Sunday, November 3, 2013

Separate is Not Equal

While Brown vs The  Board of Education was a major victory for blacks everywhere, we see over time that there were further elements constraining many from the goal of equality. The harsh reality is that the glue that binds racial segregation contains several elements - residential patterns, housing discrimination and economic constraints. Brown vs The Board of Education only eliminated one facet from the situation. At this point, Herbert has us considering if the decision was even beneficial in the grand scheme of things. Blacks and Hispanics are left behind in less than sufficient schools, solidifying their status as lower class for generations to come. Brown vs the Board of Education emphasizes equal opportunity for every student. However, the student has no control over what school he goes to, it's merely based on his parent's economic situation, truly no different to how black students were pushed to a school according to their skin color - another decision they didn't get to make. Racism still exists, the only changes made being the terms we use to describe it. Rather than whatever offensive term we shamelessly used 50 years ago, we'll hear the politically correct refer to these people as "urban youth" or something similar, carrying the same stigmas, producing the same mental pictures.

As Tim Wise hints, racism has only succeeded in becoming more subtle.  Wise states that many describe Obama as "outside the Black and brown norm"...

...What the hell does that mean?

Not "the negative stereotype of", not "What many consider to be", but just "the norm"?

norms : standards of proper or acceptable behavior
the norm : an average level of development or achievement
the norm : something (such as a behavior or way of doing something) that is usual or expected

We, as a society expect blacks to be in some form possessive of traits drastically different from Obama's? Lacking professionalism? Lacking coherence? ambition? We expect this? This is just a passive thought?

This, along with Wise's explanation of stereotypes and his evidence suggesting the percentage that believe them further support our frequently denied modern segregation. This is also a major reason why Herbert says that despite the consensus that we need to help poor black people do better in school  "the consensus is that those efforts are best confined to the kids’ own poor black neighborhoods."


  1. Hey Nick,
    "As Tim Wise hints, racism has only succeeded in becoming more subtle.'' I don't think that Tim Wise could have said it better.
    * Your blog was so cute, witty and funny this week, I absolutely loved it!*

  2. Nick,

    I hate the word normal but you use it here in a constructive way. In your definition of norm you point out that by sticking to the "norm" structure, you are doing our part in being politically correct. We are essentially dancing around the problems and masking it with politeness. By saying the actually words, which you point out we don't do, we are avoiding facing that segregation is still in place and actually dealing with it! Great blog!

  3. I agree, there is still racism today and there are big time stereotypes. like they say in the video if a person of color went to a commuter school, they would not be president, if a white person did this it would be fine. Stereotypes need to go.

  4. HI Nick,
    "Outside the Black and brown norm"... I don't know what this means either.Stereotyping is so dangerous and is a breeding ground for hate.