Democrats & Liberals Archives

Race(ing) Backwards With Boost From SCOTUS

Well, SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) has dealt yet another “conservative” blow to the nation. This time by essentially overturning Brown vs the Board of Education.

Schools are still expected to achieve racial "diversity." However, accomplishing racial integration is very difficult if it is unconstitutional to use race as a criteria. Justice Roberts argument was:

"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race." (NY Times, 6/28/07)
University of Alabama Students burn desegregation literature, 1956. Image courtesy of Library of Congress Brown Aftermath

Roberts' statement is a tautological argument that is based on a false premise - that race would not be an issue if we did not attempt struggle against institutionalized racism. His quote is reflective of the bumper sticker political analysis which has become all too familiar. However, the assumption of a color blind society, which is enforcing discrimination through attempts at racial integration, is faulty to the point of criminality.

What the Bush administration, "conservatives," and now Bush's Court, are attempting is the elimination of civil rights and affirmative action advancements over the last 50 years. Why? Is it because they do not want a society with increasing levels of equality and participation? Do they want a society of peasants and patricians? Do they oppose a representative democracy, but support a feudal government run by a monied (white) elite?

Roberts' trite argument plays well to the mythology of race and privilege in the United States. The rhetoric - particularly now - is that everyone in the U.S. is equal, and there is no structured inequality. Race is a non-issue which we dealt with long ago. Race-based policies and considerations are not "fair" to whites, and place whites at a disadvantage. This is sometimes ridiculously referred to as "reverse" discrimination. Of course there is no acknowledgment that without the body of legislation and policy under the umbrella of "affirmative action," whites could not argue they had been discriminated against. The legislation refers to "race" - not as confined to people of color, but also to whites.

The often posed solution is to use socioeconomic status, rather than race, as a basis for social policy and integration. The argument is that class is the only real divider after all. Unfortunately, that is a false argument.

There is no proxy for race in the United States. Race is its own system of inequality, though it is certainly reinforced by social class. That reinforcement is not accidental - but structured into social policy. Social policy is, after all, a form of social engineering.

The United States started out with the restriction of citizenship to whites. At that time citizenship carried with it the right to own property, to testify in court, to access public education and public services - and eventually - the right to vote. These privileges of citizenship were granted largely on the basis of race - not social class. However, they certainly had (and continue to have) social class implications. These policies gave whites a social class advantage which was passed down from generation to generation. It facilitated an opportunity path for whites that did not exist (or was significantly restricted) for those who were deemed "not white."

The institutionalization of race, and race separate policies, continued for more than two centuries, and they continue today. Unimaginably, we are still fighting voting rights and gerrymandering based on race in 2007 (among a myriad of other race-based disparate impacts). Are the images of who was left to drown or starve during Hurricane Katrina so easily forgotten? At that time racial disparity stood clearly in front of the eyes of every person who turned on a television. Also remember, that very quickly the interpretation was put forward that this was not about "race," but social class. The dominant white population is much more comfortable talking about social class (which is largely perceived as an "individual" issue) than about race - where we must examine the costs of racial privilege.

Race and social class intertwine, they are not the same. While there are more poor who are white than any other racial group, whites are disproportionately under represented in the ranks of the poor. Whites are also dramatically over represented in the ranks of the middle class, and even more so in the upper class. This is largely due to race based policies that subsidized the accumulation of wealth (most significantly with home ownership) for whites, while denying that access to those who were not white.

So what does all of this have to do with the Supreme Court ruling regarding education? Education is strongly related to people's ability to participate and advance in the social class environment in the US (though this is changing). Without equal access to education the doors of social class mobility once more start to close. Brown vs Board of Education ruled that there was no legality or validity to "separate but equal." The decision to desegregate public education was not to make a more "diverse" environment, but to equalize the playing field for social class participation.

There has been a terrible transformation in education systems' arguments about the importance of racial and cultural diversity to education. While those arguments are valid, it is not why we integrated schools. Diversity in education (race, culture, age, class, sex, sexual orientation, religion, etc) is tremendously valuable for all kinds of reasons, Brown was not about the value of diversity. It was about addressing institutionalized inequality based on race.

