The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The Mirage of Integration

Posted on | April 20, 2014 | 41 Comments

It was Dick Gregory, I believe, who defined “integration” as the period of time between when the first black family moves into a neighborhood and the last white family moves out. The recent report that New York City’s schools are the most segregated in the country might be seen as confirmation of that cynical jest.

Are we to assume that the enlightened and sophisticated white liberals of New York are secretly more racist — “RAAAAACIST!” — than they would have us believe? Our suspicion of pharisaical hypocrisy on their part may explain why liberals are always able to hear those coded racist “dog whistles” that nobody else can hear. Perpetual outrage at the alleged racism of Republicans functions as a means by which white liberals soothe their guilty consciences and tune out the cognitive dissonance that results from the unbridgeable chasm between their professed egalitarian beliefs and their inevitably elitist lifestyles.

Jelani Cobb is dismayed by the evidence of liberal hypocrisy:

There may be no better example of the ongoing scandal of school segregation than the New York City public-school system, which a recent report by the Civil Rights Project at U.C.L.A. found to be one of the most segregated in the country. Black and Latino students in New York have become more likely to attend schools with minimal white enrollment, and a majority of them go to schools defined by concentrated poverty. . . . New York is simultaneously the most diverse city in the United States and the most glaring indicator of integration’s failures.

Perhaps the question we should ask is not “Why has integration failed?” Rather we might ask, “Why did anyone ever imagine integration could succeed?” Meanwhile, Jelani Cobb confirms Dick Gregory’s cynical observation:

When I graduated from Jamaica High School, in Queens, in 1987, the school was recognized for both its high academic performance and its diverse student body, which mirrored the polyglot neighborhood that surrounded it. (In 1985, it was honored by the U.S. Department of Education as one of the nation’s “outstanding” public secondary schools.) Among my four closest African-American friends from high school — only one of whom had college-educated parents — two went on to get Ph.D.s, and the other two have M.B.A.s. By 2009, however, the graduation rate had slumped below fifty per cent, and the school was slated for closure by the city, owing to its poor academic achievement and high levels of violence. It had already long ceased having the mélange of ethnicities that I remembered. But the reversion toward segregation was not the cause of the school’s academic decline: both were symptoms of the concentration of poverty that has come to define public schools across most of New York City.

Over a period of roughly 20 years, then, this district in Queens went from being “diverse . . . polyglot” in its “mélange of ethnicities” to being overwhelmingly black. And during the same period, Jamaica High went from being an “outstanding” school to being a place of “poor academic achievement and high levels of violence,” where more than half of students drop out before graduation, a phenomenon attributed by Cobb to “the concentration of poverty.”

Well, what happened? And why did it happen? Was the change in demographics — and the correspondent “academic decline” described by Cobb — a result of intransigent white racism? Was any particular public policy implicated in this decline? The Wikipedia article about Jamaica, Queens, describes the population as 48% black, 22% Hispanic, 20% white and 10% Asian. The article also describes immigration as a major factor in the changing demographics of the community.

Is it possible that, rather than bemoaning white racism — which certainly has not increased as a factor in the past 20 years — those who desire more integrated schools should instead focus their attention on the ways in which our nation’s immigration policies contribute to increased segregation? Many who have studied this phenomenon have pointed out that an influx of impoverished immigrants, whatever its impact on the nation as a whole, has a profoundly negative influence on the prospects of low-income groups, who are forced into economic competition with the new arrivals. But if Jelani Cobb paid too much attention to such research, he might begin to have doubts about liberal proposals to grant amnesty to illegal aliens and, if he ever took a strong public stand against amnesty, then white liberals would call him a racist, too.

Welcome to 2014, Mr. Cobb. We’re all racists now.

 

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Comments

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    Is immigration the reason that the Jamaica High School became overwhelmingly black and declined over twenty years? There has not been a massive amount of black immigration to the United States. Most of it has been Central American (although in New York there has also been a fair amount of Eastern European too). What we are seeing is neighborhoods transitioning through tipping points. The immigration is from other neighborhoods in New York.

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  • richard mcenroe

    With Harlem and so many areas of Brooklyn being gentrified, the displaced, largely black populations had to end up somewhere.

    So maybe call it “internal immigration.” That sounds nice and socialist for a good Sandinista mayor.

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  • robertstacymccain

    There has not been a massive amount of black immigration to the United States.

    No, there hasn’t. However, the pattern of settlement is such that certain areas experience disproportionate impact. For example, there is a neighborhood in Minneapolis known as “Little Mogadishu” because it is home to so many Somali immigrants. South Florida has had such an influx of Haitians that voodoo is now commonplace in the Miami area. The black immigrants in Queens are mostly from the Dominican Republic, while Hispanics there are mostly Puerto Rican. Generally, we may say New York and Miami are magnets for the “Caribbean Diaspora.”

