Supreme Court

Good News from the Court

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After the "bong hits for Jesus" ruling, some good news from the court. And it's another 5-4 split:

The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected public school assignment plans that take account of students' race.

The decision in cases affecting schools in Louisville, Ky., and Seattle could imperil similar plans in hundreds of districts nationwide, and it leaves public school systems with a limited arsenal to maintain racial diversity.

The court split, 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts announcing the court's judgment. Justice Stephen Breyer wrote a dissent that was joined by the court's other three liberals.

 UPDATE: Commenter Robc provides a link to the ruling (pdf) .

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  1. How about posting a link to something that actually contains the meat of the case?

  2. it leaves public school systems with a limited arsenal to maintain racial diversity.

    I think I see the problem. The goal should be to accept racial diversity. The goal should not be to maintain racial diversity.

  3. Sorry, why is this good news? Is H&R all “yay segregation!” now?

  4. Tarran,
    This is just off the wire. I am sure that if you poked around the Supreme Court website you could find a PDF of the ruling in the next hour or so. If you are unaware of the site’s address, Google is a helpful tool.

  5. 30 seconds on google provides this gem:
    NPR : Supreme Court Hears School Diversity Case

    Note to everyone, it the case was concerned with assigning kids to schools, not homework assignments, based on their race.

  6. Michael,

    I hate to say this, but regurgitating a press release on yahoo is something I expect from my automatic RSS feed, not from a commenter on a site dedicated to “continuous news, views, and abuse by the reason staff”.

    The idea is to add some value.

  7. Sorry, why is this good news?

    Freedom frequently produces self-segregation. The plans that were disallowed were an attempt to undo the self-segregation in neighborhoods. The consequence of the decision is that the racial make-up of neighborhood schools will follow the racial make-up of of the neighborhoods themselves instead of the aggregate make-up of of the entire city.

    Even if one accepts that self-segregation of neighborhoods is bad, using the school system to undo that segration is not an appropriate use of the power of the government.

  8. scotusblog has the ruling now. Its a 185 pages, for those wanting a light reading. Thomas’s concurrence appears to be 1 sentence of agreeing with Roberts and 30 pages of blasting Breyer.

    http://scotusblog.wordpress.com/files/2007/06/05-908.pdf

  9. With the decline of old-fashioned hard and fast housing segregation by race, and its replacement by economic segregation, this isn’t really as much of a big deal as it would have been, say, 30 years ago.

    Cambridge, Massachusetts has really blazed the trail in terms of replacing race with family income in its school assignment policy.

    I’m kind of with Sandra Day O’Connor on this – in many areas, affirmative action has largely worked, and as a result, is becoming less necessary.

  10. Sorry, why is this good news? Is H&R all “yay segregation!” now?

    We tried assigning students based on race before. Brown v. Board of Education unanimously ruled it unconstitutional.

  11. Also, good intentions don’t trump the law of the land.

  12. Does anyone think forcing kids to take longer bus rides makes them any smarter? If they have to go home to the same house with the same parents it doesn’t matter where they go to school. Historically here in the south black areas of towns had schools with a majority of black teachers. I think it is a slap in the face to those teachers as if saying you can’t teach these kids so we will ship them over here where they will learn. If the kid wasn’t learning for their own reasons to begin with it is not going to help to send them someplace else to do the same things. What this tells me is that blacks do not even think other blacks are capable of teaching their kids and for some reason believe if they go to another school their kid will be smart all of a sudden.

    Regarding the freedom of society to migrate and segregate itself all on its own is a very true statement. Perhaps if the different races cultures weren’t so out of line with one another more could live together in harmony, but this is the exception not the rule.

    I recently moved from a mixed race hood. Great neighbors on both sides, one white couple and one black family. But across the street was one house that had to have music thumping all the time and another down the street. These two occupants drove out people that had been in their homes for years and are still driving more out. Even the black neighbor is ready to move, so what does that say when even the blacks are ready to move due to the blacks?

    What I question is why the good hardworking blacks don’t go across the street and tell the others to knock it off. If I did it I would be racist of course.

    Its these types of situations that force one race away from the other. A lack of respect and common decency for your neighbors who pay to live in the house they can’t think in because of your noise intrusions and they wonder why white flight is so common.

    Look around its easy to see why people segregate themselves on their own, they get tired of having to tolerate the bullshit and they sure don’t want to have to pay to endure it. So when you hear the stereotype of blacks moving in bringing neighborhoods down in all ways its not true but there are those that fit the description to a tee and those are the ones that do all the damage. Otherwise I had no problems being one of 3 whites on the street. But now I am in the country on a few acres and no neighbors and no boom boom either and its fucking lovely.

  13. J sub D,

    You are mis-stating the law.

    The Court held in “Brown vs. Board” that segregation was unconstitutional. It was neither asked, nor addressed on its own, whether any other race-conscious program was constitutional. Just segregation.

  14. Wow, Dee, that’s a lotta straw you’ve got there.

    Does anyone think forcing kids to take longer bus rides makes them any smarter? No, not a single person who has ever argued in favor of racial integration in school assignments has ever argued that longer bus trips produce part of the benefits.

    If they have to go home to the same house with the same parents it doesn’t matter where they go to school. Uh, yeah, all schools do exactly the same job educating students. That’s why involved parents don’t ever worry about which school their kids go to.

    Historically here in the south black areas of towns had schools with a majority of black teachers. I think it is a slap in the face to those teachers as if saying you can’t teach these kids so we will ship them over here where they will learn. Then I suppose it is equally a slap in the face for the white teachers in historically white neighborhoods when kids from those areas go to schools across town. You do realize that school integration plans work both ways, right?

    What this tells me is that blacks do not even think other blacks are capable of teaching their kids and for some reason believe if they go to another school their kid will be smart all of a sudden.

    Uh huh. And I suppose that objections to segregated drinking fountains indicate that black people think other black people are unhygienic.