That fundamental inequality based on race has not been resolved. Look at test scores, high school completion rates, college entrance and graduation rates or even the status and reputation of different school districts. All show there are significant racial divides. Racial integration is not a relic of some bygone day. In our schools; in our neighborhoods; in our health and infant mortality; in the work force; race still stands as hugely significant to social and personal outcomes.

Contrary to the rhetorical argument put forward by Roberts, the promoter of discrimination is not efforts to have schools that mirror the racial demographics of their districts and population. The discrimination happens at virtually every level of social interaction and organization. It is reinforced by racial segregation which fosters the mythology of stereotypes, and the reality of disparate economic opportunity. Education (and not simply K-12 education) is an important component of social maintenance and change. Race and social class inequality are principal among the systems being maintained or changed.

The most common example of past in present discrimination is: segregated neighborhoods lead to segregated schools lead to segregated job opportunities. We have done a rather pathetic job of changing housing segregation (both in terms of race and class) which is why integration in education becomes monumentally important.

The 5-4 decision by the Roberts court reversed the decisions of two appellate courts. It has also virtually reversed Brown vs the Board of Education -one of the most important court decisions impacting racial equality in the United States.

One might wonder what happened to both Roberts' and Alito's highly touted respect for stare decisis - legal precedent (see end notes). Justice Breyer issued a stinging rebuke which is pertinent and hopefully not prophetic: "It is not often in the law that so few have so quickly changed so much." In regard to the importance of precedent, he stated: ""It is my firm conviction that no member of the court that I joined in 1975 would have agreed with today's decision.." This pretty much rules out any confusion over the context and intent of Brown v. Board of Education.

Supreme Court Cases involved: Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association v. Brentwood Academy and Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 et al.

Voting in the majority: Alito, Kennedy, Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas.

Voting in the minority: Breyer, Ginsburg, Souter, and Stevens (NY Times

Text of the Court's opinion - Justice Breyer's dissent starts on page 109 of the 185 page opinion.

REGARDING stare decisis

From Day 2 of Roberts' Confirmation Hearing in response to a question regarding Roberts agreed with the importance of stare decisis:

ROBERTS: Yes, Mr. Chairman, I would. I would point out that the principle goes back even farther than Cardozo and Frankfurter. Hamilton, in Federalist No. 78, said that, "To avoid an arbitrary discretion in the judges, they need to be bound down by rules and precedents."

So, even that far back, the founders appreciated the role of precedent in promoting evenhandedness, predictability, stability, adherence of integrity in the judicial process.


ROBERTS: Yes, Mr. Chairman, I would. I would point out that the principle goes back even farther than Cardozo and Frankfurter. Hamilton, in Federalist No. 78, said that, "To avoid an arbitrary discretion in the judges, they need to be bound down by rules and precedents."

So, even that far back, the founders appreciated the role of precedent in promoting evenhandedness, predictability, stability, adherence of integrity in the judicial process.

AND particularly for the current decision:

ROBERTS: Obviously, Brown v. Board of Education is a leading example, overruling Plessy v. Ferguson, the West Coast hotel case overruling the Lochner-era decisions.

Those were, to a certain extent, jolts to the legal system, and the arguments against them had a lot to do with stability and predictability. But the other arguments that intervening precedents had eroded the authority of those cases, that those precedents that were overruled had proved unworkable, carried the day in those cases.

So it is clear that even at his confirmation hearing Roberts was aimed at "jolting the legal system" in relationship to Brown vs the Board of Education regardless of his support for stare decisis.

And from the Alito confirmation:

ALITO: Well, I think the doctrine of stare decisis is a very important doctrine. It's a fundamental part of our legal system.

And it's the principle that courts in general should follow their past precedents. And it's important for a variety of reasons. It's important because it limits the power of the judiciary. It's important because it protects reliance interests. And it's important because it reflects the view that courts should respect the judgments and the wisdom that are embodied in prior judicial decisions.

It's not an exorable command, but it is a general presumption that courts are going to follow prior precedents.

Posted by Rowan Wolf at June 29, 2007 11:24 AM
Comment #224406

Excellent article, Rowan.