  • https://twitter.com/AnaMyID Anamika

    I was so split before that if anyone asked me about my childhood, I would tell them what a fantastic life I had, and how tightly-knit the family was. I could say it and ‘authentically’ mean it! But then the ‘original’ more innate ‘sense of how things are’ became activated to such an extent that the conditionings began to crack like humpty dumpty.

    A simpler example in my life was that of prejudice. I was strongly conditioned to be prejudiced against other races and other religions. And yet, from day one, there was a more innate sense in me that said that prejudice was not ‘true’. This created plenty of tension in me in the early days…with one ‘voice’ wanting to be true to my ‘innate sense’, and the other wanting to be loyal, and to ‘belong’ to my family and community.

    Once choosing to honor my innate sense about prejudice, it was not without ‘cost’ to me personally…often times being ‘punished’ for my wrong choices. There’s an authenticity in the sense that life is nothing but one conditioning or impulse interacting with another. In another context, however, there is a recognition of that which is ‘original’ or innate… and that which has been ‘put upon us’. Unless there is a great deal of difference or tension between the two, it may not be so easily recognizable.

  • genes

    Finally. Evidence of present day segregation. Will the DOJ file suit to take control of the school district?

  • Rubix’s Cube

    “There’s an authenticity in the sense that life is nothing but one conditioning or impulse interacting with another.”

    Lest you forgot: remember generative grammar, modularity of mind, and sociobiology .

    Which is probably enough, for me, to point out that (Skinnerian) behaviorism is by-gone. Sorry.

  • https://twitter.com/AnaMyID Anamika

    It is possible that greed is only the adaptation/natural response to imparted space/room, and when paradoxically we individually (not as a race or a culture) reduce our level of greed by spiritual practice, we in fact do something that they would be incapable of, maybe a tribesman resists to coca-cola, alcohol, T-shirts and radio listening but his son won’t — suicide is rapidly increasing in the Amazonian aborigines youngsters, as well as violence.

    I often wonder about the native Americans, if they had so little cultural resistance to all the nasty destabilizing sides of European culture, then we can talk about an authentic harmonious pre-white civilization that would have implied self-confidence into its own value, steel solid resistance to strange memes or rapid integration of them as well as swift conversion of invaders to local customs, specially the aliens are under the urgent pressure to survive in those new conditions so they are in need of new memes. (that would have been then and there available among natives)

  • https://twitter.com/AnaMyID Anamika

    I have seen nothing that is not radically authentically exactly what it is and likewise no one who is other than who they are.

    Granted each one is the intersection of every influence up to that point and may not appear to reflect what someone else believes they “should”, but nevertheless they are the accurate reflection of who they are at this precise moment.

    –radically authentically anamika–

  • Matt_SE

    “But the reversion toward segregation was not the cause of the school’s academic decline: both were symptoms of the concentration of poverty that has come to define public schools across most of New York City.”
    Poverty here is used as a euphemism, whether Jelani realizes it or not. The real problem is the culture; one that disregards the value of education and hard work. These values are associated with whites, and so are denigrated out of hand.
    Rappers don’t preach the value of a degree. Accomplished blacks are all too often labeled as ‘Uncle Toms’ for adopting the cultural values mentioned.

  • Matt_SE

    People value that which they don’t have, and undervalue that which they already hold.
    This explains the liberal fascination with “authenticity.”

  • jakee308

    Hey. They can always force white people to go to school there with guns, right?

    That’ll work. And if that doesn’t improve the school why it must be those evil white people are doing something to make it so.

    Must. Be.

    Can’t be Liberals. Can’t be the Minorities fault somehow. Can’t be

    THEY’RE WRONG about everything.

  • Matt_SE

    “…suicide is rapidly increasing in the Amazonian aborigines youngsters, as well as violence.”

    Maybe they’re angry now that they know there’s a wider world out there, but they’re trapped in an aboriginal society?

    “…we can talk about an authentic harmonious pre-white civilization…”
    Native American tribes raided, raped and pillaged each other long before the white man ever showed up. What you’re pining for is the ‘noble savage’ meme.

  • http://thepagantemple.com/ ThePaganTemple

    It’s natural to seek out the company of those like you, and does not imply hatred of or bigotry toward other groups. In fact, as more and more people from other races get to know each other, the same principle comes through, and people gravitate towards others that are like them with no regard for race, or at least with a good deal less regard for it.

    Of course, along comes liberal politicians whose bread-and-butter is maintained by exasperating those racial differences and suspicions, all the time pretending to decry them. As a result, you have black students automatically self-segregating inside the school cafeterias and the formation of racial cliks and all the problems that follow.

    And in the meantime all the race hustlers (who really know their place) help to keep the status quo strong and healthy.

  • Patrick Carroll

    They’re not racist.