  15. oh, man, I absolutely am not kidding; I am in the same situation as Dee’s anecdote but for the difference that the horrible people across the street from me are actually white. Man, they congregate in their driveway with really loud music playing, throw garbage all over the place and the police are constantly coming out to retrieve stuff they stole or break up fights. Now, the parents are typical mullets, but all their kids are into ‘gangsta cultcha’, so not sure what that says, but the black couple on one side, and the whites on the other can’t stand any of them.

    Add to that what is obviously some kind of drug/party house down the block…

    Still, we own our house, so that’s good.

  16. I don’t see why this is a big deal. School districts have been creating ‘specialized’ high schools for decades, one of the results of which is increased diversity. If you think ‘diversity’ is desirable (and I do–but as an effect, not a goal) it can be easily achieved as a side effect of any of various methods which increase competition and which are good for schools anyway, without crude measures such as forced busing.

  17. Add to that what is obviously some kind of drug/party house down the block…

    There’s gotta be some city councilman in yur town who’s friendly to the idea of eminement domain. Pitch a coulple of development projects and get those houses condemned.

  18. “and it leaves public school systems with a limited arsenal to maintain racial diversity.”

    Well that’s no big deal, since no one has ever actually proven that “diversity” is any sort of accomplishment in and of itself in the first place.

  19. XaabaZu,

    The bad house on my block is occupied by a Hell’s Angel.

    They don’t let black people join the Hell’s Angels.

  20. You know, bad people come in all the colors of the rainbow, don’t they?

  21. I’m still amused by the notion that in order to create a color-blind society, we must continue to asume that color is SO IMPORTANT it should be a major factor, maybe even the only factor, in deciding where you go to school or what grades you need to get there. Not intelligence, not talent, not aptitude: race. And when a black student is denied admission to a black school because there’s “too many” black kids there already, that’s not called racist but credited with wiping racism out.

  22. I am crossing my fingers, hoping that someone posts on this thread, “I am the bad person on my block,” a list of their misbehavior, and then, “Nyaah!”

  23. There is no identifiable bad person on my block.

    …I hope that doesn’t mean it’s me.

  24. Jennifer,

    “Diversity” has become a sort of civic religion in some sectors of the education establishment. I had to fill out an online survey about college quality for a 70-something professor here at the office once, she dictating responses to me. When the survey asked her to rank criteria for assessing the quality of a university she said the number one criteria was racial diversity. The number two was gender diversity.

  25. no one has ever actually proven that “diversity” is any sort of accomplishment in and of itself in the first place

    No one has ever actually proven that “having math books” is any sort of accomplishment in and of itself, either.

    But they help. They make it easier to teach certain things to the kids.

  26. jennifer — i agree with you, but I work at a university and have been told by the diversity mavens that the concept of a “color-blind society” is inherently racist. so, i think the mainstream diversity movement would discount the goal of a color-blind society.

  27. Racial Blindness:

    A bank gets load applications from a certain numnber of black people, and a certain number of white people. The two groups have similar incomes and credit histories. The bank approves 90% of the loans for white people, and denies 90% of the loans for black people.

    Right thinking, color-blind people look at the data, and are at a complete loss to explain the bank’s random, irrational patten of approving loan applications, and denounce anyone who is able to explain what’s going on as a racist.

    Why are you looking at what race the people who apply for loans are, you racist bastard?!? It is evil to ask that question!

  28. I’m surprised that Reason hasn’t blogged Wilkie v. Robbins yet. I think it may be more damaging to property rights than even Kelo.

    If has been written about I missed it.

  29. “Diversity” has become a sort of civic religion in some sectors of the education establishment.

    I know. In a small (and rich) town near me there’s been a brouhaha over lack of diversity; specifically, school A has “too many” white kids and school B has “too many” black. (These are neighborhood schools.) But that’s the only complaint! No evidence that one school gives an inferior education to the other, no evidence of inequitable funding, not even a difference in the Sacred Test Scores. No, the sole “problem” is that many of the kids have the wrong color of skin.

    Dear God, how I’d love to take such an article and replace “white” with “blonde” and “black” with “brunette.” Maybe then when people read how horrible it is that one school has too many brunettes while the other has too many blondes, they’ll realize how fucking stupid the whole thing is.

  30. This is a more narrow opinion that the pundits would have you believe. It is very interesting, though, to see the division on this court. Roberts was supposed to be a consensus builder. Not so much.

  31. Meanwhile, the bank goes about its business in the usual way.

    The logic of colorblindness is the logic of abject pacifism; it denounces the man who defends himself as the moral equivalent of his mugger. If successful, it convinces the man who would prefer there not be any violence to stop resisting his attacker. There is no chance of the pacifist argument convincing the mugger to stop, because he doesn’t accept the absence of violence as a principle he should try to promote.

  32. Dear God, how I wish “white” and “black” only mattered as much as “blonde” and “brunette.”

    But pretending won’t make it so.

  33. The logic of colorblindness is the logic of abject pacifism; it denounces the man who defends himself as the moral equivalent of his mugger.

    What? So if I say “I’m more interested in your personality and intelligence than in the color of your skin,” this is no different from me saying “I see no difference between victim and attacker?” The moral thing to do is pick my friends and colleagues based on their skin tone rather than less superficial traits?

  34. Maybe Reason should make all posters identify their race in each post, so readers will now how seriously to take each comment.

    –Jennifer (white chick of northern European stock)

  35. I agree!

    XaabaZu (orange tabby cat)

  36. Even if one accepts that self-segregation of neighborhoods is bad, using the school system to undo that segration is not an appropriate use of the power of the government.

    No, that’s why the government has eminent domain powers.

  37. No, Jennifer, if you say “taking race into account to counter segregation is the equivalent of taking race into account to enforce segregation,” as you often do, you are drawing a moral equivalence between victim and attacker.

    The moral thing to do is pick my friends and colleagues based on their skin tone rather than less superficial traits? I don’t give a crap about how you choose your friends. The moral, and smart, thing for a school to do, on the other hand, is to avoid segregation and give the kids the chance to have interactions with people of other races as part of their educational experience.

  38. Jennifer,

    Judgine the value of a comment by the race of the speaker is a racist act.

