Segregation 2.0 in Public Schools is Making America Great Again
Public education today is as segregated as any time since the Civil Rights Movement
When I first entered “the bond business” in 1983. My job was selling securities backed by single-family mortgages. In the beginning, I spent hours trying to understand what was considered a complex financial product. Luckily, most of my prospective clients knew even less about these new securities than I did.
Occasionally, I visited the home of a more experienced colleague who offered to help me work on my sales pitch. During one such visit, my recently divorced coworker’s young son was on hand. After being introduced, I asked the child where he went to school. He said he attended Miss Selma’s School, which I knew to be all-white and private. In what I admit was an attempt to push my colleague’s buttons, I asked why the child didn’t attend a nearby public school.
“Go ahead. Tell Mr. Marlon why you go to Miss Selma’s School,” my coworker told his son. Instead of a pre-rehearsed response, the youngster surprised his father — and me — with the truth. The child, who couldn’t have been more than eight or nine, said, “The Blacks. I go to Miss Selma’s School because of the Blacks.”
I sat in amazement as the youngster explained that Black children at the public school he previously attended “were mean,” so his mom and dad decided the best solution was a school with no Black students. The highlight of this out-of-the-mouth-of-babes moment of truth-telling was my coworker’s attempt to convince me that race had nothing to do with the decision to place his kid in an all-white school. Meanwhile, the poor child looked from one adult to the other, wondering what all the fuss was about.
For the sake of the confused child sitting across from me, I decided not to argue with his father over his prejudiced viewpoint. When I left his home a few minutes after his son’s revelation, it was evident the embarrassment of being outed by his child as a racist was punishment enough.
The white academy movement
Since I began school in the South in the 1960s, I’m old enough to remember racial segregation. The “colored-only schools” I attended…