Sorry I have been away so long. You don’t want to know about my computer woes. But I am back at it again and hopefully this time I will remain a daily if not semi-daily contributor again.
Well this is as good a day as any to get back in the saddle. Today the Supreme Court, in a split decision, struck down voluntary “race-based” diversity programs at public grade schools. Their ruling essentially says “race” (their word since you know I hate the term and find it a misnomer) cannot be used as a factor for schools as they attempt to implement programs that diversify their student bodies. Conservatives, of course, hail the ruling, while liberals and Democrats have decried it as a slap in the face of the longstanding “Brown V. Board of Education” that essentially destroyed the old separate but equal doctrine.
Now you would think someone who writes a blog based on the notion of “no more race” and getting beyond the concepts of race, would be ecstatic at the Supreme Court ruling. After all, the Court is saying we must stop focusing on race in making decisions about people. Right?
Well, here’s the problem with that ruling though. The programs that were used in this case, like many others that will be affected, were rooted in the goal of bringing people together across racial and ethnic boundaries. Which in the long run is exactly what we need to be doing if we are ever going to reach the true point of ignoring race. I agree with those schools in their philosophy based on the belief that getting young people to spend time around each other is the greatest thing we can do to helping them see for themselves that racial and ethnic differences aren’t the most important thing. Socializing, playing and learning next to each other goes a lot farther than subjecting people to lectures and preaching racial acceptance.
Now do I recognize the irony of using race to promote a future of no more race? Of course I do. But we sit in such a screwed up, racially-sensitive world right now that sometimes it does indeed require counter-intuitive ideas to get us to where we need to be. And I know this for sure, having the “races” living and being educated in separate worlds does not do anything for a real coming together. So I do believe that we took a step back today. But no matter what the Court has done, I also think the lid is already off he jar for the most part, and this decision won’t, in the long run, stop the inevitable that we see occurring.