American schools are becoming segregated as a result of “culturism,” not racism

Desegregated classroomA friend asked me what I thought of an Atlantic article pointing to the fact that, sixty years after Brown v. Board of Education, America’s schools are once again becoming segregated, as whites (and Asians and East Indians) do whatever they can to flee predominantly black schools. Black schools are academically much, much weaker than white schools and, as the whites flee, the infrastructure of the schools declines.

The article focuses heavily on the fact that academically-oriented black children suffer badly from this de facto segregation, and strongly implies that white racism is at fault. I readily concede that this re-segregation is happening and that the tragic result is that bright black kids are having their futures destroyed. I don’t believe, though, that whites (and Asians and East Indians) are motivated by racism when they abandon previously integrated schools.

The problem isn’t race, it’s culture. (Call it “culturism,” if you will.)  Thus, white parents aren’t saying “I can’t let my little precious go to school with those black people because they are an inferior race who will taint her through contact.” Instead, what they’re saying is “I want my precious to have the best education possible and that requires, among other things, that the other families at the school have the same goal.”

What these white (and East Indian and Asian) parents know is that black culture is not education-oriented. Indeed, for some time, among the children at least, it’s been anti-education, with black children who work hard at school castigated by their black peers for “selling out” or being “Oreos.”

Hispanic culture is also resistant to education. As to that, I actually have some first hand anecdotal data from people who have worked closely with the Hispanic community in the education context.  In the late 1980s, very upper crust Hispanic friends of my family had set up an institution to try to teach Hispanic parents to encourage their children at school. These friends told me that the parents, most from rural areas, had the farmer’s mindset, which is to get the kids out of school and to work as soon as possible. Even though the parents came to America for economic opportunity, they couldn’t wrap their minds around the idea that, subject to some exceptions, education is the key to economic success in America. Children old enough to work were actively discouraged from seeking an education.

Twenty-five years later, my sister-in-law, who works in the Los Angeles school district, tells me the same story: Many Hispanic parents prefer their kids to earn some money sooner, rather than more money later. Sure, there’s a bell curve, with certain black or Hispanic kids and their families focused hungrily on an educational goal but, for the most part, neither the children nor their parents focus their energy on education.

White, Asian, and East Indian cultures, for the most part, are obsessed about education as a necessity for thriving in America. Parents in these cultures understand that the school’s intellectual environment matters.  If the school culture sees every parent in the community demanding hard work and high grades, that will trickle down to the children, who will create a competitive, exciting academic culture. So yes, white parents are fleeing predominantly black schools (and doing so in whatever way possible), but they’re not doing so for the old-fashioned racial reasons. It’s all about education cultures versus anti-education cultures.  Culturism, right?

I anticipate that someone will point out that the same article says that, when the schools were first integrated, the integration was successful. I don’t doubt that. Back then, integrated schools were thrilling, shiny, new toys. As the toys lost their gloss, though, people made less of an effort.

More importantly, though, the integration happened thirty-five years ago. That’s an important date, because it was before political correctness came along to poison things. In the late 1970s and throughout most of the 1980s, teachers could reasonably expect equal effort from Joe Black and Moe White.

Thanks to the scourge of political correctness, however, it’s now racist to expect black students to work as hard and perform as well as white students. Heck, with microaggression, a new twist on political correctness, it’s even racist if the teacher, when he walks into the classroom, says good morning to Moe White before he says it to Joe Black — never mind that Moe White sits next to the door, while Joe Black sits on the opposite site of the classroom.

Culture, not race. Culture, not race. Culture, not race…. Although that’s not quite true.

There is a horrible racism pervading the American education system, but it comes from the Left. The Left has successfully argued that blacks are so mentally inferior to other races that they are incapable of elevating their culture to include good behavior, hard work, and ambition. Until that grotesque Leftist racism is killed, and blacks are recognized as fully equal to other races, and therefore capable of academic rigor, whites, Asians, and East Indians will do anything they can to insulate their children from black (and Hispanic) culture in America’s public schools.

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  • Charles Martel

    The purpose of The Atlantic article has nothing to do with solving the “problem”—segregation—it identifies. The real purpose is to provide fresh fuel for stoking the left’s favorite enterprise: creating perpetual victimhood for blacks via fifth-rate schools = a perpetually dumbed-down voting bloc that always obeys Massa.
    No amount of tsk-tsking is going to stop whites, Indians, and East Asians from fleeing  or sidestepping crappy school districts. Even The Atlantic‘s enlightened readers aren’t going to do anything more than emit empathetic moans about this terrible “racist” situation. They know, even if only unconsciously, that the key to maintaining the left’s political power and their own keen sense of superiority is to keep blacks in a perpetual trance.  

