Supreme Court Rejects Decorating Public Schools Like Racial Christmas Trees
Religion & Liberty Online

Supreme Court Rejects Decorating Public Schools Like Racial Christmas Trees

In the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, the Supreme Court today struck down a move to use race to determine which students attend certain schools and which one who will not. Students will not be assigned to schools according to the color of their skin. We are finally approaching King’s dream. Hopefully, this will end the tremendously failed race-based busing programs nationwide. The 5-4 ruling rejected racial decorating programs in Louisville, Kentucky, and Seattle, Washington.

CNN reports:

The court struck down public school choice plans in Seattle, Washington, and Louisville, Kentucky, concluding they relied on an unconstitutional use of racial criteria, in a sharply worded pair of cases reflecting the deep legal and social divide over the issue of race and education. . .

Louisville-area schools endured decades of federal court oversight after schools there were slow to integrate. When that oversight ended in the late 1990s, county officials sought to maintain integration, requiring that most public schools have at least 15 percent and no more than 50 percent African-American enrollment. The idea was to reflect the whole of Jefferson County, which is 60 percent white and 38 percent black. Officials say their plan reflects not only the need for diversity but also the desire of parents for greater school choice.

A white parent, Crystal Meredith, sued, saying her child was twice denied the school nearest their home and had to endure a three-hour bus ride to a facility that was not their top choice. Many African-American parents raised similar concerns. . .

White parents have been suing nationwide because the racial decorating prevents white kids from going to schools in their own neighborhoods. This is a great example of elites using government to produce social results that were doomed to fail from the start because they failed to respect freedom and dignity.

Today’s ruling is good news for several reasons (see below):
(1) Hopefully, this will lead to dispelling the myth that if blacks can only find themselves in the same school building as whites that, somehow, they will be blessed. Blacks being the presence of whites does not make them “successful.”

(2) Today’s perceived racially segregated schools are segregated because they reflect the demographics of real neighborhoods–representing free, non-coerced choice. Government cannot make people of different races want to live near each other. Government cannot affect residential preference and choice in a free society. The elites need a reality check and swallow the fact that freedom does not always produce the results they want to use government to create.

(3) As such, the only way public schools will be racially integrated into the racial Christmas tree that liberal elites–who usually don’t live near blacks or Latinos–desire is to have racially integrated neighborhoods.

(4) Today’s ruling is not “turning back the clock” on the 1954 Brown vs. Board decision. Anyone linking the two is confused about today’s context where families segregate by choice, not because of government coercion. No one is forcing whites out of black neighborhoods and vice-versa. The court’s wisdom exposes the fact that forcing racial integration does not work and does not create a desire for multiple races living in the same neighborhood. Forced, arbitrary integration does not build affection for racial inclusion in the long-run.

(5) Lastly, where do the elites come up with the right “racial mix?” Are racial minorities nothing more than ingredients in the social stew of patronizing liberal elites?

Liberal elites have such a pathetically low view of Americans and racial minorities–and are so profoundly arrogant–that they assume: (1) that people must live like the liberals desire and (2) government force is the only solution to undesired social realities.

By the way, I stole the “Christmas tree” metaphor from Thomas Sowell.

Anthony Bradley

Anthony B. Bradley, Ph.D., is distinguished research fellow at the Acton Institute and author of The Political Economy of Liberation: Thomas Sowell and James Cone on the Black Experience.