WS>>The Automaticity Of Resgregation, America Builds A Dream - And Moves To It
carl william spitzer iv
cwsiv_2nd at JUNO.COM
Wed Feb 12 15:37:36 MST 2003
Synopsis: Ever notice the black kids all sit togeth-
er in the college caf?
January 2, 2003
by Fred Reed
Today, news for people who are surprised by sunrise:
The Associated Pressreports* that Marie G. Davis Middle
School, of Charlotte, North Carolina,when given the chance
to segregate itself racially, did. Some federal court, in a
fit of intelligence, said that you couldn't force parents to
bus children to schools politically acceptable to Washing-
ton. The school,
44% white the summer before the court made its deci-
sion, was that fall 5%white.
The whites went away. I'm all astonished, like I am
when teenagers think about sex.
Of course the school resegregated. Any fool could have
told you it would.
Fact is, the races just don't want to be around each
other. It's plain as a sore toe in tight shoes. If you watch
what the races do, instead of listen to what the talking
heads say they ought to do, you can see that both sides
would rather live with hung-over alligators. But you get
fired if you notice it, so we all look the other way and act
like we're thinking aboutsomething else. ("Naw, I didn't see
the sun rise. What sun?")
We talk about the American dream, but the country likes
We believe things are what we insist they are. If we
think a pup-dog oughta be a backhoe, we figure all we gotta
do is say he is, and act like we really really believe it,
and lie, and make everybody pretend, and maybe put diesel
oil in his dog bowl-and he'll sprout a scoop and start
cutting underground telephone cables. It doesn't matter if
everybody knows it's alie-if you can make them pretend, and
put them in jail if they don't. It' s as American as tortil-
Think about it. Where do black and white get together
on purpose? I mean,without the police, national guard,
federal marshals, judges, seven thousand laws, and the
entire federal government, to make them? Answer: They don't.
Give people the slightest say about who they want to be
with,and they're gone. That's what happened in Charlotte,
People like being with their own. Always have, always
will. When you force them to be together instead of giving
them the choice, then you get trouble. The less they have in
common, the more trouble you get. Then youcan holler about
racism and squash folks together even more. It's like Prohi-
bition, making people do what they don't want, because you
think they ought to want it.
When black kids come into a white college, the first
thing they do is want black dorms and black fraternities,
and the white kids don't seem in muchof a hurry to catch
them and bring them back. It's how it always is. When I was
a military reporter, the blacks on base wanted soul music at
the club, and the whites wanted country and western. The
blacks got the club because the commander was afraid of
them. The whites went to town to listen to Merle Haggard.
Which may or may not have been a reasonable choice, but it's
what they did.
Go to a party of a hundred rich, white, unrelentingly
good, racially correct people in Washington, and you will
find three blacks to shuffle and look embarrassed and be
credentials. The ninety-seven white people will make a point
of talking awkwardly to them so everybody will know they are
not prejudiced. Ask the whites in a loud voice where their
kids go to school.
Do you see more whites at black parties? I don't know.
I've never been toone. It's a segregated country.
How about at work? It's a snake pit, with the federal
government making it hang together, barely. Best I can tell,
blacks figure they're getting discriminated against, and
oppressed, and enslaved. Whites-regularly, invariably,
everywhere, every time-say most blacks don't work, have
attitudes, advance entirely on pigmentation, and you have to
do their wor k for them. You could argue about who is right,
but that's just it: Neitherside gets along well with the
other, except when threatened.
Now, the AP story carefully avoided the crucial ques-
tion about the escapefrom Charlotte: Why did the white
parents instantly withdraw their kids from a black school
when given a whiff of freedom? The writer implied tha t
Charlotte, being in the South, was prejudiced, and that
racism was behindthe flight, snore. Reporters everywhere
understand what they are paid to say, but I don't think his
heart was in it.
Let me suggest another reason, which I have not veri-
fied. Should I be wrong, I will happily say so, and eat Jim
Crow. But, knowing as I do the inveracity of the media, I
I suggest that the black students at the school were
academically far below the whites-that the white parents
were trying to do something, anything, to keep their child-
ren at an intellectual level consistent with their notions
of civilization. I suspect that the black students had no
interest in European history, in mathematics, languages,
chemistry. I don't say they should be interested, just that
they pretty regularly aren't. If I am wrong. I will happily
retract. Show me. I'd love to be wrong.
Maybe I am. It may be that academic performance of
blacks at Marie G. Davis Middle School refutes the aggregate
experience of centuries, of daily experience and common
intuition. And Elvis may materialize in my room tonight and
sing Heartbreak Hotel. I'd like that. Even stranger things
could happen. The Redskins could win.
But I'm not betting the Vette.
Further, I will bet that the black kids ganged up and
pushed the white kids around. It may not be universal, but
an awful lot of white kids report it.
Now, maybe all this shouldn't ought to be true. And
maybe pup-dogs ought to grow exhaust stacks and glow plugs.
Thing is, sooner or later "shouldn't ought" runs into "is."
The reality it that if it weren't for unrelenting
compulsion and intimidation, the races would separate like
newly weds five years later. Without affirmative action and
the EEO police, offices would barely be integrated. Schools,
if parents were free, would do what Charlotte did. T he
whole lash-up is compulsory, artificial, contrived, and
almost nobody wants it.
If you don't think so, drop the compulsion and wait
No, I don't know what to do about it, except hide. My
best guess is let people live how they want and hire people
on merit. But that's not the American way.
Gotta run. Elvis just showed up.
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