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Supreme Court Takes Big Step Toward Eliminating Racism in Educational Placement

  • Supreme Court Takes Big Step Toward Eliminating Racism in Educational Placement

  • 8 July 2007 by 0 Comments

Supreme Court Takes Big Step Toward Eliminating Racism in Educational Placement
By Richard Larsen
Published – Idaho State Journal, 07/08/07

Does “diversity,” as defined by the education establishment based on racial quotas, sufficiently ameliorate the educational and social environment in a school to warrant student busing? Is diversity an end in itself that outweighs all other academic and social considerations? And are inconveniences of distance imposed on students and families an acceptable price to pay for the sake of “diversity?” This series of questions have not been of as great a concern to Eastern Idaho as they obviously have been elsewhere in more urban settings, but they still may have relevance to us.

The diversity debate was fuelled again last week by a Supreme Court ruling against the Seattle school district and the Jefferson County (KY) Board of Education. Seattle never implemented school segregation, and Louisville, which had it, must, according to the Supreme Court, stop using race in determining which schools children are to attend to achieve racial quotas for enrollment. In short, those school districts were using race to ensure “diversity” among their student populations; and the Court ruled that this violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection to individuals.

The Seattle school district apparently self-imposed their desegregation in the name of diversity. They were striving to achieve a “mix” of 31% to 50% white students in their schools and forcing kids to go to schools much farther away from their homes in order to achieve that mix.
Seattle’s objectives were driven by their desire to achieve diversity. Their race-conscious “diversity” project was devised by administrators and school board members who proclaimed on their own website that “having a future time orientation, emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology and defining one form of English as standard constitute cultural racism and institutional racism and arises from unsuccessful concepts such as a melting pot or colorblind mentality.” That sounds more like social engineering by a group of Freudian psychologists than it does a practical methodology in managing school enrollment.

It seems to me that those school districts trying to force diversity based on race were playing the ultimate race card. Although they would undoubtedly argue that they don’t stereotype, their assertion that diversity is achieved by racial desegregation does just that: it stereotypes minorities in such a way that “diversity” occurs only when races are mixed for educational purposes!

Last week’s Supreme Court split decision seems to be much closer to what has been intended by civil rights leaders over the years. Martin Luther King’s correct conviction that people should “not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character” seems to be supported by this decision. Even back in 1954 when the desegregation case, Brown v. Board of Education, was heard by the Court, Thurgood Marshall stated that “distinctions by race are so evil, so arbitrary and invidious that a state bound to defend the equal protection of the laws must not invoke them in any public sphere.”

Perhaps the most striking statement in the decision came from Chief Justice John Roberts, who, writing the majority decision, stated “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” That seems to me a self-evident truth, and much more viable than some pre-conceived notion of an ethereal, nonqualified, misconceived concept of “diversity” achieved through a disguised form of racism.

Even justice Kennedy, in siding with the majority, stated that, “Preferment by race, when resorted to by the state, can be the most divisive of all policies, containing within it the potential to destroy confidence in the Constitution and in the idea of equality.”

Justice Clarence Thomas issued an insightful warning in his opinion concurring with the Court’s ruling. He warned of elites eager to constitutionalize “faddish social theories.” Those theories are often unsupported by empirical evidence, and seem to have a goal more of appearing esoteric than of actually improving the educational experience.

Chief Justice Roberts strengthened that argument further when he observed that the school districts offered no evidence that the diversity they had achieved (by what he called the “sordid business of divvying us up by race”) is necessary to achieve the asserted educational benefits.

Not surprisingly, every one of the Democrat presidential hopefuls denounced the decision as a reversal of the landmark 1954 Brown case. In light of the rationale employed by the court in this decision, it should appear obvious to all that it’s more important to them to pander to minority voters and to appear non-racist than to actually be non-racist. Truly that was the ultimate form of pandering for they made their objections at the debate on the campus of Howard University in D.C. which has a nearly 100% black enrollment.

Meanwhile, the decision is being hailed by members of the Project 21 black leadership network as “a necessary step in breaking down existing racial resentment and promoting true equal access to educational opportunity. It’s refreshing that the Supreme Court decided race-based admission standards are unconstitutional,” said Project 21 fellow Deneen Borelli. “Racial quotas are harmful because they reinforce resentment towards minorities and increase racial tensions. Parental judgment and educational needs should be the basis for choosing what schools children should attend.”

This case affords us an opportunity to reflect on some of the social engineering that is attempted not only by school districts but by governmental and private entities. Things are not always what they are purported to be. In an effort to achieve “diversity,” these school districts were engaging in stereotypical racism, not because they really accomplished anything, but because it must have “felt right” to them. Rather than adhering to the traditional notion of e pluribus unum, “from many, one,” they seem to espouse the Al Gore doctrine, “from one, many” with their distorted notion of diversity.

As a “melting pot” society, the United States has the most diverse cultural and racial composition of any nation on earth. As such, diversity is achieved by definition. Further attempts to force diversity through race-based social experimentation is destructive to society, and destructive to individuals. This court decision should please everyone who has an interest in seeing America become even more of a color-blind society.

Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at rlarsenen@cableone.net.

About the

More than anything, I want my readers to think. We're told what to think by the education establishment, which is then parroted by politicians from the left, and then reinforced by the mainstream media. Steeped in classical liberalism, my ideological roots are based in the Constitution and our founding documents. Armed with facts, data, and correct principles, today's conservatives can see through the liberal haze and bring clarity to any political discussion.

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