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Old 10-14-2009, 06:19 PM
Location: Burnsville, Minnesota
2,702 posts, read 2,027,849 times
Reputation: 1455


Check this out. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's website, non-Hispanic blacks make up 74.6% of Birmingham, Alabama's population. Non-Hispanic whites make up 21.0% of Birmingham's population. Hispanics and Latinos make up 2.6% of the city's population. Lastly, Asians make up a mere 0.9% of the population.

Okay, so this is the racial makeup of Birmingham, Alabama as a whole. Lets check out the city's school district.

According to this website (http://www.schoolmatters.com/schools.aspx/q/page=dp/did=13987 - broken link), blacks students comprise the overwhelming majority (96.8%) of Birmingham City School District's student population. In addition, white students make up 1.2% of the student body; Hispanic students make up 1.8% of the student body, and Asian students make up 0.2% of the student body.

Okay, now lets look at these statistics. Non-Hispanic blacks make up 74.6% of Birmingham's population as a whole yet black students make up 96.8% of the school district's student population. Also, non-Hispanic whites make up 21.0% of Birmingham's population as a whole yet white students make up only 1.2% of the school district's student population.
Here's the weirder part. Hispanic students make up 1.8% of the school district's student population; higher than the percentage of non-Hispanic white students. Yet whites make up 21.0% of the city's population as a whole while Hispanics are only 2.6% of the populace.

I have a question.

Is racial segregation still really that bad? I notice that the percentage of white students in a city's school district's student population is way off balance with the percentage of whites in the city as a whole. Look at San Francisco. Non-Hispanic whites make up roughly 45% of the city's total population. However, in the school district, white students make up roughly 9% of the student body. (http://www.schoolmatters.com/schools.aspx/q/page=dp/did=9398 - broken link)

Seriously though, is all of this because of racial segregation or what? Do whites and minorities tend to keep their kids separate away from each other on purpose?

What are your thoughts on this?

I think it's messed up. It's almost 2010; we need to get over the concept of race.
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Old 10-14-2009, 07:29 PM
Location: Victoria TX
42,670 posts, read 70,960,943 times
Reputation: 35837
How do we interpret this question:

1. Do people still think racial segregation is a bad thing?

2. Is racial segregation still practiced to the degree it was before?
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Old 10-14-2009, 07:51 PM
Location: In a house
5,230 posts, read 7,280,924 times
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What I find compelling is its okay for a school to be 96% black, but if it were 96% white it would be a travesty & we would need to bring in some colored folks to even it up.

Forced segregation is wrong, but this isn't segregation. Its simply the racial makeup of the community.
If the kids in a school district are white then it stands to reason that school will be & should be filled with primarilly white kids, if, as in this case, the children are predominately black then the schools should reflect that.

I am very much against the current games being played where kids from one district are bussed into others to even things out. Its simply BS politically correct crapola.
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Old 10-14-2009, 08:53 PM
Location: Portland, Oregon
7,091 posts, read 10,431,195 times
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Is it really racial segregation or is it socio-economic? Those who have the income and ability will move from crime ridden and/or less achievement schools to school districts that are safer and with better rankings. People aren't going to move to a school district because it's "more diverse" if it is having big problems, nor will it prevent them from going to a school with high rankings.
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Old 10-15-2009, 12:27 AM
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I think there's a huge difference with segregation that is legally mandated and racial groupings that occur for reaons that aren't legally mandated.
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Old 10-15-2009, 12:59 AM
10,630 posts, read 22,626,358 times
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I think in SF many of the white people in the 45% of the city's population are probably people with either young kids, or with no kids, so the numbers are probably skewed a bit in that particular case. That said, a lot of parents (and not just white parents) do leave SF for the suburbs or go private, although I don't think it's a race-based decision for the vast majority of people. It's a distrust of the city school system or a reluctance to jump through the many hassles of the very complicated system in place to attempt to have better integrated schools.