“The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

Talk about legislating from the bench! It’s this guy’s job to test the constitutionality of a law, not to decide the best way to stop discrimination. That’s way out of his bailiwick.

Justice Breyer said. “It’s not often in law that so few have changed so much so quickly.”

Conservatives on the court ignored and twised precedent stings and abandoned judicial restraint in pursuit of conservative policy results.

Posted by: American Pundit at June 29, 2007 11:47 AM
Comment #224408

What Roberts and his allies are missing is that in a supposedly “race-blind” system, school systems are going to be segregated by default. If you draw “race-blind” boundaries, you are going to end up with highly segregated schools.

In other words, if someone believed that segregation was absolutely moral and just, they could hardly ask for anything better than a race-blind system.

I can’t shed too many tears for Brown vs. Board of Education though. It wasn’t working anyway. People are too good at segregating themselves.

Posted by: Woody Mena at June 29, 2007 11:54 AM
Comment #224410

I would love to ask Joe Lieberman what he thinks of this decision. He was supposedly a big supporters of civil rights in the 60s, then he voted for Roberts. I hope he has a good cry when he realizes that they are going to undo a lot of his handiwork.

(Lieberman wasn’t the only Democrat to vote for Roberts, but he was probably the most prominent.)

Posted by: Woody Mena at June 29, 2007 12:13 PM
Comment #224422

surprise! Racist acting like rascist!Variation of the same old tune. “Gee,I would like to treat them better but God told me not too. Its out of my hands.”

Do not underestimate class. Heres a plan. Fund all schools equally.Schools in rich enclaves would get the same funding as those in poorer nieghborhoods. Listen to the howls.No race involved.

Posted by: BillS at June 29, 2007 1:50 PM
Comment #224426

Excellent article Rowan!

If someone could tell me please, were there issues of “forced” schooling? I mean, would parents have no choice but to send their children to a school that was geographically inconvenient? I remember, vaguely, “forced” busing of New Haven student (predominantly black) to the elementary school that I attended and was close to my house (much closer by some 30 minutes than New Haven) (btw—I am black also). What I remember (now I was only 5 when this policy started and left the school when I was 8) was this forced busing to such a distance did not have a great impact on the bused students. The were often less attentive and by the end of the day they were “wiped out.” These two things I remember are mostly likely do to how tired these students were having to leave at extremely early hours in the morning to arrive at school soon after the local children (but still late), and having to leave earlier (sometimes before the lessens for the day were completed. The obvious better remedey here would have been for the state of CN to improve the quality of schools in New Haven. I know this is simplistic but I think other things need to be considered when attempting to diversify schools by re-locating students out of their neighborhoods, child development—physical, emotional, etc. (which is NOT race biased per se) shoule be taken into consideration as these things will have a greater impact on education and learning, particularly in young children.

Aside from the aforementioned points and those similar to them, I am in agreement that the US Supreme Court Decision in this case may have profound conseqeuences on equality in public education.

The article focused much on Roberts, perhaps it is because he is Chief Justice. But the most disturbing figure in the majority, to me, is Clarence Thomas! Isn’t ironic that the only reason he is on the court to begin with is because he replace a retired black justice—Any care to guess who? Didn’t this, now deceased justice, have something to do with Brown v. Board of Education? (this is a joke, albeit and very unfortunate one).

The Thomas appointment—clearly a choice influenced by race (isn’t he lucky once again)—because I can’t believe that the only qualified candidates for the Supreme Court are white, until the “black” justice retires or dies?

Posted by: Kim-Sue at June 29, 2007 2:26 PM
Comment #224427

Do not underestimate class. Heres a plan. Fund all schools equally.Schools in rich enclaves would get the same funding as those in poorer nieghborhoods. Listen to the howls.No race involved.

Posted by: BillS at June 29, 2007 01:50 PM

Bills, google “Texas Robin Hood” and see how well this idea didn’t work in Texas. Keep telling minorities they don’t have a chance and they will continue to believe it. What a sham…liberals can only buy votes from minorities by telling them lies. Smart minorities know what great advances they have made thru hard work, good parenting and by ignoring all those who wish to keep them ignorant of their great capabilities. No one who seriously wants an education and is willing to work for it is denied that opportunity today. I don’t have to prove my statement as the evidence is available to any who visits any school in the nation. I invite you to cite examples that disprove it. More money for public education is not the answer as we have proved over the past 50 years. Good parenting, role models, and teachers are what is needed. Government, no matter how much it spends can never do what caring and involved parents can accompish.