  39. Oops, I forgot to switch my handle back from “Sir Michael Jagger” after my post yesterday. Sorry.

  40. Anyway, Jennifer, absolutely nothing on the moral necessity of pretending not to know what’s going on at that bank?

  41. K.T. white, hispanic male…

    i’m generally identified as a self-hater – or a “slave” to the european part of my heritage – since i am of hispanic ethnicity and don’t buy into diversity as defined by the educational establishment.

    the self-hater critique is really my favorite argument… my critical colleagues are somehow able to peer into the deepest, darkest corners of my psyche…

  42. No, Jennifer, if you say “taking race into account to counter segregation is the equivalent of taking race into account to enforce segregation,” as you often do, you are drawing a moral equivalence between victim and attacker.

    Except that now you’re talking about countering segregation that happened naturally, as opposed to segregation the government forces on people.

    You tell me the polite way to tell my Puerto Rican next-door neighbor that she has too many Puerto Rican friends, and needs to diversify to counter segregation. Better yet, tell me why this is even a problem.

    Judgine the value of a comment by the race of the speaker is a racist act.

    But judging the value of a student by her race is just fine?

  43. joe –

    it only counts if one originally claimed to be blond and was later revealed to be a redhead.

    Or something like that, anyways.

    Radar! Where are the…

    thank you.

  44. All my friends are human… I’m clearly biased against the aliens.

  45. I came up in the Jefferson County (Greater Louisville) school system. I was bussed to my highschool, and while I was there it was maybe 80% white and 20% black. Right after I graduated, the county changed to an open election process to choose the school you want to attend. Two years later the school was 80% black.

    I’m not sure bussing accomplished anything at the end of the day. There was tension while I was there, and it was resolved by self segregating at first in classes and the lunchroom, then by a freely chosen segregation of the whole school system in to white and black schools. I dunno.

  46. Isn’t it important for white guys from white suburbs to know that not every black chick can get jiggy with her badunkadunk like all the girls do on BET?

  47. Also, exposure to a diversity of thought is important for kids, I would think. Unfortunately, diversity of thought isn’t what ‘diversity’ usually means in public policy.

    Parents should give thought to non coercive ways of exposing their kids to the different so that the experience has a shot at being a good one.

  48. Me too! (rabbit-human chimera)

  49. Jennifer,

    LoL. “…segregation that happened naturally…”

    Yeah, state of nature – that’s why there are white and black neighborhoods in the U.S., because of nature.

    I’m talking about countering segregation that happened because of what the government forced on people, and used its clout to allow private parties to force on people, in the past. You know what? I’m comfortable with that.

    And as I’ve already told you, I don’t give a crap about who people have as their friends. This is a discussion about public institutions and places of accomodation.

    But judging the value of a student by her race is just fine? Judging anything about a student except her race by her race is not fine, it is prejudice. On the other hand, “judging” that a black applicant would, in fact, be a black student if admitted to the school is just fine.

  50. Parents should give thought to non coercive ways of exposing their kids to the different so that the experience has a shot at being a good one.

    Excellent point, my parents called that “volunteering through church,” “travel,” and “reading.” Nice and non-coercive and I was engaged with people/perspectives from all walks of life. Unfortunately, I still hold this bias against non-humans.

  51. My life experience shows that people in the same ecomonic strata tend to have the same types of thoughts.

    So what if the only diversity of thought belongs to the kids of the white people who make noise all night long. It’s a good thing for my kids to want to annoy their neighbors?

  52. I’m talking about countering segregation that happened because of what the government forced on people, and used its clout to allow private parties to force on people, in the past. You know what? I’m comfortable with that.

    The “two wrongs make a right” or “ends justify the means” school of thought. Giving government the chance to screw up in an area they already screwed up once. Brilliant.

  53. Go ahead, just try to make me feel guilty for saying it’s a good thing to know what’s going on at that bank.

    Go ahead, give me the argument for why it is essential that only those who wish to promote racial injustice, and not those who wish to reduce racial injustice, are allowed to use knowledge of race in their actions.

  54. This is a discussion about public institutions and places of accomodation.

    Yes, and you’re apparently arguing in favor of the government deciding that race should be the deciding factor in which public institution (school) people are allowed/required to attend.

    I’m talking about countering segregation that happened because of what the government forced on people

    Which may explain why there’s still segregated neighborhoods in places like Alabama, where racial segregation was once required by law and probably still has inertia behind it. But I’m more concerned with a rich town in Connecticut where the two schools are by all accounts equal in terms of funding, scoring, and achievement (all high, by the way), yet instead of saying “Hooray! Our schools are a success!” the town is saying they might be failures solely because the students there have the wrong color skin.

  55. Go ahead, just try to make me feel guilty for saying it’s a good thing to know what’s going on at that bank.

    Who’s trying to do that? I don’t see anybody here arguing that racism doesn’t still exist; I’m seeing people arguing that inflating the importance of race in order to end racism is counterproductive.

  56. KT,

    You’ve yet to make even the pretense of an argument for why assigning a student to School A instead of School B is a “wrong” in the first place.

    In the case of segregation, it’s easy; it’s wrong to assign kids to schools in order to have segregated schools, because segregation is evil.

    Your turn.

  57. God love John Roberts… smartarse.

    “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discrimination on the basis of race,”

  58. BAD RACISM
    BLACK KID: I would like to enroll in my neighborhood public school, please.

    OFFICIAL: Sorry, you’re not allowed. That school is for white kids only.

    GOOD RACISM
    BLACK KID: I would like to enroll in my neighborhood public school, please.

    OFFICIAL: Sorry, you’re not allowed. There are too many black kids there already.

  59. “No one has ever actually proven that “having math books” is any sort of accomplishment in and of itself, either.

    But they help. They make it easier to teach certain things to the kids.”

    Math books help in teaching math – a specific subject that is part of the academic curriculum.

    “Diversity” is not an academic subject – it is merely a buzzword that some liberals think has magic properties. They think invoking it constitutes defacto proof that something substantive has been accomplished without them having to actually prove something has been accomplished.

