almost always tied into race in this part of the country, so it meant that schools decided to solve the problem of having kids shunned from a school based upon their race by once again shunning them from schools based upon their race. I think the main arguments against segregation in education was that 1) the Black schools were second-hand schools, and alot worse than the White schools and that 2) Black students were forced to travel long distances to go to school because they were not allowed to go to the school down the street. At any rate, an interest in cultural education was not one of the points – probably is not now. I find that the “Black” schools are still second-hand schools, and that the Black students (and White students) are still forced to travel farther to go to school, because the school down the street is not diverse enough.
Despite all the hard work schools have done to make sure that
the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood I’ve noticed that people have continued to self-segregate. People still go to White churches or Black churches, and live in White neighborhoods or Black neighborhoods…as evidenced by the summer camps that have come to visit the planetarium. Nearly all of the groups that have come to visit are completely segregated, with the exception of the YMCA camps and the YWCA camps, because they are church groups, or neighborhood community center type groups. In fact, I think I have only taught 4 Black children at Nerd Camp, and two of those (biological siblings only, oddly) were adopted by White parents. I bring this up, only because I note that it’s not the children that are choosing where to go to camp and where to go to the pool, but their parents are. And the parents choose them to put them in this camp or that, based upon where their friends are going, and then their children hang out together all summer, come back to school, and decide to sit together in the cafeteria, or in the library, or when choosing seats in the classroom. And so, does it really matter if the schools continue to desegregate people to the best of their ability? It appears not, because as soon as school is over, and no one is forced to be friends anymore, I’ve found that the children and their parents go back to their separate sides, and cultivate friendships based upon, for the most part, the color line.
And the sad part is…
I have no idea what to do ’bout it, or if, in fact, anything needs to be done about it.
I mean, is it so bad that people want to go to church with their friends and family members? Is it so bad that people want to go to a school with their neighbors? I suppose I can’t fault them for that…
On another note, the weather is hot like WHOA, and it doesn’t feel like it’s going to get any better any time real real soon. Last night, it was still about 80 degrees outside at 11:00! Craziness!
HEAT ADVISORY: A Heat advisory is in effect until 5 p.m. because of a combination of hot temperatures and high humidity levels that will result in heat index values from around 105 up to 110 degrees over central N.C.