Posted by: Jim at June 29, 2007 2:27 PM
Comment #224431


Thanks for the link. This is an important topic, and I suggest we all read the decision carefully to understand how narrow or broad are its implications.

Posted by: Gerrold at June 29, 2007 3:08 PM
Comment #224432

I am sure all them idots with gun racks,NRA stickers,and Dale Jr stickers are happy.They are pounding down their six-packs.Getting their sheets ironed for the big Klan rally.

Posted by: the libertine at June 29, 2007 3:09 PM
Comment #224436

The pic you inserted here shows why current race relations are in the state they are.
You need to keep people believing there is no difference between 1956 and today.
You need to keep people believing that us evil white men are no different than those in pictures from that turbulent time.
You need to keep people believing that everybody who doesn’t think race is really all that big a deal anymore, is a racist.
You need to keep people believing that they are victims and that your party is the only one who cares for them.
You need to keep them voting for what you think is best for them.

At least racists like the libertine there are on your side. That should make you feel good.

Posted by: kctim at June 29, 2007 3:39 PM
Comment #224439

The sooner we realize that there is no such thing as racial diversity because there’s no such thing as race, the sooner we won’t have these problems.

Skin color should not be a factor in the way people are treated by the government or anyone else. Referring to skin color as “race” is divisive and discriminatory in and of itself. It’s the attitude that brought about slavery and caused the lingering economic problems that (many) black people are still dealing with.
In reality, “race” is an outdated term that can only be used in a divisive manor. There’s no such thing.

Posted by: TheTraveler at June 29, 2007 3:46 PM
Comment #224441


That fundamental inequality based on race has not been resolved. Look at test scores, high school completion rates, college entrance and graduation rates or even the status and reputation of different school districts. All show there are significant racial divides.

Unless you think certain “races” are somehow inferior, you should see these problems are caused by economics. Is the racism of the past a contributing factor? Of course. But you can’t really say that people don’t do well because they have a certain skin color.

That’s the problem I have with things like Affirmative Action. In order for it to be necessary, black people have to be truly inferior to whites. Which, of course, they’re not.

Posted by: TheTraveler at June 29, 2007 4:13 PM
Comment #224466

Brown said that you could not use race to keep kids out of certain schools. The Supreme Court affirmed that idea again.

I look foward to a time when we will judge people by the contents of their characters, not the color of their skins.

I regret that much of the civil rights establishment no longer agrees.

Posted by: Jack at June 29, 2007 10:47 PM
Comment #224468

First, let’s start with the idea of race. It is a sham, a fabrication, dreamed up by crazy supremacists a hundred years ago. There is no such thing as “race” as it is put forward by racialist apologists. We are all of one race, human. That is not a platitude but a scientific fact. Racial distinctions are made only in a political, not a biological, context.

Second, let us recognize that this flimsy and pernicious idea has been a shape-shifter, a moving target over time and space. A hundred years ago, most learned people in the US would have told you that Irish and Italians each consisted of separate races, distinct from the native-born Americans. “Race” means one thing in South Africa, another in Australia, and another in the Bronx.

Third, more and more of us are living in communities where the concept of race is simply superfluous. As interracial couples and biracial kids proliferate, we have more and more people who are unclassifiable for those who insist that race is a real characteristic of each human being. What is Tiger Woods’s race? How about Ben Nighthorse Campbell? Angelina Jolie? Do Fidel Castro and Orlando Hernandez belong to the same race? By what defensible logic is “Hispanic” a racial category anyway?

The racialist emperor has no clothes.

Whites seem to be the ones who are obsessed with grouping people together according to skin color … to what end? My son has parents with different skin colors. What is his “race”? Who determines it? And what will be the “race” of his offspring? The foolishness of this pseudo-scientific categorizing soon becomes apparent.