  • Ymarsakar

    The Democrats use the same tactics now on the blacks and minorities that they used on the Deep and Old Deep South back before and after the US Civil War I.

  • Ymarsakar

    “Until that grotesque Leftist racism is killed…”
    I like that kind of argument. I wouldn’t have heard it here or anywhere, just a few years ago.

  • phillips1938

    Book, I was a key organizer of the S.F. Busing. It was a failure from the first day.  Common desire for education was irrelevant.  Black violence is what drove whites and everyone else who could leave, out.  My kids still hate blacks. I made a terrible mistake and admit it every chance I get.

    • Bookworm

      I got bused from one middle class school to another one.  It broke up friendships and was terribly inconvenient, but that was the only downside.  I did notice, though, that the very nice black kids in my classes (including the class taught by the wonderful old-fashioned, classy, warm, funny black lady) made no effort whatsoever.  My friend, however, got bused to Hunter’s Point and, after a month getting beaten up every day, stayed in private schools until she got into Lowell.

      • Ymarsakar

        A society that fails to protect their children, will have no future. And by justice, deserves none.
        Plenty of people ignored, downgraded, or hand waved the reports of intimidation and bullying in schools, attributing it to a problem that can be fixed by Leftist social organizations. What people didn’t realize is that it all comes from the Left, the problem itself does. It’s all interconnected. And it cannot be solved without first looking at the broad strategic context. Which ain’t about having kids use the 1950s method of dealing with bullies, because the system controls them.

  • Ymarsakar

    I like studying violence. It is, in all things, not respective of social or cultural differences.

  • Ron19

    Condoleezza Rice: A Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me
    An autobiography of a black kid whose parents cared about educating their kid.

  • Caped Crusader

    Recently Ben Stein wrote an article in the American Spectator about a man sitting next to him on a flight who made the same comments as you have made here, and he considered the man quite insane, although he made perfect sense to me, for it was steeped in reality. I made the following comment:
    Ben said: “This guy was a bit too wacky for me so I politely told him I had to sleep. Still, what he said was not wholly devoid of meriting thought. But if Brown v. Bd. of Education was a failure… it’s really too horrible to contemplate. It just can’t be right. My seatmate must be insane. Or else it’s the end of America. That cannot be. He just has to be wrong and I am only thinking about it because I’m so tired.”
    My comment:
    Caped Crusader: 
    Only one question for Ben and he will have the true answer. Ben, if you lived in a district where 70% of the school children were ghetto blacks and everyday fights requiring police intervention happened, and you had school age children, where would they be going to school? Answer truthfully, no one is listening. Now Ben, you have the correct answer. As usual, Ben is the typical elite limousine liberal, who is really out of touch, or actually pretends to be so. Typical of this type who own four or more very expensive homes and live in a self constructed cocoon with a private driver, and tell others how they should live — just don’t dare ask them to do the same. Spare us your pretentious self righteousness.

  • andrea ostrov letania

    The main reasons are physical and emotional. By nature, blacks are tougher, stronger, and more aggressive than whites. Racial differences are real. Check Nicholas Wade’s TROUBLED INHERITANCE. 
    Anyway, because blacks are tougher and more aggressive, many of them happen to be bullies, and they pick on whites, Asians, Arabs, Jews, Hispanics, homosexuals, etc. 

    So, most non-black groups wanna move out of communities with too many blacks. 
    It’s really that simple. 
    There is also the IQ factor. Blacks have lower IQ,so they succeed less. 
    On the other hand, black males have found success in sports and pop music, and many white women now see black males as sexually-racially superior to white males. Interracism is a form of race-ism too. 

