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School Segregation

To those of you who find themselves skeptical of the notion that there is systemic or institutional racism that is at the root of the protests, I often tell my son that if someone tells you that they have a problem with you … your agreement concerning the existence of the problem is not required and refusal to acknowledge the problem will ultimately be to your own detriment. Avoidance, denial and rationalization are not problem solving strategies they are dysfunctional “coping” mechanisms.

Undeniably, there are different American experiences. Same storm. Different boats. There are and have been obvious indications that there are ‘different Americas’. The easiest to point to is the perpetual social and economic suffering of one group of people among us sociologically referred to as 'the underclass'. It is incumbent upon each of us to give thoughtful consideration to the reasons that make an underclass possible … or ensure it. A reasonable and thoughtful person can only conclude that this suffering (on the historical heals of slavery) is not simply an economic and/or socio-political “accident” or that the responsibility for it lies solely with the members of the underclass community.

As an attorney, school segregation is, is one of the most glaring examples of this disparity. I suspect we can agree that education is the gateway to upper social and economic mobility. Long ago, the Supreme Court determined that separate but equal … or segregation of our schools is unconstitutional. (See, Brown v. Board of Education, 47 U.S. 483 (1954). Notwithstanding the decision, our schools undeniably remain segregated. Why is that and how is it possible? It clearly points to a silent societal complicity from our community schools to law enforcement. Intentional or unwitting, the result is the same. The underclass remains educationally disadvantaged and denied upward mobility. Are the schools segregated in your community?

I mention it not to affix blame ... but to raise our collective consciousness. I've attached two studies on school segregation since Brown to put a finer point on it. ________……/Brown-65-050919v4…


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