  60. Yes, and you’re apparently arguing in favor of the government deciding that race should be the deciding factor in which public institution (school) people are allowed/required to attend.

    No, Jennifer, I’ve gone so far as “A factor.” You are throwing out phrases like “the deciding factor,” “the largest factor,” and “the only factor” in order to steal bases via semantic tricks. Stop that; it’s unseemly.

    But yes, I am arguing a position that the government should actively work for racial diversity, and against racial segregation, in its schools. That’s because the education and social bonds that are formed in public schools are the government’s business, and who your Puerto Rican friend hangs around with is not.

    But I’m more concerned with a rich town in Connecticut where the two schools are by all accounts equal in terms of funding, scoring, and achievement (all high, by the way), yet instead of saying “Hooray! Our schools are a success!” the town is saying they might be failures solely because the students there have the wrong color skin.

    Wait, I’m confused; which school has students with the wrong color of skin, the predominately white school, or the predominately black school?

    OK, I’m not really confused. That was just a snarky way of pointing out that you are, once again, using little semantic tricks to play dumb and avoid discussing what you know to be the actual issue here.

    The schools are not concerned because they think somebody’s skin color is “wrong.” They are concerned because the kids in the schools are missing out on the important experience of socializing and working with a racially and ethnicly diverse group of people.

  61. Government assignment of schooling – at all – is wrong, “in the first place.”

    Provide an educational marketplace where there is curricular and educational choice. I applaud the partial aim of school choice at the heart of the these programs, just not what I perceive to be their primitive views on race and ethnicity.

    My family already had one government deny us government services based on ethnicity/nationality… I did not think I would have ever see the day that such things would happen in the United States in the 21st century. But, thankfully, we don’t live in the backwaters of Louisville or Seattle

  62. Jennifer,

    Who’s trying to do that? Everyone who complains that it is wrong for agents of the government to collect race data and take it into account as they do the public’s business is trying to do that.

    Hands up: who thinks it’s wrong, and racially unjust, for the government to require banks to include a racial check box on loan applications?

    Everyone with their hand up is saying the government has a duty not to know what that bank is up to.

  63. Gilbert Martin,

    How to blow your nose, how to demonstrate table manners, and how to think ahead so you have the correct materials for the classes on the other side of campus are not “academic subjects,” either.

    Nonetheless, they are important skills that schools should help their students learn.

    As is functioning within a racially diverse environment. If you come out of school not knowing that, the school has missed out on preparing you for the world.

  64. Hands up: who thinks it’s wrong, and racially unjust, for the government to require banks to include a racial check box on loan applications?

    Me. I’d much prefer banks to make their decisions on factors like the loan applicant’s income and ability to pay the loan back.

    Everyone who complains that it is wrong for agents of the government to collect race data and take it into account as they do the public’s business is trying to do that.

    No, most people here admit racism still exists in America, but say that forcing people to focus on race is not the way to end racism. The public businesses that government should be involved in, like national defense or upholding safety laws, has nothing to do with race. The only time the government or its agents should be asking about race is when the cops ask a crime victim to describe the attacker’s physical appearance.

  65. Jennifer,

    Using the term “racism” to describe a preference for racial diversity and equality is just another of your semantic games.

    You aren’t really making points anymore.

  66. Me. I’d much prefer banks to make their decisions on factors like the loan applicant’s income and ability to pay the loan back.

    As do I. The difference is, I actually want to do something about that, and you don’t. I want it to be possible for the government to enforce laws against that discrimination, and you don’t.

    No, most people here admit racism still exists in America, but say that forcing people to focus on race is not the way to end racism.

    Having a check box on a bank application doesn’t “force” anyone to focus on race. The bank is perfectly free to ignore the race of the applicant entirely.

    But if they don’t, if they are doing what I described in my exammple, I support the government doing something about it, and you don’t.

    Now, if want the government to do nothing about private-sector discrimination because of ideological beliefs about the proper role of government, fine. That doesn’t make you racist.

    However, disagreeing with you about the proper scope of government in this area, and wanting it to take steps to prevent racial discrimination, is not racism, any more that wanting the army to fight off foreign invaders is aggressive imperialism.

  67. See, Jennifer, here’s your problem in a nut-shell:

    Hands up: who thinks it’s wrong, and racially unjust, for the government to require banks to include a racial check box on loan applications?

    Me. I’d much prefer banks to make their decisions on factors like the loan applicant’s income and ability to pay the loan back.

    I didn’t write a single thing about what the bank would take into account. The government requires banks to collect racial data not to force, or even allow, them to take race into account, but to prevent them from doing so.

    And you can’t draw that distinction.

  68. “Nonetheless, they are important skills that schools should help their students learn.

    As is functioning within a racially diverse environment. If you come out of school not knowing that, the school has missed out on preparing you for the world.”

    Nonsense.

    No one has ever proven that there is any correlation between the racial mix of classrooms where students attended school and the students subsequent success in the world.

  69. “The public businesses that government should be involved in, like national defense or upholding safety laws, has nothing to do with race. The only time the government or its agents should be asking about race is when the cops ask a crime victim to describe the attacker’s physical appearance.”

    Correct.

    The federal government has no legitimate authority to mandate or require anything regarding race outside the boudaries of it’s own organizational units. That is not pursuant to any ennumerated power delegated to the federal government in the text of the Constitution as is required by the 10th Amendment.

  70. ***GOD BLESS AMERICA***

    Keep that Stupid Nigger in the back of the bus
    Throw those FAGGOTS back in the Closet
    Bring Back the Coat Hanger
    ..and last, but not, least Car bumpers for All americans that read: ‘All that we’re saying…is give war a Chance’

    ***GOD BLESS AMERICA***
    ***GOD BLESS OUR SUPREME COURT***

  71. God bless America

  72. Define “success in the world,” Gilbert.

    People have most definitely proven that kids who grew up with experiences knowing people of other races are more comfortable operating with people of other races. Sounds like “success in the world” to me.

  73. joe:

    I’d suggest that the government collecting data doesn’t get rid of the problem because it has no way to address how complicated the problem is. Disparate outcomes is not the same as discrimination. I don’t like the collection of that data point because it provides the illusion that the govenment now can prosecute discrimination.