  • Ymarsakar

    Brown vs whatever, was an attempt by Americans to fix a problem the Democrats of the South refused to. But since the Democrats still controlled the local situation in the South, it was bound to fail without the active cooperation of the natives. In fact, most of that cooperation was intentional sabotage of one kind or another. They believed that segregation was correct, not only on the practical points but on racial ones. So by shipping the high class to the low class, they were teaching people a “lesson”.
    But without the cooperation of the natives, counter insurgency and occupation policies fail. It is the same in Iraq. It is the same in Detroit. It is the same in the Old South.
    Whatever social prohibitions Marinites feel, Southerners under the Democrat heel or the Old Deep South before and after US Civil War, had a much more totalitarian society, by several orders of magnitude. It’s the idea that Civil War I ended slavery, that’s the problem. It didn’t. The philosophy justifying slavery and keeping the white Democrats in power, that was never destroyed. It just kept morphing and transforming over the ages. 

    • GingerB

      Ymarkasar, do you live in the South, or the “Deep South?” I do and have for most of my 63 years. Your view of our region seems a little distorted to me.  By the way, I went through desegregation at my  County HS in 1965/66 and I don’t recall  any trouble. Our demographic at that time was roughly 80% white, 20% Black.  I still live here and the only change I can see is the addition of Hispanics, Asians and a few Indian families. The minority % is probably 35 now, but not because a lot of whites have moved away. We have had an influx of Hispanics due to the fact that GA is the “chicken capitol” of the USA. Because we’re a poor rural area we don’t seem to have any of the inequality blues. The “rich” (middle class anywhere else) don’t tend to flaunt it.  

      • Ymarsakar

        As many Deep modern Southerners keep telling me, being Southern isn’t about living in Georgia for 2 or so decades.
        You haven’t really isolated anything from me you object to here. I’m covering the socio political pattern of the cotton kingdom from pre 1850 to just before Civil Rights 1 and various other segregation issues.

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  • Duchess of Austin

    I realize that this is anecdotal, but it is my experience growing up in Memphis, Tennessee in the mid 1970’s.  Your mileage may vary.
    In 1974, I was a 9th grader at Colonial Junior High in lilly white East Memphis.  I walked to school every day, and I had gone to that school for 2.5 years with the same general population.  The black kids who went to school with me were bussed in from South Memphis, which, at the time, was a relative slum…although Graceland is located there.
    When it came time for me to go to high school, I was bussed to the high school in South Memphis which was the neighborhood school of the black kids who had been bussed into my neighborhood junior high, so I went to school with the same kids from the seventh grade through high school.  Although my parental units offered me the chance to go to a private girl’s prep school, being the stubborn, rebellious yungun’ that I was…I chose the public school.
    The high school was brand new…air conditioned (which was a rarity among schools in Memphis at that time), and equipped as a trade school, as well as an academic high school.  We had an auto shop, a beauty parlor, a dry cleaning plant and a mock up of an office, as well as the usual academic subjects, so this school was cutting edge at that time for a public school. 
    The black kids I went to school with were the children of professionals.  Their parents were doctors, lawyers and the occasional city councilman (one of “the” Fords was an upperclassman and eventually went on to become Miss Black Tennessee…she was in my Spanish class, lol).  The white kids I went to school with were blue collar class and lower, with the exception of myself and a couple other upper middle class kids who went to this particular high school. 
    All of that being said, I believe that its all about socio-economics, rather than race or culture.  The blacks I went to a public school with were from the same socio-economic class as myself and I didn’t have any problems with them.  The white kids, on the other hand, were the bullies.  They were jealous of my background, hostile to my brains, and made my life as miserable as they could.  In fact, I had a white trash girl threaten to beat me up, and it was one of the black girls who came to my defense (of course, this was back in the days before they just brought a gun to school and shot up the cafeteria).
    I think it’s about money.  How you are raised and how invested your parents are in education.  Mine were all about it, being educators themselves, and the black kids I went to school with were the upper crust in that neighborhood as well, and they went on to have college careers and currently live a middle class life.
    Yes, black culture has gone to hell in a handbasket but I think its more about socio-economic level than actual culture.  Middle class blacks are still black and they still have a black culture.  It’s the proud hood rats who are giving the rest of their culture a black eye, but as long as black mothers defend their children, no matter how wrong they are (try watching Judge Judy for a week or two), as long as the lower class blacks are hostile to education, as long as rap singers and sports players are idolized, and as long as the black culture turns a blind eye to rampant criminality, nothing is going to change.  
    I don’t see all blacks as self destructive bullies who prey on the weak, and who are too dumb to achieve academically.  Personally, I think that if they were held to the same standards as everybody else, things in their culture might actually change.  But….they need to stop seeing themselves as perpetual victims first.  I don’t believe for a moment that institutional racism still exists, even though the Reverend Al and Jessie Jackson swear it does and are poisoning the minds of generations of young blacks, while they live in splendor on the backs of these young people.

