The racist endeavors of the Tea Party

Okay, I’ll admit it. Not every Teabagger is racist. Some of them honestly just want a balanced budget during economic hard times. So did Herbert Hoover, but I digress.

But then there is the majority that always seems to back the racist bullshit like we see in Wake County, North Carolina.

The sprawling Wake County School District has long been a rarity. Some of its best, most diverse schools are in the poorest sections of this capital city. And its suburban schools, rather than being exclusive enclaves, include children whose parents cannot afford a house in the neighborhood.

But over the past year, a new majority-Republican school board backed by national Tea Party movement conservatives has set the district on a strikingly different course. Pledging to “say no to the social engineers!’’ it has abolished the policy behind one of the nation’s most celebrated integration efforts.

As the board moves toward a system in which students attend neighborhood schools, some members are embracing the provocative idea that concentrating poor children, who are usually minorities, in a few schools could have merits — logic that critics are blasting as a 21st-century case for segregation.

Ah, the ol’ “social engineering” refrain. We’ve always known it was racist, but now we really get to see it in a blatantly racist context. “Send black children to black schools and white children to white schools…and have them all run by whites! It’s the only way to be fair! Uh, uh. We mean, uh, no social engineering…? Yeah, that last one is what we meant.”

I don’t pretend to be a Malcolm X expert, but I do know one of his biggest points was that institutions run by a group that has less than a full interest in the well being of another group will not be the best of possible institutions. Laws and government policies have corrected that in some places, Wake County being one of the best examples. Still in other places, we’re churning out kids with awful educations, kids who are destined to fail. So when we get schools that feature both poor kids and wealthy kids – and come on, we all know that largely is just code for minority kids and white kids – it isn’t surprising that we start to see some pretty great results. We’re taking all sorts of bright kids from all sorts of places and giving them all sorts of opportunities. This is an excellent example of government doing its job. It is this sort of policy which has forced the wealthy group to interact with the poorer group, thereby raising the standards for education on a broad basis. Or to put it another way, we have no one group running an institution for another group in which it has less than a full interest.

But I don’t think anyone ever thought the Tea Party was a pragmatic organization. Actual results aren’t what matter for that racist endeavor. It’s all about an agenda that is very loosely defined by libertarianism, but is driven by division and bigotry and, probably above it all, outright and unashamed greed.

13 Responses

  1. I don’t think that race matters. You’re trying to make a case that black students and white students have to be artificially mixed for some reason.

    It makes perfect sense to have them go to school where they live. Its not always racist, even if the schools end up being somewhat weighted by race. It’s no ones fault.

    I support the idea that students go to school near where they live. I’d rather that than have them waste an extra hour on the bus everyday just to even out something that isn’t supposed to matter: race.

  2. Lets assume its a good idea to try and improve the results from every school rather than shuffle kids around so we have a good mix of wealthy kids and poorer kids getting a crappy education in school A and a better one in school B.

  3. Herbert Hoover did no such thing, and a casual review of the facts will reveal it. The myth of a do-nothing Hoover was created by FDRs 1932 campaign.

    As for it being racist to oppose moving students around because of their race, I think you’ve made a big assumption and let it run wild.

  4. This isn’t about making a case that poor kids and wealthy kids need to be integrated “for some reason”. This is about real life, actual, totally legit, really there to be seen, completely existent, entirely not fake, good for real human beings results. Or, to shorten things up, we want kids to do well, so it makes sense to take the most pragmatic approach. Fuck the ideology (which is usually just a cover-up for racism/bigotry/greed/etc).

  5. What is the most pragmatic approach?

    If I were black would it make sense to bus me to Gardiner from Augusta to fill some kind of racial quota at that school? Or if I were white and live in Augusta should I be bussed to Gardiner to make room at Cony for a minority student from Gardiner?

    It just makes no sense. Make the school better don’t wrap it in a flag of diversity. Diversity being a code word for ‘since we don’t think race matters we are going to show that by taking it into account’.

  6. Herbert Hoover did no such thing, and a casual review of the facts will reveal it. The myth of a do-nothing Hoover was created by FDRs 1932 campaign.

    He favored a balanced budget via spending cuts through most of his presidency, later favoring to achieve that goal through the addition of broad based tax increases.

    Nate –

    The most pragmatic approach is the one that gets us closest to our desired goal. If the goal is a better education for the students of Wake County, then that means integration based upon income levels. Of course, if the goal is to raise up wealthy (mostly white) students over poor (mostly black) students, then the most pragmatic approach is to cloak racism in libertarianism – a brand of libertarianism, by the way, which seems to almost solely focus on the economic side of things, conveniently ignoring all those social issues.

  7. There is no reason race or economic status should play a role in deciding where students go to school.

    Unless that somehow has an affect on the schools effectiveness and it shouldn’t.

    Your beef seems to be that when wealthier kids go to one school and poorer kids go to another school the school with the poorer kids get left out in the rain when budget time comes around.

    That’s the problem. Under your system that issue still hasn’t been addressed. You just have, at least in the near term, a bunch of wealthy kids that have been tossed into a crappy school for the sake of fairness. You still have kids getting a crappy education the crap is just spread economically.

    Fix the schools don’t ensure equal misery. Forget economics for a second and again consider the time that’s wasted busing students around. Time they are sitting there doing nothing. They can’t get that time back. Time that could be better spent studying or even just screwing around outside.

    I fail to see the positive impact of wasting time, but perhaps there is one.

    If the goal is to punish one perceived group to attempt to raise another up, the most pragmatic approach is cloak it in ‘fairness’.

    Except its not. Again, fix the schools.

  8. I understand your goal and I appreciate it, I just don’t see dragging kids around as a solution. I like solutions, I don’t like things that pretend to be solutions when they solve no problems.

  9. This policy has not put wealthy kids in crappy schools. It has proven itself as definitively effective in bringing quality education to Wake County students as a whole. It actually is a model on which schools around the nation ought to want to base themselves.

    So the schools don’t need any big fixing. They work. In fact, they work exceptionally well. As with any school district, there surely are problems, but what the Teabaggers down there want to do addresses absolutely zero of them.

  10. You think that deliberately mixing students of different races and economic background has made the schools better?

    I’ve never seen any evidence of that.

    I should come up with a derogatory name for people who are against the tea parties to go along with the term ‘teabaggers’. Turn about is fair play is it not?

  11. This ridiculous notion of geographical segregation is out of control! Holy crap! I had no idea!

    Come on.

  12. Most students have short bus rides of 5 miles or so.

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