    It can’t. It can only use inappropriate data as an excuse to swing a sledge at a company for political purposes.

  74. Though I may be for some for of Affirmative Action…I think kids should have to take a bus hours away.

    Beside, if a parent spends $700,000 to live in an all-white neighborhood…it should be their poragative. Why should they have to send their kids to a black school (with low grades, drugs, violence) after paying all that money?

  75. Maybe so that their kids won’t grow up to be the sort of people who write “…black school (with low grades, drugs, violence)…”

  76. Joe,

    Why…is it not true that black schools do have low grades, drugs, violence.

    Unfortulately for these blacks, spicks, and poor…they didn’t have the opportunity to live in a white neighborhood that has good school systems.

    I’m talking about the New York/New Jersey Suburbs. I don’t know where ur from Joe.

    But clearly, look @ the FACTs. The reason why MADISON NJ, Scarsdale NY, Clarkstown NY have BLUE RIBBON schools is because there are over 90% WHITE. Check out their neighors…Newark NJ, Yonkers NY, Spring Valley NY…Prodominately BLACK…and FAILING Schools.

    Not b-cause these schools have LESS funding. Look at the FACTs. Clarkstown NY (BLUE RIBBION) spends $12,000 per YEAR per student. Spring Valley NY (BLACK schools) spend $15,000. So it’s NOT MONEY. IT’s the COLOR Joe.

  77. Using the term “racism” to describe a preference for racial diversity and equality is just another of your semantic games.

    One of the definitions of racism is “discrimination based on race.” And by denying a black kid admission to a school because there’s “too many” black kids there already, you’re discriminating against him based on his race. So no, I’m not playing a semantic game here.

  78. Having a check box on a bank application doesn’t “force” anyone to focus on race. The bank is perfectly free to ignore the race of the applicant entirely.

    Yet consider: a lot of loans these days are done over the computer or over the phone; unlike the old days, it’s now possible, even likely, to get a loan from a bank without actually seeing any bank employees in person. So let’s assume that the bank actually WANTS to discriminate against blacks; if they didn’t have the government-mandated anti-racism race-label box to look at, how would they even know who to discriminate against?

  79. That sonic boom you hear is me distancing myself from Roz. Egad.

  80. Thanks, Roz. Man, it sure feels good to live in a country where racism is a thing of the past!

  81. Jennifer,

    And by denying a black kid admission to a school because there’s “too many” black kids there already, you’re discriminating against him based on his race.

    Racism is discrimination. It does not follow that discrimination is racism. The term has a pejorative connotation because of the way that discrimination takes place, but at its root, discrimination is as neutral a word as “sifting.”

    Is denying a kid admission to a school because he lives in a different neighborhood than the one in which the school is located “discrimination” in your usage? If so, then yest, the school is discriminating on the basis of neighborhood. I would consider this to be the equivalent of using admissions to create racial balance – a legitimate public policy goal (lower transportation costs, desegregation) is being furthered by using the admissions process to influence the makeup of the student body.

    But I would argue that there needs to be an element of promoting injustice and inequality for the policy to move from the neutral definition of the term “discrimination” to the pejorative sense in which it is used in that definition of racism.

    So, yes, by using the word “discrimination” to impute the pejorative sense into the neutral sense, you are making a semantic argument, knowingly or not.

  82. Jennifer,

    On your bank question, there have been investigations of exactly that issue. The results have shown that people who provide stereotypically black names, such as “LaToya Washington,” get rejected more than when the same person calls back with the same information but gives a name like “Julie Worthington.”

    And please Jennifer, for the love of God, don’t write back with a comment about how racist I am for noticing that most people consider “LaToya Washington” to be much more common among black people. Just don’t. I’m still clinging to some hope for you here.

  83. JasonL, Jennifer,

    Just so you know, I don’t for a second think that there is any relationship between your position and that of Roz.

  84. You know, for a second there, I feld bad after writing that first response to Roz. Maybe that was unfair, joe. Maybe he just phrased his point badly.

    I gotta trust my insticts more.

  85. Oh Joe,

    Don’t lie 2 urself

    There’s no difference between my stated position and that of the rest of white america.

    My position, perhaps isn’t as POLITE as those of the PRESIDENT, SUPREME COURT, REPUBLICANS, and WHITE PEOPLE in general.

    Today, we have the END of AFFIRMATIVE ACTION. The END of REVERSE DISCRIMINATION against WHITE PEOPLE THAT had NOTHING TO DO with the situation that BLACKS and SPICKS are in TODAY. I feel bad 4 them…But I (nor my KIDS) should have to PAY an EFFECTIVELESS PRICE of making them MOVE up into another social CLASS.

  86. Roz –

    You do realize that “spic(k)” is a hugely derogatory term, right? Along with “nigger” and “faggot”?

    Please stop using those terms… well, several posts ago would be best, but right now would do.

  87. My deepest appologies Jake

  88. I feel sorry for you, Roz.

  89. “Define “success in the world,” Gilbert.

    People have most definitely proven that kids who grew up with experiences knowing people of other races are more comfortable operating with people of other races. Sounds like “success in the world” to me.”

    Sounds to me like another feeble attempt to get around the fact that there is no substantive proof of “diversity” having achieved anything.

  90. The Further Upper Middle Class Kids stay away from Inner City Kids (Blacks/Spanis) … regardless of race…the Better.

    Most Upper middle-class whites that NEVER had a BAD black experience…That makes them LESS RACIST. And BLACKS and SPANISH that ARE WILLING to ASSUMLATE to the WHITE POLITE CULTURE (and leave their PUFF DADDY and ‘me no speke de english BEHIND are very much welcome to the UPPER MIDDLE CLASS).

    Remember, in today’s america…BLACKS are always welcomed to the FRONT of the BUS…but ONLY if they can PASS for WHITE!

