Children on Chicago’s South Side are escorted to school through a phalanx of “security workers in neon vests, police officers on patrol, an idling city fire truck and, briefly, a police helicopter hovering above.” Similar school escort programs exist in other cities.
It’s no longer vicious white racists from whom black children need protection, thanks to the courageous battles of the civil-rights movement, but the mindless violence of gangs who share those children’s skin color. That criminal predation, with its debilitating effects on neighborhood vitality, along with family breakdown, lie behind lingering racial inequality today — not, as President Obama suggested in his
Occupy Wall Street March on Washington anniversary speech, the greediness of employers who refuse to pay a “fair wage,” or the unequal application of “the scales of justice . . . in the criminal justice system” (the latter charge an outrageously irresponsible calumny coming from the chief executive).