Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Welcome to 1950

I have long thought that MAGA was a code phrase for let's take America back to the Fifties where women and the coloreds knew their place and by coloreds we mean black and that eliminates all the confusion about who is not white or oriental that is not just a rug. Ah the good old days!

Well they have never left. We had some moment where it was just close to the finishing line and perceptions are often enough to accept that all our attempts at equality have been met, I mean we elected that black guy with the funny name as President. That has to mean something. Yes and we promptly followed him with perhaps the weirdest human being possible.

The Devos cohort is rolling back the Ed policies of the Obama Administration that is about school discipline and that ship has sailed bitch and despite the fact that the old discipline policies were inherently racist the current ones are not much better as school violence has reached new heights with no one knowing what to do to resolve the crisis in the classroom. And yes it is a crisis. There is a huge correlation between bullying and exposure to violence and many of the problems that result.  Then we have the rising tide of income inequity contributes to this as poverty also begets violence. It is like nothing I have ever witnessed in nearly 60 years on the planet since I moved to Nashville and the next 9 months is a countdown to getting away from it. Maybe that is what they mean when they describe Nashville as an "it" city.

I do find some common ground between the North and the South and the push to gentrify means a further push to segregate and isolate those faces of color and of language to their own communities.  So while I love a trip down Nolensville as it offers a variety of food and shopping, much of it is conducted in their own language which often means less interaction and opportunity for all residents to experience another culture.

The schools were the meeting place, the land that enabled everyone to gather and mingle and learn together. Not just curriculum but traditions, exposure to others not like oneself and the opportunity to experience a new tradition and history that comes from the rituals that schools provide.   And today's underfunded under appreciated and largely out of their depth as schools are working past the point of intent.  Welcome to our America.

Stanton Peele Ph.D.
Psychology Today

How Are African Americans Doing? I: Violence and Segregation
Black Americans' status has declined for 50 years as whites isolate themselves

Posted Oct 09, 2017

While Americans of all stripes pay lip service to a racially egalitarian society, on every key measure — violence, economics, education, health — African Americans' status in society has deteriorated over the last fifty years. For their part, white Americans' response has been to do everything possible to avoid contact with average black Americans. This is equally true for liberals and conservatives, although liberals are more likely to obfuscate both African Americans' status and their own isolation from blacks, along with poorer whites whom they regard as prejudiced.


When the Las Vegas shooter killed 58 people, journalists rushed to assert that mass violence is a white ("privileged white") phenomenon:

"These shooters are almost exclusively coming from a single socio-economic class and racial group,” wrote actor Cole Sprouse in a widely shared Twitter thread. We must now address “what part of whiteness influences this kind of Petri dish for gun violence and killing.”

This wasn’t just a social media phenomenon. The Huffington Post published Sprouse’s tweets as a “Powerful Take on Whiteness and Mass Shootings.” An article in Elle called the link between white men and mass shootings “a general rule” and proposed that “our refusal to confront toxic white male violence is why this problem will metastasize.” The progressive news site ThinkProgress said that “when we talk about mass shootings, we are talking about white men.” Newsweek wondered if “white men commit mass shootings out of a sense of entitlement.” A CNN opinion piece bemoaned the fact that “America has silently accepted the rage of white men.”

In a narrow sense, these stories are correct: The plurality of mass killers are white. But the notion that white men of privilege are disproportionately represented among mass shooters—indeed, that they make up “nearly all” of them—is a myth.

The above was written by Daniel Engber in Slate. It is remarkable how widespread the view he cites is; it's even more remarkable that a liberal publication would publish his data-based refutation of this view. For, Engber shows (using the data base compiled by Mother Jones Magazine), while 56 percent of mass murderers (defined by the CDC as involving three or more victims) are white, this underrepresents the presence of whites in the general population, from which the rate of mass murderers is calculated, while Asians and African Americans are overrepresented:

According to this data set, then, Asians and black Americans are overrepresented among mass shooters by about the same proportion (a bit more than one-fourth) that whites are underrepresented. This means the population rate of mass shootings by whites is 0.021 per 100,000 people, while the corresponding rate of mass shootings by blacks is 1.7 times higher, at 0.037.

Engber then writes (extremely provocatively) that the reason we are impressed by African Americans only being 25 percent more likely to shoot many people at once is because they are so much more likely to kill individuals than whites are—630 percent more likely—with most of those victims being black:

This disparity [25% more mass shootings], which could be thought of as the statistical non-whiteness of mass shootings, is much smaller in magnitude than the one for killings nationwide. Overall murder rates among black Americans are 6.3 times higher than they are for whites, according to a report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Another report suggests white offenders made up just 45.3 percent of everyone who committed homicides between 1980 and 2008.* In other words, white Americans may be somewhat underrepresented among mass shooters, but they’re even more underrepresented among all killers. In that limited sense, it would be fair to say that whites are responsible for more public massacres than you might expect. . . . [But] I think it makes more sense to ask why those classified as non-white might be disproportionately represented among killers, from mass shooters down the line.

That's a tough question that we liberals don't like to pose, perhaps even to acknowledge. What does it say that American inner cities are highly violent places? The ten most violent cities in the U.S., with the percentage of African Americans in each city in parentheses, are: 1. Baltimore (64%), 2. Detroit (83%), 3. New Orleans (60%), 4. Kansas City (28%), 5. Cleveland (53%), 6. Memphis (63%), 7. Newark (52%), 8. St. Louis (49%), 9. Chicago (33%), 10. Milwaukee (40%).