  91. I didn’t think there were still people who actually based decisisons on ability by skin color instead of clothes.

  92. We’ll aways have Haris

  93. Whats WITH the CAPITALIZATION and SHOUTING roz?

  94. Diversity for diversity’s sake is wrong and racist. I loathe diversity days at work and throughout the population and the larger work force. Simply belonging to the same institution as someone whose background is different than yours doesn’t make you enlightened or “better” than supposed rednecks or xenophobic people that “section” themselves off from the rest of society. It’s still possible to be quite racist or exclusionary to other people and belong to the same institution or go to the same school.

    Highlighting differences only promotes hatred and/or distrust. I’ve always wondered why we don’t have togetherness days instead of diversity days or at least in concert with them.

    At least we’d be able to see what we have in common with one another as American citizens. We’d see that we have common goals, interests, and pursuits despite our cultural/racial differences. Maybe we have different ways of expressing ourselves or achieving our goals but noting the similarities seems reasonable given the fickle and typically judgmental nature of Americans.

    Instead, diversity days have become a day for the majority to gawk at the minorities and make nice with them. People go to these things simply to feel better about themselves. They go to say things like “I’m doing my part” or “I’m not racist see I go to diversity day every year”. The problem is this usually lasts for just a day. After the festivities, people go back to their daily lives of sameness and comfort because the point of the diversity day was to show how different everyone truly is than you are, “Just look at how differently they do things than we do”. This is terrible and disgraceful given the true meaning of the Civil Rights movement and the idea of social justice in general. Somewhere along the line the ideals were lost and just painting a picture of diversity became good enough. I think when an intelligent person truly looks at human nature they will find that the average person can’t look at something that’s different than their understood norm (which most regard as sacrosanct)and regard it with true respect. Most people can’t do this and when they say they do they are LYING.

    The true test is to look at the totality of someone’s life. Look at what they say they believe and how they live their lives. Who are they friends with? Do they go out of their way to actually try to find true friends and confidants among “others” or do they just simply say “I’m not racist” and expect you to take them at their word? If a person has truly looked and not found then fine, but I’d be willing to say most never look very far.

    My point is that liberals try to pass themselves off as free and devoid of racism but they’re no different. It’s just a softer bigotry that’s more harmful to a minority than direct racism. At least a minority knows where a klansman’s coming from. When it is explicitly clear that you’re regarded as different by the so called enlightened it’s hard to deal with and when you’re treated that way it can lead to despair for some.

    I don’t mean all liberals as I say this, but I do indict a large and substantial number. If you’ve taken offense maybe you’re one of them but then again maybe you’re not. Let’s not play a numbers game and start counting friends of different races, but we can take a look at ourselves and see room for expanding our outlook and breaking down self-imposed barriers. Also, this isn’t to leave out the conservatives. It’s important to note that conservatives are just as guilty. White conservatives are just as susceptible to persuasion as others and feelings of diversity for diversity’s sake. I just find that most conservatives will be more up front with you about their true feelings. They usually don’t sugar coat their feelings as liberals do. Plus, the response is more about action than dealing with feelings. Minorities already feel like shit when confronted with racism, so it seems that exploring feelings bears no fruit. Just as trying to make people feel better rectifies nothing. I guess we have to change the spirit of the times as the Germans say and deal with people as people across the board instead of the other.

    *** Note
    As I wrote this I purposely left out what other people know to be other valid political viewpoints simply for expediency’s sake. It isn’t meant to slight my fellow libertarians. Yet at the same time I suppose you could be left or right leaning so maybe this note was irrelevant.

  95. Marc,

    Amazing article…I couldn’t agree more.

    This country is only 13% black and 15% hispanic. Since these minorities have no voting power…I don’t see why people make a bug fuss about making them comfortable in a place that the really are not welcomed. Most true native americans (whites) can deal with working with minorities, dealing with them at malls and supermarkets. Most are not condesending, racists, or have any ill will toward these strangers. But one thing holds true, they’d rather not live near them…and if given a choice (as can be seen by the majority in favor a abolishing affirmative action), would prefer that their kids not be exposed to their alien culture.

  96. Roz,

    That wasn’t my point but I think you know that. Diversity for diversity’s sake is counter-productive and ultimately leads to more divisiveness than anything else. Either you’re a master at sarcasm or a moron. I think I was completely clear in expressing how I felt. I want America to function as a unit as more of a melting pot than a salad bowl. I simply see forced diversity as an impediment to becoming a functioning unit of a nation given the reality of a country of idiots with more power than they deserve given the fact that we’re all riding on the coat tails of our fore-fathers (and mothers).

    People these days don’t even try to identify with the other whether you’re in the majority or the minority. There are so many ways in which we limit our full potential as a nation as to try to list them here would be a crime to the truth. Expanding the realm of your understanding of the country will only make the path clearer for future generations. Roz if you are a moron just so you know one day the white suburban neighborhoods will cease to exist the way you know them and we as Americans would have missed opportunities to bring everyone together to face the challenges that lie ahead because a portion of the population decided to hide out instead of participate. You can either look to the past for a time long forgotten and unattainable where minorities weren’t around or you can accept reality and try to make the inevitable the great thing that it’s sure to be, with or without the likes of you.

  97. “You’ve yet to make even the pretense of an argument for why assigning a student to School A instead of School B is a “wrong” in the first place.” – joe

    School A is a five minute bus trip from the student’s home, getting to School B requires the student to transfer buses that end up taking an hour to get to school, the student has to get up earlier and is therefore more likely to be overtired and his work suffers as a consequence. The only reason anybody wants the student to go to School B is because of the color of his skin, School A has too many kids of his race and School B has too few.

    joe, don’t pretend diversity programs do not put negative external consequences the students they effect. Consequences that only occur because the kid is the wrong sort for the racial beancounters in his school system. Consequences that the student’s and their families would choose to avoid if they had a choice

  98. “They are concerned because the kids in the schools are missing out on the important experience of socializing and working with a racially and ethnicly diverse group of people.”-joe

    You think that makng sure that the kids have such an experience is in the school’s proper scope of work? For what reason?

  99. Most true native americans (whites) can deal with working with minorities[…]

    Do you have any idea what you’re even saying? It’s like a train wreck.