Furthermore, as a leftist who has worked with the poorest kids in urban schools for most of his professional life, I have to laugh at those who are now defending Brown and bemoaning its apparent demise. I have taught in schools that had only people with dark skin, and this while the revered, landmark Supreme Court decision was in effect. Where were the racialist defenders of Brown then?

Having said this, we do have severe problems of educational inequity. It can be best seen through the prism of class and economic standing. Stop categorizing people according to their skin color or other physical characteristics (like hair texture, lip shape, or whatever). What really matters is not the physical traits that race-ist promoters are obsessed with, but the social and economic class.

Posted by: pkondrat at June 29, 2007 11:03 PM
Comment #224473

There is nothing racist about what,i just said.I happen to be white.You must have thought i was African-American for some reason.I want you to know not every white male,likes NASCAR,or hunting and fishing.I happen to like baseball,football, hockey,and soccer.

Posted by: the libertine at June 30, 2007 12:20 AM
Comment #224475

While race as a biological differentiation is a myth, to argue that it is therefore not a social reality is patently absurd. Sorry folks, but we have “created” race, and structured social lives around it. The consequences of the social reality of race are deadly real - and it is not simply economics. Ask the African American man that is assumed to be a violent criminal, or the “Hispanic” woman bleeding and convulsing to death on the floor of an emergency room (it went on for over 45 minutes), or the number of Black and Brown people shot by the police - like the shooting of the friends from the bachelor’s party in New York, or the shooting in the head of Kendra James (Portland Or) for a “simple” traffic stop.

These are not simply the manifestations of economic status.

The examples are too numerous to identify. Last night in the Democratic debates, the following information was put forward for the candidates to speculate on: male African American high school graduates have a 30% higher unemployment rate than White American male high school drop outs. None of the candidates responded with an acknowledgment of what these statistics indicate. Instead, they talked about the failure of the educational system, and how African Americans are “behind” before ever starting school.

What that statistic indicates, friends and foes, is racism - not classism.

Racial profiling is real. Ask anyone assumed to “Arab” who has been pulled out of the line at the airport for extra inspection. Racial targeting is real. For example my sister (who has fairly brown skin and black hair) was delayed for 6 hours coming back into the US from a Caribbean cruise while they verified all of her papers because they thought she was an “illegal alien.” The “white” woman she was traveling with went straight through with a 15 minute stop at customs. These are not “class” issues either, and cannot be explained away by arguing “economics.”

While we may want a “color blind” society; while we may firmly believe that “things shouldn’t be this way;” while we want race to be history; our hopes, and wants and beliefs do not change the reality of living in a society where race is “practiced.”

Posted by: Rowan at June 30, 2007 12:42 AM
Comment #224479
I look foward to a time when we will judge people by the contents of their characters, not the color of their skins.

Me too. Until that time we should do what we can to counter the racial bias and discrimination that still exists in America.

Posted by: American Pundit at June 30, 2007 2:51 AM
Comment #224494


While race as a biological differentiation is a myth, to argue that it is therefore not a social reality is patently absurd. Sorry folks, but we have “created” race, and structured social lives around it.

So you think that we need to continue operating under the false premise of “race” in order to make things better for people of certain skin colors? I’m sorry, Rowan, but using skin color as a basis for judging people is wrong no matter how good your intentions are. In fact, attitudes like yours help enable racism because you insist that skin color should be a factor in how we decide to treat people.

While we may want a “color blind” society; while we may firmly believe that “things shouldn’t be this way;” while we want race to be history; our hopes, and wants and beliefs do not change the reality of living in a society where race is “practiced.”

My beliefs have changed. I used to have your attitude. Then I realized that attitude helps divide our society.
In the post I pulled this quote from, you go on and on about how bad racial profiling is (and you’re right), but your article is essentially an argument for racial profiling. Don’t you see how the phony notion of “race” has made you into exactly the thing you claim to be fighting against?

You’re so close to getting it, Rowan. Just one more step and you’ll have the enlightened 21st century perspective. All you have to do is realize that the race myth should be fought against and not worked around. The fight against racism begins in our own minds. Remember: it’s the divisive attitude that causes racism, not the skin color.
Affirmative action, diversity quotas and such attempt to work around racism instead of eliminating it, which is why they have had little effect on society. If we start fighting the racists, we will be able to stop fighting the results of their actions.

