The Corner

A ‘Threat’ to ‘Desegregation’? Hardly

There’s a big front-page story in the Washington Post about a bill before the Kentucky state legislature that will, the headlines claim, “threaten” school “desegregation” in Louisville. Hardly.

My favorite sentence in the story: “The threat is no longer from protestors in hoods throwing bricks at buses carrying black children into white parts of town, but from state legislators pushing a bill to return to neighborhood schools.” Nothing but straight news reporting here, folks! Nothing slanted or tendentious, nosiree!

Look: There is no segregation in Louisville or anywhere else in the country, and there is no threat of it coming back. There is not a single segregated public school, because segregation means separating children by law because of race, and everyone knows that is illegal and wrong.

What exists are racial imbalances in public schools, and those imbalances exist because of residential living patterns. Some people, mostly liberals of course, want to end those racial imbalances by using race to assign students to schools. The Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that Louisville’s system of using a student’s race directly was unconstitutional, so now the school district weighs race more obliquely — but alas it is still being used, as even the Post has to acknowledge in its story. The Post also has to acknowledge that the bill’s proponents cite simply the undeniable educational, parental, and monetary benefits of letting children attend the schools closest to them.

What the state bill here would do, then, is require a policy of neighborhood schools, not a return to segregation. So it’s the bill proponents who want to end the practice of using race to decide where children can go to school. And it’s the proponents of “desegregation” who insist that skin color should decide what a child’s educational choices should be.

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