by James A. Bacon
NewYork state has the most segregated schools in the country, according to a new report published by the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, “New York State’s Extreme School Segregation.” Other states with highly segregated schools include Illinois, Michigan and California.
“In the 30 years I have been researching schools, New York state has consistently been one of the most segregated states in the nation — no Southern state comes close to New York,” said Gary Orfield, co-director of the project, as quoted by the Associated Press.
Hmmm. How remarkable. What do those four states have in common? Here’s one thing. Their electorates all skew liberal and Democratic, as shown by the percentages that voted for Barack Obama in 2012:
New York — 62.6%
California — 59.3%
Illinois — 57.3%
Michigan — 54.3%
Bacon’s bottom line: Liberals have the loftiest of intentions. They pride themselves upon their enlightened racial attitudes and routinely malign their Republicans and conservative opponents as racist. But there is a vast gulf between intentions and results. It is no accident that the most segregated schools in the country are in blue states. Segregation is the unintended outcome of other “progressive” policies, particularly zoning, also enacted for the very best of reasons. (See Daniel Kay Hertz’ essay on the link between zoning and segregation in Chicago for how that works.)
The trouble with most liberals (not all, there are a few honest ones) is that they seem so incapable of self-reflection. Will this study prompt serious introspection and a wave of reform in New York? Will white liberals, struck by their massive hypocrisy, restrain their impulse to label as racist those who disagree with their policy prescriptions? Not a chance.
Most realistically, will African-Americans, traditionally a core constituency of the liberal/Democratic coalition, wake up and realize that their real enemies are not racists under every bed (like the phantasmagorical communists of the McCarthy era) but the ideology and practice of liberalism? I think that’s a distinct possibility.