  100. MJ,

    I’ll just note that the court’s decision didn’t say anything about weighing benefits vs. externalities. It said that making sure your schools aren’t segregated is verbotten, regardless of whether it imposes any harms.

    You think that makng sure that the kids have such an experience is in the school’s proper scope of work? For what reason?

    For the same reason that schools teach kids how to chew with mouths closed in the cafeteria – because schools don’t just impart information about academic subjects, but prepare students to function as members of society.

    That’a cute little rant about “Diversity Days,” Marc. Sadly, in your hostility, you missed the fact that this decision wasn’t about “Diversity Days,” but about the day to day experience of working and socializing with a peer group in school, and whether that peer group is going to be segregated or integrated.

  101. If anyone is still reading this, I just wanted to throw out this little gem from the “reasoning” of John Roberts:

    To the extent the objective is sufficient diversity so that students see fellow students as individuals rather than solely as members of a racial group, using means that treat students solely as members of a racial group is fundamentally at cross-purposes with that end.”

    Let’s leave aside the notion that school administrators who note a student’s race are “treating them solely as members of a racial group,” rather than as individuals whose personal characteristics include their race along with the millions of other factors that make up each of our identities.

    Roberts is saying that, if a white third grader and a black third grader are sitting next to each other, working as study buddies, and playing together at recess, they aren’t going to learn to see each other as “individuals rather than solely as members of a racial group” IF one of them was assigned to that school because the administration had a desegregation plan.

    However, if they end up sitting next to each other for some other reason, THEN they are going to learn to relate to each other as individuals.

    Utter nonsense. This decision was a bag job from a group of ideologues who knew how they were going to vote before they ever picked up the file.

  102. D’oh!

    Roberts’ quote ends at the quote marks.

  103. Gilbert Martin,

    Some tangential evidence

    Journal of Economic Geography Advance Access originally published online on June 22, 2005

    The economic value of cultural diversity: evidence from US cities
    Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano* and Giovanni Peri**

    What are the economic consequences to U.S. natives of the growing diversity of American cities? Is their productivity or utility affected by cultural diversity as measured by diversity of countries of birth of U.S. residents? We document in this paper a very robust correlation: US-born citizens living in metropolitan areas where the share of foreign-born increased between 1970 and 1990, experienced a significant increase in their wage and in the rental price of their housing. Such finding is economically significant and survives omitted variable bias and endogeneity bias. As people and firms are mobile across cities in the long run we argue that, in equilibrium, these correlations are consistent with a net positive effect of cultural diversity on the productivity of natives.

  104. Gilbert M,

    An interesting look at how you would go about showing the benefits of diversity…

    http://isp-aysps.gsu.edu/academics/conferences/conf2005/presentation5.pdf

  105. A survey of the impacts of diversity in business…

    http://sloanreview.mit.edu/smr/issue/2003/spring/1a/

    Like most things it depends on the details…

    “the researchers found that a variety of contextual variables, including an organization’s culture, strategy and human resource practices, helps to determine whether diversity boosts performance or drags it down.”

  106. Journal of Social Issues

    Volume 60 Issue 1 Page 17-34, April 2004

    The Benefits of Diversity in Education for Democratic Citizenship

    * Patricia Gurin**Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Patricia Gurin, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 [e-mail: pgurin@umich.edu].
    * Biren (Ratnesh) A. Nagda
    * Gretchen E. Lopez

    The social science statement in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) stressed that desegregation would benefit both African American and White children. Eventually, it was recognized that integration, rather than mere desegregation, was important for benefits to be realized. A parallel argument is made in the legal cases concerning affirmative action in higher education: educational benefits of diversity depend on curricular and co-curricular experience with diverse peers, not merely on their co-existence in the same institution (Gurin, P., 1999, Gurin, Dey, Hurtado, &Gurin, 2002). Positive benefits of diversity were demonstrated in a study comparing students in a curricular diversity program with students in a matched control group (n = 174), and in a longitudinal survey of University of Michigan students (n = 1670).

  107. Diversity and Higher Education: Theory and Impact on Educational Outcomes.
    Authors: Gurin, Patricia; Dey, Eric L.; Hurtado, Sylvia; Gurin, Gerald

    Source: Harvard Educational Review, v72 n3 p330-66 Fall 2002

    Abstract: Using longitudinal student data from the University of Michigan and the Cooperative Institutional Research Program, effects of classroom diversity and informal interaction were examined. Diversity experiences consistently and meaningfully affected learning and civic outcomes, supporting the importance of affirmative action and diversity efforts in higher education. (Contains 81 references.) (SK)

  108. An in depth look at the direct issues the SCOTUS addressed…

    http://www.aera.net/uploadedFiles/News_Media/News_Releases/2006/07_RERv76n3_Welner(1).pdf

    “Race-conscious policies are not inherently desirable. Ideally, the United States
    would have no need for them. Ideally, there would be no racial achievement gap.
    Ideally, there would be no segregation, de facto or otherwise. Ideally, this would
    not be a society “in which race unfortunately still matters,” at least with regard to
    life chances (Grutter, 2003, p. 333). Yet the nation cannot move toward these
    ideals while concurrently educating generations of students in racially isolated
    schools. For policymakers willing to acknowledge and confront this reality,
    RCSAPs might be an important policy option for the near future. Whether this
    option will be available, however, depends on the constitutional determination that
    will soon be made by the Supreme Court.”

  109. Relative Importance of Contact Conditions in Explaining Prejudice Reduction in a Classroom Context: Separate and Equal?

    * Ludwin E. Molina.
    * Michele A. Wittig

    abstract:Research on contact theory has typically presented four major situational conditions of intergroup contact as separate and equally important in creating an environment that leads to lower levels of racial/ethnic prejudice. We empirically test this “separate and equal” assumption with a variety of student samples and outcome variables. Using data from three cohorts of high school students, as well as one middle school sample, we demonstrate that acquaintance potential and interdependence are the most consistent and robust predictors of prejudice reduction, outgroup orientation, and perceptions of a common ingroup identity. Findings concerning differences in the relative importance of these situational conditions for different racial/ethnic groups are also reported. Implications for implementing optimal contact conditions for prejudice reduction among various ethnic groups are drawn.