    • MacG

      I happened upon this  article today and found it interesting as how upper lower class can affect academic performance.

    • Bookworm

      Perhaps I’m wrong, Duchess of Austin, but you also seem to say education issues are a cultural matter — with middle class blacks have escaped the notion that education is a “white thing.”  

      What I’d point out, though, is that you, as I did, went to high school before political correctness kicked in.  I think PC, like a cancer, has spread the anti-education ideology to all economic classes of blacks.  Even as a black child’s middle class parents are preaching the virtues of studying, his PC infected peers are saying “Don’t be an Oreo.”

      Moreover, given the perniciousness of modern black hostility to “white” education, parents aren’t going to bother to check the bona fides of every black family in their school district.  They’re going to assume that the anti-education culture is in play, and head for more studious pastures far away.

  • Ymarsakar

    It’s kind of hard to get an education when black gangs control the schools, with the school administrator’s support, and beat up anyone that tries to learn.

  • Charles Martel

    It’s not so much that school administrators support black gangs so much as it is they’ll get their gonads cut off if they attempt to impose discipline, which is “racist.” Authentic black culture is derived from non-white, non-European roots, and it’s imperialist, colonialist, and racist to insist that black children betray their own colorful and riotous ways of expression, which often include boisterous, colorful acts that racists might call “robberies” or “beatings,” but are actually authentic elements of colorful black culture that non-black administrators, who don’t like colorful things, just can’t understand. 

  • Duchess of Austin

    Book…it’s probably a little of both but my point is that it’s more about money and valuing education (which leads to more money) than culture.  The black kids I went to school with had parents with educations, which gave them middle class lifestyles and middle class incomes.  The white kids did not, and they were more like what is going on in schools today than the black kids.  They whites were the bullies.  The whites were the violent ones.

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  • GingerB

    Here I am, weighing in again but this post and the comments have been floating around in my head for the past few days.  Ymarkasar, I wasn’t trying to be hostile-  I was just curious.  I admit I’m a little touchy about people making assumptions about the South, especially when they’ve never been here.  It’s as if  Bull Connor is still around  with his fire hoses and dogs but maybe it was the word Totalitarian that set me off.  Duchess of Austin, I agree with most of what you said but I  know that what Bookworm said is also true. 
    There is an interesting article in City Journal called “A Connecticut Yankee in Appalachia” that is relevant to this subject and it was interesting because 97% of the students are white.

  • Culturist John

    Yes! Your article is perfect. Both my book, Culturism: A Word, A Value, Our Future and Scott Hampton’s book Culturism, make the same points. I focus more on theory, he on African – Americans. Thanks!

  • PostLiberal

    What these white (and East Indian and Asian) parents know is that black
    culture is not education-oriented. Indeed, for some time, among the
    children at least, it’s been anti-education, with black children who
    work hard at school castigated by their black peers for “selling out” or being “Oreos.”

    Back in the 1990s, I taught 8th grade math at a minority school, perhaps split 60-40 between Blacks and Hispanics. I thought that some of the problem I had with classroom management was that black kids didn’t like whites. When I expressed that possibility to a fellow teacher of the Afro-Panamanian persuasion, his reply was that “the students hate teachers.”

    Several years later I decided that was a more accurate description.

    After another unsuccessful year teaching, this time 9th grade math at a much better school, I also decided that the main problem with my being a teacher was that a teacher of that age group needs to be a good persuader, and persuasion was not something that came easily to me.

    Yes, a teacher needs to know the material, but there is much more to teaching.

    • Bookworm

      I agree that being a good teacher and one who engages well with students helps. But culture does matter.

      My kids attend a very good high school in an region that sees parents emphasizing As to the exclusion of a lot of other values. One of the teachers said at Back To School night that it’s a rare pleasure to teach here. He was at another school in a region that is (although he did not say so) predominantly black and Hispanic. At this other school, he broke up a fight almost every day, he said. At my kids’ school, in 11 years, he’s never broken up a fight.

      I also know this because my father taught at a predominantly minority school. The kids told him to his face that they weren’t going to learn any “white people’s” English. At Teacher’s Union meetings, the young minority teachers supported this attitude.

      The older minority teachers were as shocked as my father. They shared my father’s cultural value regarding education. The younger minority generation did not.