Read the closed comment thread accompanying this Nation article about school segregation before Katrina vanden Heuvel returns from whatever anti-(but nonetheless lily-)white Leftist fundraiser she’s at and has it removed. The article is par for the progressive course, attributing the organized white flight of suburban cities seceding from dangerous black school districts entirely to white malice:
A new secessionist movement, anchored in the South, provides yet another reminder that “separate” still means “unequal” when it comes to the racial dynamics of the nation’s public schools.
The small middle-class town of Gardendale, Alabama, outside Birmingham, voted on November 12 to secede from the Jefferson County school district and then to raise taxes on themselves to finance the solo venture. Then, in March, Gardendale’s 14,000 residents finally got their own Board of Education. Soon after his appointment, one new board member, Clayton “Dick” Lee III, a banker and father of two, said he aspires to build a “best in class” school system “which exceeds the capabilities of the system which we are exiting.”
In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, an organized group of residents from an unincorporated, predominantly white, relatively affluent area with a strong tax base are trying to form an entirely new eighty-five-square-mile city for the express purpose of separating from the East Baton Rouge Parish Schools, which, by the way, enroll a majority of black and economically disadvantaged students. At the same time, a bill that would create four semi-autonomous school districts in this same southern section of Baton Rouge is being considered by the Louisiana legislature. The proposed new city, St. George, would not be the first secession from East Baton Rouge Parish schools. In recent years, three municipalities have created their own school districts, though not all were particularly affluent or predominantly white.
Secession efforts are not limited to the South, with efforts cropping up recently in Malibu, California, and in northeast Pennsylvania. But the movement is centered in the South because the region’s districts tend to be larger, often enrolling students who live in cities and towns throughout an entire county as opposed to a small municipality.
The Narrative was assailed when this Power Line post (found by way of American Renaissance) linked to the article, prompting an invasion of critical comments focusing on the real motive force behind white flight, black violence (writing that I’m struck: I don’t think I’ve ever read a progressive polemic about white flight or segregation that so much as mentioned black violence, much less take account of this overwhelming reality). Power Line here points to some inspiringly excoriating comments (that were excised sometime after PL revealed them):
I attended Malcolm X Elementary School in Berkeley, CA in the early ’70s. I’m white, and the school was 50% black. My mother, being a good liberal of the times, enrolled me in a special program that was 90% black. My experiences showed me the following:
1. Blacks are incredibly hard on other blacks, vicious in some cases. And I’m specifically referring to black adults treatment of black children. Being a kind, meek, intelligent black child in a black neighborhood must be a terrifying experience if you don’t have anyone to watch over you. I’d wager many are destroyed psychologically by the experience.
2. As a white person in a black community, you have basically two positions available to you on the social fabric: non-entity or target. If you keep your mouth shut and keep a low profile, you’ll be lucky and just be a non-entity. Imagine that. That was my *best* option socially. But at least my mother got to feel like a good liberal. . .
As an adult, I don’t wish blacks bad things, but I sure don’t want to live in their neighborhoods either, which is a feeling I bet I have in common with a lot of black people too. 25 years was enough, and, as an adult, the best moment of my life was to move into a neighborhood where I didn’t have to worry about my car being stolen or vandalized or people randomly hassling me on the street because I was white. Enough is enough. Call me a racist if it gives you a morally superior boost, but I know you haven’t walked the walk. It’s all theory to most of you clowns.
Blowback? No; here’s the first response:
I witnessed a similar response from a woman I knew in Atlanta. She and her husband were similar to your parents: Stanford liberals. When they moved to Atlanta with their two daughters, they continually proclaimed their belief in public education and that their daughters would attend public schools. But after a couple of years attending Atlanta public schools, their daughters were moved into private schools. I never knew the precise reasons for the move, and when I asked, the woman became very defensive and evasive. I don’t criticize the right of this woman and her husband to do what they felt was best for their children, but they had no idea of the destructive effects of their ideas and actions.
“Being a kind, meek, intelligent black child in a black neighborhood must be a terrifying experience if you don’t have anyone to watch over you.” You don’t know the half of it. Fortunately for me the horror was mitigated somewhat because:
1. My family is from Ghana and the apartment building we lived at had a lot of immigrants from all over so immediate vicinity was an oasis.
2. I went to Catholic school up through 6th grade until I transferred to the public junior high. This would prove to be a negative at junior high but as far as my overall future it was a life saver. I’m a big believer in Catholic and charter schools as a result even if all they do is skim the good Black kids.
3. The African-American kids at my junior high were vicious, I can’t think of any other word to describe it. Of course there were good ones but they were a distinct minority and they caught more hell than I did because they actually lived in the projects.
Basically if you are a smart Black kid and don’t have a popular older sibling that can fight, a family rep for being in the streets or aren’t athletic. Your life in a mostly Black school setting will be hell.
I had a similar experience to yours. I attended a majority black Middle/High School in the late 1970s/early 80s in Philadelphia. My parents were social democrats and (still) clueless. I saw the fighting you speak of: even the black girls fought each other. Although I did have a few black acquaintances, a low-profile was definitely the way to go because I was attacked several times. Eventually I moved to the suburbs and the fear was gone.
There comes a point and time when African-Americans need to take a hard look at their culture. White folks aren’t the only ones avoiding African-American neighborhoods and schools. New immigrants of all backgrounds do as well if they can afford to.
Also African-American kids have been in the news for beating up:
1. Asians in Philly
2. Haitians in New Jersey and Miami
3. Somalis in Minneapolis
4. Hispanics all across the country.
Power Line blogger Stephen Hayward seems to think this represents a “civil war” within the Left, but I’d surmise it’s more like an invasion by rightists–call it desegregation. It’s like when Drudge links to something from the Left sending his legions their way, except in this case the criticism is intelligent and focused (no “socialist Obama policies are responsible for this mess!” followed by a weary “looks like the Drudgetards are here”).
Such comment-thread truth spasms have become a common reaction to the pro-Amnesty articles, oblivious to or openly dismissive of popular sentiment, that plod across the headlines daily. Also heartening, as Paul Nachtmann of Vdare points out here, is the degree to which critical comments tend to blow away the uncritical in up/down votes. It’s getting harder for them to present the Narrative as having any real popular support. The Left just can’t have nice things any more.
Curiously however, the comments at the Power Line post are almost uniformly milquetoast, citing the standard Culture of Irresponsibility or whatever we call it nowadays. Typical examples:
Every single problem in the black community — crime, poverty, drugs, illiteracy — evolves from their 75% illegitimacy rate. The community’s family structure has been systematically destroyed by govt policies and the result is as tragic as it was predictable.
In freedom, African Americans sing the praises of those who destroyed the African American family, who created government that ensured that 85% of black children (lucky enough to not be aborted) born in major metropolitan areas are born to a mother without a husband, and vote for Democrats, Liberals, Progressives, Socialists and Marxists who did this to them.
God bless Power Line for the post, but maybe they’re engaging in a little pc comment moderation themselves.