Our obsession with integration is hurting kids of color

“What on earth is whiteness that one should so desire it? Then always, somehow, some way, silently but clearly, I am given to understand that whiteness is the ownership of the earth forever and ever, Amen.”

-W.E.B. Dubois

One of the great voices in education today, Chris Stewart of Citizen Education, has a great piece in the Washington Post. He takes the issue integration in schools head on with clarity and grace. The bottom line is this: if the majority class (white people) wanted to see integrated schools, we would already have integrated schools. There are dozens of under-enrolled schools dotting the West and South sides in Chicago. I am not aware of many white school integrationist rushing to send their students to those schools.

Unless one falls into the camp that so perplexed Dubois in 1921 – convinced that whiteness itself and the proximity to whiteness has some value – we must agree with Chris that while integration is a worthy objective, the priority is quality for all.

Check out the Washington Post article here.

The following two tabs change content below.
Chris Butler is first a husband and a dad. He has been involved across the spectrum of public engagement activities and has worked with a number of diverse constituencies in urban and suburban communities. He has also been involved in several political campaigns including his service as a youth and young adult coordinator for Barack Obama’s primary bid for U.S. Senate. Chris worked as deputy campaign manager and field director for A+ Illinois where he developed a strong, statewide field operation including over 500 organizations and 50,000 individuals around the state working to bring adequacy and equity to Illinois’ school funding system and as the director of advocacy and outreach at New Schools for Chicago, a leader in school reform in Chicago. Chris is a 2006 graduate of the Ministry Training Institute and holds a degree in civic and political engagement from Northeastern Illinois University.