Thursday, July 9, 2015
Integration is not the Answer
As reported in the Washington Post article entitled Obama administration to unveil major new rules targeting segregation across U.S., the Obama Administration announced “long-awaited rules designed to repair” the Fair Housing Act’s “unfulfilled promise and promote the kind of racially integrated neighborhoods that have long eluded deeply seated segregated cities like Chicago and Baltimore.” The new rules would “require cities and towns to scrutinize their housing patterns for racial bias.”
While President Obama’s efforts are well intended and noble, integration is not a true solution to our problems. There is no guarantee that Obama's late action will last beyond his Administration.
Why does one have to live in a predominately white community in order to have opportunity and prosperity? Sadly, we have accepted the myth of white supremacy. Unfortunately, many civil rights leaders equate opportunity with one’s proximity to whiteness. They have placed a premium on whiteness. Instead of focusing on improving black communities, they tend to believe that one must escape from predominately black urban jungles and seek refuge in civilized suburban white enclaves in order to enjoy life.
In their minds, one has to attend predominately white schools to get a good education. When our children arrive at those precious white schools, too often, our children encounter new problems and roadblocks. They are experience problems such as blatant racism, social ostracism, exclusion from honors classes, unfair assignment to remedial courses and disproportionate discipline.
Here are a couple examples of the racism that black students experience. As reported on the Atlanta Blackstar, two white students repeatedly called Phoenix Williams the N word at Bloomfield Hills Middle School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Remember the heartbreaking video of 4 year-old London James crying because a white girl refused to be her friend because she is black.
In such environments, our children are not only subject to ridicule and racism, they are not educated about their history and culture. As our children desperately try to assimilate and adapt to that white world, their racial identity and pride melt away into nothingness.
As a select few of our people manage to flee to these white so-called “opportunity zones” and reap the benefits, problems such as inner city violence, high unemployment, concentrated poverty, mass incarceration and other significant crises continue to plague our communities. Such problems continue to loom over the black underclass even when they leave their black communities for whiter and greener pastures.
Why can’t we focus on improving black schools, black neighborhoods and black institutions? White people do not need us in order to thrive as community. We should not need them in order to thrive as a community. We look pathetic groveling at the feet of white society begging them to acknowledge that our lives actually matter. We look like naïve children begging those people to accept us as neighbors. We look disgraceful begging those people to allow our children to play with their children. Where is our dignity? Where is our pride?
No new rules will socially engineer white people to accept us. As more black people enter those white neighborhoods, many white people will do what they have always done, take flight. So-called integrated communities will only re-segregate and be transformed into black communities.
As we run from our urban areas, upwardly mobile whites will gentrify and reclaim dominance over our communities. As black students continue to attend failing urban schools, affluent urban white students will attend elite private schools to avoid the Negro problem. Well known businesses and excellent services will magically appear in those new gentrified, predominately white urban communities. Housing prices will soar. The District of Columbia is a prime example of this phenomena. It is no longer the Chocolate City that I remember from my years at Howard University. 14th and U Street, N.W. is practically all white now. Nonetheless, isolated and segregated black pockets of despair persist in the nation’s capitol.