Recalling Bill Maher's new toy: We'll acknowledge it as a pet peeve of ours.
We refer to the fetishization of the word "segregation" as applied to enrollment patterns in the public schools. In defense of our reaction to this fetishization, please consider this:
According to future anthropologists, the fetishization of this term was part of the culture of narrative grievance in the years immediately preceding Mister Trump's Unstable War.
Alas! Based upon our nocturnal reporting, future anthropologists now refer to the present era as an age of "grievance-based moral performance art" within our own liberal tribe.
According to these disconsolate scholars, the fetishization of "segregation" was just one part of that widespread tribal artistry. So was the mystification of school "segregation," a mystification performed by Dana Goldstein—she went to Brown—in today's New York Times:
GOLDSTEIN (5/24/19): School segregation is caused by a complex web of factors, including housing policy, how school boundary lines are drawn and the ability of white and wealthy parents to opt out of sending their children to schools alongside low-income students of color.Goldstein never quite explains what she means by "school segregation." According to future anthropologists, our human wiring led us to accept the gravamen of such phraseology without our feeling the need to get clear as to what was being said.
Fair enough! But note the mystification created in that passage concerning the causes of "school segregation." Goldstein ticks off three alleged causes, part of "a complex web of factors," without mentioning a straightforward cause such as this:
Student demographics, Laredo ISDFor whatever reason, Goldstein seems to prefer mystification to a rather straightforward statement of fact. To wit:
White kids: 0 percent
Black kids: 0 percent
Hispanic kids: 99 percent
Asian-American kids: 1 percent
Student demographics, Detroit Public Schools
White kids: 3 percent
Black kids: 87 percent
Hispanic kids: 7 percent
Asian-American kids: 1 percent
Student demographics, Los Angeles USD
White kids: 9 percent
Black kids: 10 percent
Hispanic kids: 74 percent
Asian-American kids: 7 percent
Many public schools are "segregated" in the way Goldstein seems to mean because very few white kids are enrolled in our big urban school systems.
It isn't hard to state this seminal fact, but Goldstein seems to prefer a more complex presentation involving "housing policy" and "how school boundary lines are drawn." Drawing upon their knowledge of the hard-wired traits of Homo sapiens, our future scholars have suggested one possible reason for this apparent preference:
Dating back to prehistory, we humans were strongly inclined—were hard-wired—to engage in the loathing of Others, these experts have thoughtfully told us. Given that wiring, tribal players preferred a complex web of explanations which suggested bad behaviors by Such People, as opposed to a simpler, more straightforward assertion of blindingly obvious fact.
Why do we have so many "segregated" schools, in the sense intended by Goldstein? In large part, it's because there are so few white kids enrolled in our biggest school districts!
That said, why are there so few white kids enrolled in those big urban systems? In large part, that does relate to "the ability of white and wealthy parents to opt out of sending their children to schools alongside low-income students of color," the third factor Goldstein cites.
Of course, current demographic patterns in our public schools also widely reflect "the ability of [middle-class and wealthy black] parents to opt out of sending their children to schools alongside low-income students of color." And by the way, very few of these villain parents "opt out of sending their children to schools alongside students of color" if the "students of color" are Asian-American kids, our highest-achieving public school cohort.
Here's what we mean by that:
In a recent post which tore back the curtain from certain realities, Kevin Drum identified Irvine, California as the community Where the Racists Are.
According to Drum's analysis, "hot-blooded racist" families fled to that Orange County location when the giant Los Angeles Unified School District "became too black and too Hispanic."
That said, those same racists don't seem to fear the presence of Asian-American kids. According to recent figures from Professor Reardon, the demographics of the (high-achieving) Irvine Unified School District recently looked like this:
Student demographics, Irvine USDExcept for the possibility that their kids may develop inferiority complexes, white parents may not mind sending their kids to school with Asian-American kids. But in the fetishized world of liberal "segregation" display, those Asian-American kids are "non-white," full stop. Nothing else needs to be said.
White kids: 35 percent
Black kids: 2 percent
Hispanic kids: 9 percent
Asian-American kids: 54 percent
In the fetishized world partly created by UCLA's Professor Orfield, it doesn't count as "integration" if black kids in New York City go to school with high-achieving Asian-American peers.
According to Goldstein's report, "A large body of scholarship shows that nonwhite and poor children perform better academically at integrated schools." But according to fetishized "segregation" thinking, black kids can only be helped by attending school with white kids.
If the kids aren't white, the kids ain't right! Nothing else matters or counts.
According to future scholars, tribal liberals of this era were deeply invested in highly performative "grievance chases." These so-called "grievance performances" were designed to address such concerns as these:
Where the Sexists Are"Grievance performance" of the era was built around such themes, with sweeping, indiscriminate moral attacks aimed at large groups of disfavored people. And according to the analyses of these regretful future experts, "tout était permis" in the mainstream journalism of the era, just so long as the impression was given that various groups of such bad people were being hunted down.
Where the Racists Are
("So it was with that remarkable effort by Jay Newton-Small," one future expert recently said. "She dropped her S-bomb in paragraph 1. After that, she just scrambled around.")
This highly performative grievance behavior drove enough voters to Donald J. Trump to let the self-described "stable genius" get hold of the nuclear codes. And in the end, it finally happened, disconsolate scholars despairingly tell us during the frequent nocturnal submissions the haters refer to as dreams.
Still, the quest for knowledge never ceases in the future caves where these scholars huddle as they feed on the few tiny scraps they've somehow managed to gather. With respect to the way "grievance performance" drove some voters over to Trump, one gloomy expert referred us to this recent report in the New York Times.
"Just look what that one uncouth voter said," this anthropologist told us. Meanwhile, what about Bill Maher's toy?
We may get to Bill tomorrow.
Tomorrow: At the Times, it's time for Siri to go! The rough-hewn voter's tale