    They simply don’t practice the insanity they preach.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    Yeah, that is true (there is a lot of Afro Caribbean immigration in Queens) but the driving force of fail in schools in NYC is not immigration (segregation is driven by housing prices, it is just that minorities and recent immigrants are now at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder more than ever than ever thanks to economic policies of Obama and the Democrats), but policies that put teachers and staff benefits at a much higher priority than teaching students. Hence the reason DeBlasio will throw the most vulnerable students under the bus to appease the forces of these public unions.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    That is exactly right. Yuppie migration from colleges and elsewhere (and there are a fair number of Eurotrash illegals in NYC too) are pushing out the poor from Manhattan and desirable parts of Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, even the Bronx.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    When I was in NYC, I always found Dominican and Puerto Rican neighborhoods to be livable (especially in comparison to lawless places like the South Bronx and Bed Sty). They were poor and definitely had crime. But there was a core constituency of working poor who were striving for something better.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    I found being around different people makes you realize the real differences that matter are ones of character, not skin color or ethnicity.

  • Stanley

    How does one pronounce “bull-sh*t”?

  • WarEagle82

    Preemptively ignored. BS content has reached or exceeded 99.99%.

  • https://twitter.com/AnaMyID Anamika

    But would you, to channel RS McCain, be no at all averse, to accept say a black woman as your sister in law?

  • http://www.journal14.com/ Dana

    I grew up in a small Southern town (Mt Sterling, Kentucky) and integration happened there the way it happened in a lot of small, Southern towns: the black school mysteriously burned down.

    We had no real problems with integration (it was during my sixth grade year), because there was only one school left, so there was no forced busing of kids past closer schools for social engineering racial integration; everyone went to the same school because that’s all that there was!

    If there is a problem with re-segregation, it is simply a facet of dense urbanization. When you have small towns, with only one school, not only is segregation not a problem, but most of the other problems that the big urban schools have disappear as well.

  • http://www.journal14.com/ Dana

    Well, I pronounce it “bovine feces.” Does that work for you? :)

  • http://www.journal14.com/ Dana

    Is that a question of integration, or something else?

    I’m white, and I am married to a white woman. I never dated a black woman, and never had any desire to date a black woman. Now, I never met any black women I found to be sexually attractive to me, and while it’s always possible that that was because of the limited number of black women I knew, it’s also true that my fantasies never went in that direction, either.

    So, is that racism, or is it simply a statement of what I found attractive?

  • Jeanette Victoria

    I’m Hispanic and I’ve dated black men but the black men I dated were exceptional. That being said it is foolishness to deny that their fundamental difference between the races that are NOT just cultural. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/027597510X/

  • http://www.journal14.com/ Dana

    I assume that means that you found them at least initially attractive, which would be the initial dating threshold. That would be the point to which I referred.

    I have no particular intellectual or moral or anything else objections to dating black women — other than being already married, of course! — but I don’t recall ever knowing any whom I found attractive in that regard.

  • Jeanette Victoria

    I tend to be attracted to other things beside looks both of these men were very smart and very masculine and very conservative. But as a added bonus both were easy on the eyes

    Strange though I have never been attracted to Hispanic men.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Why bother with all that michegas when the Federales already exert a tremendous amount of control over the public schools.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Well put, Pagan.

    I married a gal who is of half-Goddamnirish [that actually is one word, you know] Catholic and half-Sicilian descent. I’m half-Italian and half not-Goddamnirish, but the Italians and Goddamnirish have mixed in my city for over a century, so I felt at home with that kind of gal.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Forced Integration was doomed from the start because Human Beings do not like being told to who to associate with [this is especially true in America].

    As for the races: they were slowly starting to integrate on their own, but the Left had to come in and impose some things like Forced Busing, which destroyed any natural integration which had been occurring.

    The whole Forced Busing Movement was interesting for me because it opened my eyes to the two types of Leftism that existed: (1) those who naively believed that such a policy could work [the Kumbaya types] and (2) those Masterminds who saw it as another tactic in their Balkanization of American Society [the Alinsky types].

    Forced Busing also helped propel me into a study of Leftist Thinking [along with what Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was going through before his exile].

  • Rob Crawford

    Can anyone explain to me why it’s not racist to assume “blacks” cannot learn without the presence of “whites”?

  • robertstacymccain

    It’s crazy. I’ve never understood that assumption, just like I’ve never understood the alleged blessings of “diversity.” But that’s the beauty of liberal ideas — they don’t have to make sense in order to become so dominant that anyone who doubts them is presumed to be a fascist.

  • random flyby

    Why isn’t a school that becomes more black celebrated as diverse in the way anything else that is integrated and incorporates more blacks is celebrated as diverse? Diversity is good! Everybody in government says so. 100% black is 100% Diverse! It’s a solid goodness and a win.

  • Steve White

    That’s one of the bigger issues that many won’t face: it’s easy for a reasonably well to do liberal progressive to preach “integration” while at the same time sending her/his own children to the private school. And then to the Ivy League college where they network “with their own kind”.

    If you want to panic a well to do progressive, insist that their kids have to go to the same school that the poor kids attend.

  • http://www.tempeteaparty.org Lee Reynolds

    Reminds me of the endless whining about “white flight.” The implicit argument that black people need white people hanging around in order to live in nice communities is pure bigotry.

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