  110. Sorry about that.
    Gilbert’s assertion that there was no empirical data to us caught my attention.

    Proof, no.
    Hardly ever is with this kind of issue.

    But data is out there to use in policy making decisions.

    It seems to me that, even a brief convenience survey of the data indicates that improved outcomes require active attention to the issues, and opportunities for races to interact in meaningful ways. Passive policies re-inforce the status quo…

    One last study:
    http://www.santafe.edu/research/publications/workingpapers/06-02-006.pdf

    We explore the dynamics of group inequality when segregation of social networks places the initially less affluent group at a disadvantage in acquiring human capital. Extending Loury (1977), we demonstrate that (i) group differences in economic success can persist across generations in the absence of either discrimination or group differences in ability, provided that social segregation is sufficiently great, (ii) there is a threshold level of integration above which group inequality cannot be sustained, (iii) this threshold varies systematically but non-monotonically with the population share of the disadvantaged group, (iv) crossing the threshold induces convergence to a common high level of human capital if the less affluent population share is sufficiently small (and the opposite, otherwise), and (v) a race-neutral policy that reduces the cost of acquiring human capital can expand the range over which reducing segregation can be Pareto-improving.

  111. “Proof, no.
    Hardly ever is with this kind of issue. ”

    Thats right there is no proof.

    And “studies” cooked up by liberal academics are in the same category as “polls” conducted by the New York Times – nothing but propaganda pieces.

  112. I don’t think the question to ask is whether diversity actually boosts job performance or not or improves test scores or not. It’s law that people should be hired for a job irregardless of their racial background. What I take offense to is the almost worshiping of the differences we have with one another. Why is it important to have a day or week to highlight the fact that coworker X is different than coworker Y. Isn’t that obvious? Do we have to have a day to show us that? I think we need to move on from this lazy mindset. Simply, having diversity for diversity’s sake is a ridiculous notion. People should feel driven to befriend someone of a different background than they are simply because they want to. There shouldn’t be a societal expectation or a guilt trip forced on folks. People shouldn’t feel the need to make friends with those of another racial group by coercion as that cheapens the relationship.

    As for the issue as it pertains to schools I ask do black children have to have white kids in the classroom to be successful? This seems to be what some imply and I don’t think it’s necessarily that way at all. In fact it’s an insult to black children everywhere to say that without whites in the classroom their self-esteem would be so damaged that they couldn’t possibly perform. I think that school racial make-up should reflect the demographics of that district. We can’t socially engineer life to the ideal situation. Separate but equal is not a fair labeling of this decision because this isn’t a mandadted “segregation”. This segregation exists because people choose to section themselves off from each other. Why do we blame government for this when we do it to ourselves when we choose where to live?

  113. Gilbert,

    And “studies” cooked up by liberal academics are in the same category as “polls” conducted by the New York Times – nothing but propaganda pieces.

    Wow, that is some really deep thought you put into this…so what would be a credible source? The voices in your head?

    Marc,

    I don’t think you are framing this right. The value of integrated schools/societies is not a comment on the relative value/skills of one group or another. It is the combination, the cross-talk, the interaction between the different groups that benefits everyone. I think the Santa Fe Institute paper I linked above is interesting to consider when thinking about this issue.

  114. More from the Bowles et al article (Santa Fe Institute)…

    “the degree of segregation is the result of equilibrium sorting choices in residence, friendships, couples and the like, arising in the absence of overt discrimination. Are there nonpaternalistic ways that a policy maker could legitimately alter these patterns? We think that there are. First, under quite general conditions equilibrium sorting produces levels of segregation that are Pareto-inefficient in the sense that an arbitrary reduction in segregation could enhance the well being of members of both groups (Schelling, 1978). In this case policies to reduce, say, neighborhood segregation do not override individual preferences over aggregate outcomes, but rather allow for their greater satisfaction. Second, segregated networks may be the unintended result of current policies whose reversal would lower ?. For example the degree of racial segregation of friendship networks in schools appears to be affected by the extent of tracking, the degree of cross grade mixing, and the extent of racial mixing in extracurricular activities, all of which are subject to alteration by school policies. (Moody, 2001). However, because the most important social affiliates for the formation of human capital are parents and siblings and these kin networks are highly racially segregated, there may be quite stringent limits to the degree to which segregation of the relevant networks can be reduced in the absence of a reduction in racial assortment in childbearing.”

  115. “I’ll just note that the court’s decision didn’t say anything about weighing benefits vs. externalities. It said that making sure your schools aren’t segregated is verbotten, regardless of whether it imposes any harms.”-joe

    joe, you did not ask for what the court said, you asked for a reason why racial balancing was wrong, I provided one and you dodged my answer. Since you brought it up: No the court did not rule that the race based admissions di harm, the Court ruled that the school district failed to prove they did any good to justify using such a suspect criteria as race. Also your definition of segregation has no legal standing. A segrated school is one where a child is barred from admission because of his race.

  116. “Wow, that is some really deep thought you put into this…so what would be a credible source? The voices in your head?”

    There aren’t ANY credible sources that can prove “diversity” has achieved anything. It’s physically impossible to do so.

  117. Gilbert, Gilbert, Gilbert…

    I didn’t ask what the credible sources would say, only who you would consider them to be.

    See, you seem to have some inside track here. You have THE answer…diversity has achieved nothing.

    Is this based on some evidence?
    Short of evidence, do you have an authority you can cite?
    Short of an authority do you even have a coherent argument for why you believe your position?

    “It’s physically impossible to do so.”

    That is an empirical question, one that would require careful research design, but hardly impossible. The trend I see from a cursory look at the available evidence so far leans towards positive benefits, with some caveats that passively integrating is not equivalent to actively working to provide meaningful interactions between communities.

    If you’ve got some additional data that can show me where I am wrong, please provide it.

    If you don’t. Don’t think that CAPITAL letters and “scare quotes” are going to be that persuasive.

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