It's fair to say that all of these cities, as well has having large black populations, are deeply segregated. Many whites, obviously, have left cities because of their fear of black Americans, while remaining neighborhoods are highly segregated. The Wall Street Journal rated the 16 most segregated cities in the United States (including nearby suburbs). Eight of the ten cities with the highest murder rates are in the top 11 in terms of segregation: Detroit (#1), Chicago (#2), Memphis (#4), Cleveland (#5), New Orleans (#6), Baltimore (#8), St. Louis (#9), Memphis (#11).
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While we Northerners booed Southerners for segregated schools, the last half century has proved beyond doubt that whites will do whatever they can to avoid living near, or sending their children to school with, substantial numbers of blacks. Brown v. Board of Education (1954) was the landmark Supreme Court decision to end school desegregation. Now more than 60 years later, school segregation is rapidly increasing, including the most virulent form, called Apartheid, in which 99 percent of the students in a school are students of color.

Such schools educate one-third of black students in New York City and half of the black students in Chicago; nationwide, according to a report from the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, they educated more than 15 percent of African-American kids and 14 percent of Latinos in 2012. Even in places where racial segregation isn’t quite so absolute, the physical divide between white kids and kids of color in public schools—and charter schools—keeps growing. (my italics)

We’ve gotten used to explaining the segregation we see in our schools by pointing to the segregation we see in our neighborhoods. It seems pretty simple: Kids who don’t live in the same place aren’t likely to go to the same school.

But that explanation has it backwards. In many cities across the U.S., public schools were the first and nearly always the most effective of the tools white residents had to police the boundaries of their neighborhoods. Often, it was school segregation that created neighborhood segregation, not the other way around. (my italics)

In other words, white people move rather than sending their kids to school with a large proportion of blacks that they move. Remarkably, in the North, neighborhoods (and schools) were much more integrated, with a minority of students being black, earlier in the last century. There was a tipping point at which whites refused to continue to send their kids to school that were predominantly black, or nearly so.

But before that, Baltimore was like many other other multiracial cities: Black people and white people were often each other’s neighbors, living side by side in one historian calls a “salt and pepper” pattern. For example, on one working-class West Baltimore block, the 1900 Census counted a white grocer and his family living next door to an African-American waiter and his family; down the street, an Irish marble-polisher lived between a white butter dealer and a black musician. As historian Karen Olson notes in The Baltimore Book, at the turn of the 20th century, “although African Americans constituted 10 percent or more of the total population in three-fourths of the city’s 20 wards, no single ward was more than one-third black.”

But that all changed, as neighborhoods segregated in order to preserve primarily one-race schools. Today, pioneering in the South, but extending throughout the country, new school systems are being set up to keep the races separated (see Whites Only: School Segregation Is Back, From Birmingham to San Francisco):

A middle-class Birmingham suburb called Gardendale wants to leave the Jefferson County school system. Gardendale, which is mostly white, says race has nothing to do with its push for secession: It simply wants to control its schools. . . . “The intent is to create a local school system where they will have control over who comes in and that they will minimize the number of blacks who come in". . . . Local control has become a popular rallying cry in municipalities across the nation—including liberal states like New York and California—that want to form their own school districts.

But, critics assert, what people want to control is the racial composition of schools.

Charter schools (which have been trumpeted by liberals and conservatives alike) have accelerated this process, for example in Washington:

D.C. charter schools, which serve over 40 percent of the city’s student population, are more segregated than D.C.’s other public schools. In 2012, over two-thirds of charter schools. . . were “apartheid schools” (defined as having less than 1 percent white enrollment), whereas only 50 percent of public schools had such completely segregated populations. Voucher schools, another model that DeVos favors, often heightened this problem, according to the report, concentrating in affluent, white communities and underserving black families, who could often not afford to pay fees required beyond the vouchers themselves.

New York—an extremely liberal, diverse city—is intensely segregated by race: "Despite its polychromatic diversity, New York City has one of most deeply segregated school systems in the nation." Indeed, New York intentionally created a system where children could move outside of their local districts to attend school. While of course (as in D.C.) neighborhoods are deeply segregated, this flexible enrollment exacerbated school segregation. It did this by separating children according to their academic abilities. While this seems like an open-minded, liberal policy, it has the effect of ruling blacks (and Latinos, but not Asians) out of the best schools:

Getting into the best schools, where almost all students graduate and are ready to attend college, often requires top scores on the state’s annual math and English tests and a high grade point average.

Those admitted to these most successful schools remain disproportionately middle class and white or Asian, according to an in-depth analysis of acceptance data and graduation rates conducted for The New York Times by Measure of America, an arm of the Social Science Research Council. At the same time, low-income black or Hispanic children . . . are routinely shunted into schools with graduation rates 20 or more percentage points lower.

In particular, New York's selective schools (e.g., Bronx School of Science, Stuyvesant) require admission tests. Blacks and Latinos rarely get into these schools. But whites don't dominate these elite public schools either—Asians do (thus challenging easy ideas of bias and prejudice).

NY's most selective schools' racial composition:

Asians (57%)
Whites (27%)
Blacks (7%)
Hispanics (8%)

So, you see, in terms of the related topics of residential segregation and education, America may be as bad as—or worse than—ever. It is certainly not improving.


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