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
     delusions better.

          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,
     isn't it?

          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
     will speculate.

          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
     five minutes.

          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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