I think more of this has to do with economics than with race, actually. Parents often don't want their kids to be around (whether or not they actively are thinking along those lines) kids from poor backgrounds, and in the US poor people are still disproportionately non-white.

I'm in the middle of reading "Color and Money: How Rich White Kids Are Winning the War Over College Affirmative Action," and the author has a chapter on school inequities. One provocative quote: "It may be a mistake to continue laying the blame for racial segregation on the stereotypical rural southern white Bubba in a pickup truck fling the Confederate flag. Today, the chief enemy of racial integration and minority progress may be the well-educated, SUV-driving, suburban soccer mom who professes not to have a racist bone in her body and to be motivated only by her love for her kids." (p. 42) That's not because the white mom in question is racist; it's because she wants her children to have the best access to top education, and in many cases that involves moving to a wealthier school district that often has few, or at least fewer, non-white students. It's a tough call, because of course no one wants to send their kids to a bad school; at the same time, massive flight of wealther parents and their kids creates a widening gulf between those with money and those without and benefits the kids who leave at the expense of the kids who are left behind.

I think America's ongoing segregation is a real problem, although in general I think the roots are based on money. And while at least it's no longer a case of legal racism, I do think that there needs to be some massive changes to the way we as a nation handle issues like school funding and the formation of school districts. I'm more concerned about the economic segretation, though, and think that's where the root of the problem lies.
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Old 10-15-2009, 02:12 PM
12,761 posts, read 24,254,636 times
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In some areas, "non-white" goes beyond black or white. There's Asian. In my area, many affluent towns have a high percentage of Asian-background, Indian-background (south Asian) people.
I believe UC-Berkeley used to have a quota system (or wanted to) to keep the percentage of Asian-background students down. Harvard used to do the same with Jewish and Asian-background.

I don't think anyone wants to send their kids to schools with poor people's kids if they have a choice. And since schools are so foolishly funded with local property taxes, poor begets poor begets poor.
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Old 10-15-2009, 06:15 PM
8,974 posts, read 14,541,380 times
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The key component in this issue is the matter of 'self-determination'. Whereas racial segregation in an earlier time (in the US) was forced by social custom..(AND by law in certain areas), upon an unwilling populace, the vast majority of racial segregation today is self-imposed. Many people WANT to live among those familiar to them, and this includes members of virtually EVERY ethnic description; therefore, if this is 'segregation', it would have to be called 'SELF-segregation'.

That's a VERY different concept than codified racial segregation by law. In fact, in my opinion, this new concept of 'freely-chosen' segregation is a very good reason why its polar opposite, "diversity", is such a contentious issue. Many people gravitate to those like themselves..and many, many MORE, while willing to expose themselves to other 'different' folks, nevertheless reserve the right to CHOOSE those 'others' they're comfortable with....and those whom they'd prefer not to be around. This human instinct flies directly in the face of the concept of 'diversity'...and, I suspect, is the reason that diversity must be 'pushed' or 'sold' to the public...since it doesn't come naturally.

My family is racially diverse..culturally, though, we're all pretty much in agreement..and I confess there are a number of cultures I'd be less inclined to 'warm up to' than some others.
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Old 10-15-2009, 06:30 PM
1,446 posts, read 3,914,723 times
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MACMEAL - You are automatically suggesting that people choose to move to places with similar races out of the issue of race. Due to the strong correlation between socio-economic status, education, quality of life with regards to race you will see my point. If most of the whites in SF wanted to send their kids to schools JUST BECAUSE they were white, do you think that such people would even want to live in SF? You need to remove socio-economic status, quality of education, etc. from the equation before you can safely draw any conclusions.
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Old 10-16-2009, 07:57 AM
Location: Back in the gym...Yo Adrian!
9,371 posts, read 17,375,201 times
Reputation: 18339
Segregation in today's society is voluntary for the most part. People like to be around others of the same background, ethnicity and common interests...they're called communities. Some folks just like to keep the civil rights march going even when there is nothing to fight.
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