Posted by: TheTraveler at June 30, 2007 1:51 PM
Comment #224496


You are correct that more money for public schools is not the answer.More money does not ensure success. Conversly though,poor funding insures failure.Good parenting,role models,and good teachers are very important. Do you expect to get and retain good teachers without decent pay? The Texas experiment failed for a varity of reasons. Property taxes are not the only possible source of school revenues.

Posted by: BillS at June 30, 2007 2:12 PM
Comment #224500

Very good article and follow up comments, Rowan. I agree 100%.

Posted by: Adrienne at June 30, 2007 4:29 PM
Comment #224505

It should come as no surprise that this court perpetuates rascism under whatever guise they use. As Paul pointed out in a susequent piece,they are for the ruleing economic elites,the plutocrats. Rascism is one of their most important tools to keep working class people devided. It was and is used to keep southern whites in low wage jobs.It is being widely used now to blame brown immigrants for stagnit wage growth.An example of the latter was an interview I watched of a middle aged Iowa women concerning the influx of Latinos into her previouly white town. The towns main industry is meatpacking. Her complaint was that before they came the plant offered good “union jobs”.Her complaint was about the immigrant workers,not about the plant owners spending time and money to de-certify the union.

Posted by: Bills at June 30, 2007 5:13 PM
Comment #224509


Yes we should and that is what the Supreme Court just did.

Posted by: Jack at June 30, 2007 5:58 PM
Comment #224510

Rowan is right about rascism still being around today.It is worst than it was 30 or 40 years ago.You have a middle aged Iowa women,making rascist statemeant about Latinos.

Posted by: the libertine at June 30, 2007 6:20 PM
Comment #224511

Rowan and TheTraveler:

My hat is off to you two. It is rare that two people that are polar opposites on an issue have such a thoughtful and respectable debate. Either side can learn a lot from both the tone and substance of your opinions. For me, I now have more faith that both sides of the spectrum can cunduct civil discussions of very devisive issues without compromising the integrity of the debate. Thank you. By the way, IMHO Traveler is a lot closer to being right on this issue.

Posted by: submariner at June 30, 2007 6:25 PM
Comment #224525


My hat is off to you two. It is rare that two people that are polar opposites on an issue have such a thoughtful and respectable debate. Either side can learn a lot from both the tone and substance of your opinions.

That’s what Watchblog is good for, at least when everyone’s not insulting each other…

I don’t think Rowan and I are polar opposites (on this issue). We both want the same outcomes. It’s just that Rowan is willing to accept the racism myth for the purpose of fighting against it. However, the past forty years have shown that accomplishes little. You can fight racism without giving it credence.

Posted by: TheTraveler at June 30, 2007 10:33 PM
Comment #224530

I definitely prefer dialogs over debates, and conversations over tirades.

My major issue with The Traveler’s position, is that I do not see how we can ignore race when most of the “white” population does not understand how they live race every day. Their own race is largely invisible to them (after all, they are “individuals”). That is one of the privileges of being white - not having to think about race - particularly not their own. They think that they hold whatever position they hold because of their own efforts - largely ignorant of the historical and contemporary social engineering around race that still influences racial differences in social outcomes.

I do not think that we can move past race as an issue in the United States until we face what we have created. Otherwise, we will say “race is a myth” while the very real impacts of the social construction of race continue.

I too think “things shouldn’t be this way” and race should not be an issue. However, I know my wishes and hopes do not a reality make.

Posted by: rowan at June 30, 2007 11:13 PM
Comment #224536


I totally agree with you. Many of these so called “conservative” opinions are going to turn around and bite us in the arse.

We’re racing back to the 1920’s or possibly further. I already smell “holy war” in the air, how long will it be until we decide to wage war on the “mud people”.

Already we have vigilante’s “guarding” the border. How far away is the next American holocaust?

If Justice Roberts was correct then color plays no part in the indiscriminate number of black Americans ending up in prison or on death row. This court decision ignores our societal problems and further widens the gap between our white, male krytocracy and the American citizen.

Should our hatred of the blacks in our society fail to result in the fervor desired that hatred can easily be redirected toward Hispanics or Gays or Lesbians! Hate knows no bounds!

