Sunday, November 2, 2014

Wise and Herbert on Brown V Board of Ed. Post-racism

Between the 1950's and today, the issues surrounding racial equality still exist. The difference is that today- racism isn't so overt as it was, but more subtle. Brown v. Board of Education was a case in Topeka Kansas that resulted in the integration of schools. 14 parents came together and filed the case that segregated elementary schools resulted in harmful psychological affects. They argued that the segregation violated the 14th amendment. In the state court, judges conceded to the harmful affects, but ruled that the education was equal and therefor constitutional based on the power of precedent. The supreme court ruled the segregation unequal, and integration began, America was now in a time of post-racism.... or was it?

Wise calls this shift in display of racism 1.0 vs. racism 2.0. Wise says that we aren't in a post-racism time, so stop pretending we are, this is more damaging than admitting that it exists. Wise claims one thing that hasn't changed since the 50's is societies habit of denying that racism exists. It is still a taboo subject that we neglect to discuss. He also has a Delpit-like perspective on the matter- that the culture of power exists (SCWAAMP). He claims that it is easy to deny or remain oblivious to the problem when it doesn't affect you, this doesn't make you yourself a bad person, but perpetuates the power of institutions. Wise claims that we can't consider ourselves a post-racism society until we are truly equal. There is still a discrepancy between what someone who is black needs to achieve and what someone who is white needs to achieve in order to gain the same position. He uses the example of presidents; Obama needed far more credentials than Bush to achieve the same status. This exists in all school and employment circumstances, just like it did before Brown V. Board of Ed, the only difference is that we aren't still hanging signs that say "No Black Applicants Allowed" instead we pretend equality while inventing reasons to deny employment.

Herbert has similar views- that while we claim to be post-racism, we really aren't. Schools are still segregated. He states that while schools my not be openly racially segregated like they used to be, they are still segregated by socio-economics. While there aren't laws ensuring this, it happens on it's own, by where people can afford to live, and how that influences where they go to school. The system traps them, as Kozol demonstrated. Much like Kozol, Herbert claims that poor children in poor schools do worse than poor children in affluent schools. You can't put all the poor in one community, it multiplies the issue and "children have nothing to grow on". In studies that place poor children in affluent schools, he evidence showed that they did better than their counterparts in poor schools. Integrating based on economics tends to also be integrating based on race, which is where it becomes a taboo subject. Everyone says that the poor children need to received better education, so develop programs for the poor schools, instead of integrating schools based on socio economics- band-aiding the problems. This idea of integrating based on socio economics was also discussed by the keynote speaker at promising practices Dr. Christopher Emdin.

Previous to this class and reading these articles, I had thought America had made progress on the concept of segregation, but it is becoming more and more apparent that we haven't come as far as we believe we have. I completely agree with the assessment that we live in denial, this is true of most things I find. We choose to ignore the problem and see sunshine and rainbows instead of fixing it. I can also see that schools while schools aren't openly segregated, they still are by socio-economics. I saw this in my own school, and the school I'm completing SL in. I  can also see how the concept Herbert presents of integrating schools of different socio-economic status' would benefit everyone involved. 


  1. I really liked your connections to Dr. Christopher Emdin because as I read the texts/ watched the videos I also found a lot of similarities between their arguments. I agree that before this class I had a much different look on segregation in America, I also see we have a long way to go. Good job!

  2. I agree with Erika above. The connections to Dr.Emdin were great. Also powerful pictures.

  3. I enjoyed reading the connections you have made. Your analysis is really strong.

  4. Great post, and well written! Your connections were spot on!