Sunday, March 23, 2014

Separate Is Not Equal

Brown v. Board of Education- Free Response

The website on Brown v. Board of Education, the article by Bob Herbert, and the two videos about the book Between Barack and a Hard Place by Tim Wise all have one very strong topic in common. The issues of segregation and racism. On May 17, 1954 the Supreme Court stripped away constitutional sanctions for segregation by race and made equal opportunities in education for people of all races. Since then, racial integration in schools is present and segregation has subsided, but Bob Herbert and Tim Wise say differently. They believe that because of public opinions on people of a race other than white, racism has not completely gone away, and is still a problem in America today.

 In the article "Separate and Unequal" by Bob Herbert, he discusses the issues of education in lower class communities. Education is lower class communities or communities with high counts of poverty are considered to be less educated communities. Herbert believes this is due to the fact that teachers who are highly educated do not want to teach in low class areas. He states, "Educators know that it is very difficult to get consistently good results in schools characterized by high concentrations of poverty. The best teachers tend to avoid such schools." He also states than it has been shown that poor children will do better academically if they are in a classroom learning with children of a higher social class or even in a more affluent school. Many students living in poverty or in these lower class areas are black or Hispanic. Because of this there would be racial and ethnic integration in the more affluent schools. "Schools are no longer legally segregated, but because of residential patterns, housing discrimination, economic disparities and long-held custom, they most emphatically are in reality." -Herbert. Brown v. Board of Education fought for schools to be integrated and for all students of all races to be equal. Although schools stay true to that law, due to issues with race and social class, segregation is still present in a different way which I don't think was presented back in 1954.

Tim Wise has a similar argument. In his book Between Barack and a Hard Place, he explains how issues of racism are still present even at a time when America has an African American president. He believes that there are still biased opinions towards the black communities and that America is in denial. He categorized racism into to groups. Racism 1.0 which is as he states "old school biased" or the kind of racism that was allowed when segregation was not unconstitutional. But he says that we should watch out for Racism 2.0 which he thinks is being brought around now. Racism 2.0, or as he calls it "enlightened exceptional-ism" is thought of as people who support President Obama because he is different than the "black norm." The fact that there are thoughts of a black norm is racist in the first place. Wise stated that 6 out of 10 Americans trusted at least one of the following stereotypes about African Americans.
1. Less intelligent than white people
2. More aggressive
3. Less hardworking
4. Less patriotic
5. Live on Welfare so they do not have to work

If Americans still have opinions such as those then it is clear that racism is still present.

This article reminded me a lot of the article "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" by Peggy McIntosh. I think that the ideas of Herbert, Wise, and McIntosh are all very closely related. Peggy McIntosh believed that the idea of White Privilege is everywhere and that it is learned at a young age that it is okay. Although we may not see it ourselves and believe that it is not there, it is still present in our everyday lives in ways we don't realize. I think that is what Herbert and Wise are trying to say also. With issues in education due to race and social class, the African American and Hispanic communities are segregated in a way that is unnoticeable to society in a major way. White Privilege is then present. The ideas that many Americans have about the "black norm" in a community shows that white people are considered more successful than people of another race which is not true. Tim Wise stated that "If you want to know if a problem is still a problem, it probably makes sense to talk to the ones who are the target of it, not the ones who don't have to know, because we're not."

The historical issues that are presented on the website on Brown v. Board of Education have not completely gone away. The contemporary issues of race raised by Tim Wise and Bob Herbert have always been around, but they have never been taken care of because they are not always noticed by society. The education of African Americans, Hispanics, or anyone of another race is in jeopardy. I believe that it is because the idea of “white privilege" is so present in America. 

1 comment:

  1. I really liked your post. You included some really nice pictures as well. The last picture, the cartoon, was really fitting for the topic this week. Overall, good job.