Having been a member of the Southern Poverty Law Center for many years I’ve been told repeatedly that my donations are wasted because ‘that’s past history”. Not so! The worst is yet to come.

Posted by: KansasDem at July 1, 2007 2:36 AM
Comment #224548

Everyone seems to be dancing all around it. Rascism is inextricably linked to economics.How else to explain the huge black prison problem if one rejects the rascist notion of an inferior and criminal race? It is a tool used to keep the prolitariet under control.The way to end rascism is the same way to end economic injustice.One cannot proceed without the other.They are the same.MLK realized this and started working with striking workers,at which point he was whacked.Far too dangerious for the plutocrats.
Rascism is a necessary ingredient for the creation of a dis-enfranshised under class of workers.It is not fashionable to use blacks for this purpose at this point,at least publicaly but people of all political bents have no trouble blameing “illegal” immigrants for depressing wages when clearly the blame belongs to those who underpay them.The same was done to the Irish,Italians etc. during the last era of robber barons.

Posted by: BillS at July 1, 2007 12:22 PM
Comment #224567

The city in which I live is pretty much racially diverce. The only problem is the school system which really sucks through many years of mismanagement. Bussing really screwed up the system and accomplished nothing. The kids hated it and so did the parents. Today the schools are integratted, but the problem is MONEY, and where to come up with the needed funds to operate with. Most people are sick of taxes, and vote down the school levys, so programs are elliminated. When a former superintendet make $300,000. per year takes trips on money intended for the school system education of the kids suffers, thank God we got rid of her( by the way she was BLACK). Maybe race plays an issue in some parts of this country, but not in my city.

Posted by: KAP at July 1, 2007 9:21 PM
Comment #224568


Sounds good. Something to be said for school integration. Locating schools right is better than busing but you are right,its about money.
Glad you got rid of that sup. People like that do so much damage to kids. Most people do not mind(much) paying taxes if they know they are recieving value for them.Hope you shake up the school board too. They let her get away with it.

Posted by: BillS at July 1, 2007 9:49 PM
Comment #224590

The only requirement for nomination to the SCOTUS is a religious test. I think that there are more catholics than any other religion, opposition to abortion being required for nomination.

Lieberman is an independent who will support a pro-war Rpblcn over an anti-war democrat in the 2008 election.

I know NASCAR watching, country music listening people who are liberal and have grandchildren of various mixed ethnicities. I agree that race is an outdtated terminology.

The public school problems are too enormous to go into, but it is easy to tell whether a teenager in Winnetka goes to New Trier or North Shore Country Day School, even though they are both considered to be excellent.

Posted by: ohrealy at July 2, 2007 3:55 PM
Comment #224603

Rowan, would that all of us could argue so eloquently. This is an interesting one for me; on the one hand, I recognize institutionalized racism as a fact. On the other, I think that the only way to eventually deinstitutionalize it (is that a word??) is to refuse to acknowledge that divide. Do you see what I mean? It’s one of those ‘if you ignore it, it’ll go away’ things. Once we really, truly begin to ignore the color of each other’s skin, we can move on to the REALLY important prejudices, like sexual orientation.

Sorry, bit facetious there, but is it possible we have actually reached the point at which race is a minor factor in our society? I mean, we have a mixed-race man running for President - and out-earning the former First Lady. Someone, somewhere along the line has abandoned their prejudice, otherwise this simply wouldn’t be happening.

Perhaps it’s not so much institutionalized after all. In which case - should we let go of our positive affirmation of race?

Really these are just questions. And I hate to side with the Roberts court. But your article really has me wondering.

Posted by: Jon Rice at July 2, 2007 9:47 PM
Comment #224662

Here is Colin Powell reacting to the Supreme Court’s decision:

Posted by: PaulD at July 3, 2007 10:58 AM
Comment #232440

My husband and I are tired of the hatred in the world based on racism so we decided to do something about it. We have come up with a design that is now available in our shop that states “One Race Human” in the hope to promote equality and respect of different opinions in the world. Please join our quest and show the world leaders and everyone else that we mean business.

Posted by: NotChris at September 10, 2007 3:03 PM
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