Wilfred Reilly, Daily Mail, December 16, 2021
Segregation seems to be returning to the USA – but not from the direction that consumers of modern mainstream media might expect.
During the past few years, Evanston Township High School, located in the leafy Northern suburbs of Chicago, has begun offering pre-calculus, calculus, and AP calculus classes exclusively for students who ‘identify as Black.’
Other students can obviously take the same courses, but not in the same classrooms as most of their Black peers.
For good measure, the school has removed all aptitude-based tracking from the mathematics program, and incorporated word problems about analyzing ‘racial disparities in traffic stops by the Evanston Police’ into the curriculum.
While this is not the focus of this article, such an innovative attitude toward teaching mathematics is spreading inside the United States.
The USA Today article I have been quoting opens by praising ‘algebra classes taught by Nadine Erbri,’ where students learn math skills ‘through singing, dancing, and drawing,’ and ‘problem solving is a team sport.’
More to the point, a ‘woke’ form of racial separatism is spreading as well: the example of ETHS hardly stands alone.
A Denver public elementary school recently went viral on Twitter after announcing a ‘Playground Night’ event open only to minority families.
The entire New York City school system faces criticism and a potential lawsuit, after announcing that it planned to separate all students by racial category as part of a ‘social justice exercise.’
Down south in Atlanta, an already outstanding parent complaint accuses that city’s Mary Lin Elementary of segregating students by race.
Apparently, black children at the school were forced into specific classes and had access to only two of six early-grades teachers.
Here, what might at first look like Old South revanchism takes a surprise turn – the principal responsible was a black woman, who segregated the African-American children to ‘build community.’
This sort of thing is not confined to elementary and high schools.
As the Daily Mail recently noted, Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington has been ‘slammed’ for creating openly segregated student housing, classifying the 4th floor of sizable Alma Clark Glass Hall as ‘Black affinity housing’ not open to Caucasian students.
By doing so, Western Washington University does not stand alone in emulating the past, but rather ‘joins American University, Stanford University, (the) University of Colorado at Boulder…Cornell University,’ and other well-known and highly ranked institutions of higher learning.
Adding to the back-to-the-50s vibe at most of these schools and many others are formally segregated graduation ceremonies (i.e. ‘The Black graduation’). These, while generally optional – all students can opt to also participate in the ‘big’ general graduation – currently take place at roughly 75 universities.
Obviously, the process of segregating, ranking, and even graduating students on the basis of race requires that they all first be classified into racial categories.
In the diverse United States of 2021, this is no longer the simple exercise it likely was when the national population was composed almost entirely of blacks and whites, and attempts at it have produced some entertaining results.
Most notably, Asian Americans are increasingly finding themselves classified as ‘white.’
In its latest ‘equity report,’ the 16,000 student North Thurston School District – located just outside of Seattle on our West Coast – simply lumped all academic outcomes for Asian students together with those for whites, and contrasted these with the results for a ‘students of color’ category composed of blacks, Latinos, and Native American Indians.
Several other districts have done the same, and it seems inevitable that the practice will grow more common, in an era when the success and perceived conservatism of minority immigrants has been dead-seriously described as ‘multiracial whiteness.’
Underlying both the modern push for segregated ‘safe spaces’ for minority students and the temptation to re-label high performing minority students as ‘white’ is a specific belief system, which I describe as Wokism and the writer John McWhorter calls the ideology of The Elect.
Many thinkers on the contemporary left believe that facially neutral institutions within society, such as standardized testing, are in fact designed to oppress people of color (or women, the poor, gays, the over-weight, etc), that any gaps in performance between large groups within these systems are evidence of racism/bigotry, and that the solution to this problem is ‘equity’ – which can basically be defined as proportional representation of every group across every positive outcome regardless of actual performance.
Within the context of this ideology, it is easy to understand both the idea that any system which produces somewhat unequal outcomes – such as the traditional process of academic tracking at Evanston Township High School – must be done away with and the idea that members of any minority group who succeed in a system designed to ‘oppress’ them must somehow actually be members of the majority.
However, to those of us who remain agnostic toward the new creed or who follow older paths, all of this seems like ridiculous nonsense.
Importantly, this perception is correct.
In reality, one glance at U.S. Census data demonstrates that either seven or eight – depending on how you decide to classify South Africans – of the 10 richest and most successful groups in contemporary America are made up of ‘oppressed’ people of color.
As I have noted elsewhere, Indian Americans currently hold our pole position, pulling in $126,705 per year. Following closely are Taiwanese Americans ($102,405), Filipino Americans ($100,273), and a presumably diverse pool of South African Americans ($98,212).
Together, these groups fill four of the top five slots. A bit further down the list, one of the highest-earning exclusively black groups – Nigerian Americans – is also the most educated population in the USA.
As the center-right writer Rav Aurora, himself a ‘POC,’ has noted, this is a ‘peculiar kind of racist patriarchy, ‘ given that more than a dozen minority groups finish ahead of whites in our allegedly rigged race. Indeed.
For that matter, the Census figures for whites certainly don’t indicate any sort of consistent and univariate racial privilege.
These vary wildly, with Australian Americans ($100,856) and presumably Jewish Yanks out-earning Cajuns, Appalachians, the Pennsylvania Dutch, and the touchingly large pool of people who identify simply as ‘Americans’ by tens of thousands of dollars each year.
Nigerians also finished ahead of all of these latter white groups.
Further, these widely divergent performances are not a matter of mere luck, or of karma.
Serious social scientists like Tom Sowell and June O’Neill have pointed out for years that – while racism certainly exists – taking into account basic factors like median age, aptitude test scores, and where people live explains many contemporary gaps between groups.
‘Disparities’ are not ‘Discrimination,’ as the title of Sowell’s best-selling book reminds us.
In this complex real world, it simply doesn’t make sense to define success and failure as de facto, probative evidence of racism.
Fortunately, for those of us who deplore actual bigotry while remaining sane, a better definition already exists.
Racism remains what it has always been (and what dictionaries mooooostly still say it is): the ugly practice of disliking other human beings because of the color of their skin.
As adult U.S. citizens, capable of thought, we have a moral duty to resist this when we see it, and to object to policies which seem to be based on it.
However, no duty exists to assume racism where we do not truly see it, because gurus and fakirs tell us to – or to engage in practices traditionally associated with the worst sort of bigotry in order to fight it.
One such practice is segregation.
In the total absence of evidence that one-race math tests and housing units and collegiate graduations are necessary responses to real prejudice hidden somewhere, these should be ended.
Students need to learn to get along with their peers of all shades now… before they enter the real world, and start demanding a return to what they’ve gotten used to on campus.