Integration vs Segregation:
Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places
A few years back I got into a deep discussion with an older gentleman regarding integration. The man asked me how did I know that most black folks wanted integration since we never held a plebiscite to discuss the issue.
I don't think that Grandma ever got a call from the Gallop Poll people asking about her opinion about integration.
I reflected on this conversation while watching the news coverage of the big brouhaha over busing in Wake County.
Seems like some of the white folks over Raleigh way don't like their little angels going to school with the Boyz in tha Hood.
I can see them now kicking rocks all the way through the Board of Education parking lot cussin' that darn Brown vs the Board of education decision.
We'll I've got news for you Sparky, integration hasn't worked out too well for black folks either! For the most part attempts at integration have only been a continuance of the same old master -slave relationship, only in closer proximity. Also, it has been written that because of integration, not only did we lose our cultural identity but many black teachers and principals lost their jobs after the Brown vs Board of education decision.
Some argue that the Brown decision wasn't really necessary in the first place to insure that black children received a proper education.
According to Harold Cruse in his book, "Plural but Equal," during the 1880's there was an attempt to pass a bill by Senator Henry Blair that would have required the government to provide $77 million dollars to be spent "equally for the education of all children, without distinction of race or color."
This would have made the whole Brown vs the Board of education thing, unnecessary. Unfortunately, then as well as now, there are black folks that feel black kids being in the same room with white kids will make them smarter.
Although, it is rarely discussed, there has always been a segment of the black community that thought integration was a bad idea, going as far back Martin Delaney in the mid 1800's. Black leaders such as Marcus Garvey championed black self reliance and Malcolm X once talked about the foolishness of trying to "integrate into a burning house."
Also, black leaders such as Haki Madhubuti have dedicated their lives to promoting the necessity of developing independent black institutions.
Let's face it. At the end of the day the Wake County fiasco is not about kids sitting together in math class, it is the age old fear of racial miscegenation.
That's right sex.
Dr. McGillicutty just can't bear the thought of his little Molly bringing Tyrone Jackson home for some milk and cookies.
I, for one, have never been the type of dude that was in favor of trying to make folks like me.
If you don't like me, I didn't ask you to...
I am in favor of what Harold Cruse referred to as "pluralism." That is when people of different nationalities can come together as equals without compromising their own cultural identities.
But in order to do that black folks must first teach black children to love themselves and not seek affirmation from white America.
Until then, we'll just keep on looking for love in all the wrong places.
Paul Scott writes for No Warning Shots Fired.com He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 or firstname.lastname@example.org