In an egregiously dishonest news segment, National Public Radio reporter Debbie Elliott recently commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education desegregation ruling by implying that nothing has changed since then.
Elliott began by recalling the tumultuous integration of Central High School in Little Rock, then reviewed a longstanding, expensive, state-funded program that Arkansas instituted in the 1980s to prevent “white flight” and keep Little Rock’s school district relatively desegregated. Federal courts oversaw the costly program for decades, but recently Arkansas and the district agreed to a settlement that would phase out the state’s efforts to keep the district racially mixed.
Columnist Ernie Dumas lamented to Elliott, “The Supreme Court said at the time that you’ve got to desegregate, and end these disparities, and take us forward to a glorious day when education will be equal for all Americans. As we know… it hasn’t really happened quite that way.” Dumas’s implication is that Brown endorsed, not mere equality of educational opportunity, but equality of results, and that voluntary white flight to better schools has the same legal and moral status as state-ordered segregation.
Elliott concluded with this quote from a local superintendent: “‘I have had a lot of people comment about their kids going to schools where black students are, and not wanting to. And I believe that’s still, unfortunately, a truth about human nature.’ A truth, he says, that courts don’t have the ability to change.”
What Elliott was doing was perpetrating a crafty little sleight-of-hand on NPR’s listeners. Her story subtly implied that present-day conservatives—whom outlets like NPR constantly accuse of racism—are the contemporary version of people who refused to send their children to school with black children in the 1950s, and that, since it’s conservatives who are racists today, then it’s their type who were the racists back then.
However, as Elliott surely knows, not wanting your kids to go to school with black children in the 1950s and being leery about having your children attend predominantly black inner-city schools today are entirely different phenomena.
In the 1950s, racist Southern Democrats didn’t want to send their white children to school with black children because of their belief in Negros’ inferiority. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, when Republican politicians were championing, passing, and enforcing civil rights legislation over the opposition of Democrats, the South was a genuinely racist environment, in which black families couldn’t get a fair shot at equal educational and employment opportunities.
During the 1960s, the Democratic Party realized that the country was slowly embracing civil rights protections, so Lyndon Johnson coopted Republican progress on achieving racial equality and adopted the mantle of the heroic Civil Rights President by loudly announcing his support for civil rights bills (while privately revealing his racist motives for signing them).
Then a funny thing happened. Instead of simply correcting their racist ways, the left started going overboard in the other direction, no longer supporting equal treatment of races but rather favoring the conferral of material advantages on blacks and insisting on equality of outcomes.
If you draw a graph with time on the x-axis and pro-black bias on top and pro-white bias on the bottom, Democrats cruised along for a century in the pro-white section; then, around mid-20th century, started curving upward; and finally, around 1965, crossed the axis and started trending above the line—thus producing a mirror image of their former racist selves, but against a different group. (The Republican path, meanwhile, would be a straight, solid line from left to right, from the party’s inception in 1854 to the present day.)
Whether to compensate for perceived guilt or cover their bloody tracks, Democrats started pushing for affirmative action benefits, cradle-to-grave welfare, and a generalized stance of coddling and encouragement of black dysfunction. By excusing and subsidizing failure, and insisting that educational and employment offerings be untethered from merit, the left set black accomplishment, family stability, and moral accountability back by decades.
To cap off their grand scheme, Democrats fabricated the narrative that they were the ones who had always deeply cared about black people, and that Republicans—many of whom lived in the South—were the historical racists. Democrats foisted this myth on the public by smearing present-day Republican efforts to deny special benefits to minorities, then inappropriately connecting these efforts with false historical records. For example, if you don’t favor spending billions on a worthless program like Head Start that serves largely minority children, then you’re racist, aren’t you? And if you Republicans are racist now, then you would have belonged to the racist Southern Democratic Party in the 1950s, right?
(Wrong. Virtually all of the Dixiecrat segregationists returned to the Democratic Party after 1964.)
But what about those contemporary parents who don’t want to send their kids to school with blacks, and who move to the suburbs to avoid doing so?
White, Asian, Indian, Hispanic, black immigrant, and even African-American parents in 2014 expressing ambivalence about sending their children to predominantly black urban schools has nothing to do with race. These parents simply don’t want to send their kids to schools with compromised standards, underachievement, misbehavior, and violence, all of which unfortunately disproportionately exist in majority-black secondary schools.
In other words, parents don’t wish to send their children to school environments that Democrats created via decades of patronizing treatment of the black people they formerly abused.
Democrats obfuscate matters by pretending that government-sanctioned segregation is the same as concerned parents wanting to send their children to schools Democrats haven’t screwed up.
The left today not only lies and claims that we’ve made no progress on racism, they rewrite history to make it seem that Republicans were always the racists, and that Democrats stepped in as black people’s saviors. The truth is the exact opposite.
How sad that Democrats choose to commemorate the anniversary of Brown, the desegregation of Little Rock, and every other civil rights milestone by pretending that Republicans are still the racists they never were.
- Arkansas desegregation decision marks end of as era (thegrio.com)
- Desegregation Pact Gets Judge’s Approval In Arkansas (wnyc.org)
- Winding down the Little Rock desegregation case (arktimes.com)
- AP PHOTOS: 1957 Little Rock desegregation effort (star-telegram.com)
- Who’s The Racist? Critical Projection Theory Part Two .. David Risselada (saveamericafoundation.com)