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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Black Athlete Network: TIME FOR BASEBALL TO DISTURB JACKIE ROBINSON’S GRAVE AGAIN

No…this has nothing to do with that whole Tony Womack/Prince Mamuwalde thing.

Baseball is also secretly very secretly celebrating its Great Relief that the likes of Jackie Robinson are dead and buried. Could you imagine the nightmare for Bud Selig and the Boys if they had to answer to the Power of Jackie Robinson for its Failure to African Americans in recent years.

...Not even one African American. Not close. That should really get Robinson excited. In fact we have heard a rumor ( out of MLB headquarters ) that Jackie Robinson is so exited by all the developments for African Americans in Baseball since his Death he is seriously considering Rising from the Dead on Saturday so he can appear at Shea Stadium with Bud Selig and thank Baseball for ALL the progress…” for all it has done or African Americans ” these last 34 years since Robinson’s death in 1972 it has truly been “miraculous”

Thank you Bud ( #1 BS Artist )

Repoz Posted: April 15, 2006 at 04:53 PM | 185 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Flynn Posted: April 15, 2006 at 05:48 PM (#1965306)
That top 20 executive list is a riot. It basically goes out of its way to make sure that no black people are named, since that would ruin the whole point of the article.
   2. Meatwad Posted: April 15, 2006 at 05:53 PM (#1965327)
the writer seems to be forgetting the fact that latin america has been pumping in players. theres a hispanic owner, and gm, and that list of influential baseball people seems retarded, how is reisdorf ahead of steinbrunner?
   3. Dan Szymborski Posted: April 15, 2006 at 05:57 PM (#1965341)
That top 20 executive list is a riot. It basically goes out of its way to make sure that no black people are named, since that would ruin the whole point of the article.

I don't think it's his list but the conclusion drawn from that list makes absolutely no sense. Even if we accept for the sake of argument that MLB is racist in its hiring policies, how exactly would MLB go about hiring black people for these jobs?

After all, I don't think MLB has the power to hire a black man to take John McCain's place in the Senate, appoint black men to head media conglomerates, or choose the MLBPA's executives for them.

Only 5 of the people on the list are people hired by MLB. While MLB does screen owners a bit, I think we would've heard something by now if they were turning away black billionaries and preventing them from buying teams.
   4. Flynn Posted: April 15, 2006 at 06:03 PM (#1965367)
I don't think it's his list but the conclusion drawn from that list makes absolutely no sense.

It's gotta be his list.

I mean, some of the people in it are stupid - the head of New Era baseball caps? Look, if he's in it, Bob Watson is in it, and if Bob Watson is in it then this writer has no real point.

While MLB does screen owners a bit, I think we would've heard something by now if they were turning away black billionaries and preventing them from buying teams.

Only one I can think of is the guy who tried to buy the Twins; yet he was underfunded. I think there are a few black minority shareholders in teams - if there isn't, whoever gets the Nationals will start that trend, since I think several of the groups have black men in their ownership groups.
   5. pkb33 Posted: April 15, 2006 at 06:15 PM (#1965413)
It would strengthen the appearance of the article (if not necessarily its substance) to spell the names of the listed people correctly.
   6. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: April 15, 2006 at 06:18 PM (#1965419)
#17
Drayton McLane
Owner, Houston Astros
( which went thru 2005 season without any African American players )


Wow, I'm surprised that they didn't have a cross burning in centerfield, he's so obviously prejudiced against black people.
   7. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 15, 2006 at 06:39 PM (#1965475)
The list isn't his. From the linked page: "The authoritative Sports Business Journal in its early April issue published profiles of "The 20 Most Influential People in Baseball" and they are all WHITE."

I agree that there should be more African Americans in positions of influence in baseball, but baseball is hardly alone in the uneven racial makeup of its leading figures.
   8. RichRifkin Posted: April 15, 2006 at 06:41 PM (#1965478)
Reading this article reminded me of reading the article the other day from Caste Football, a Nazi website. This line of argument is similar:

"Could you imagine the nightmare for Bud Selig and the Boys if they had to answer to the Power of Babe Ruth for its Failure to white Americans in recent years.

"The authoritative Sports Business Journal in its early April issue published profiles of 'The 20 Most Popular Athletes' and they are all BLACK.

"That would truly make Ruth joyous if he were alive. The fact that the 20 most popular were all BLACK in 1988 forty years after he died and that now 18 years later the 20 most popular people in sports are still all BLACK."

Not to get too righteous on this topic, but whether there is a black owner of a baseball team, or whether there are two or three GMs who are African Americans makes no difference in the every day lives of 99.99% of black Americans. Considering that about half of all African Americans now live in poverty or very near the poverty line, and that the majority of black children in our country are growing up in fatherless households with mothers who themselves are not prepared to raise their children in such a manner that they are likely to have successful lives, and that around 25% of all African American adult males are either in prison or on parole, the issue of progress for a very small number of otherwise very successful black men should be very low on the priority scale for our country.
   9. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: April 15, 2006 at 06:47 PM (#1965484)
And Rich has Godwined the thread.
   10. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: April 15, 2006 at 07:06 PM (#1965526)
The fact that this is a crappy, illogical article does not prove that baseball DOESN'T have a glass ceiling on minorities.

Sure it's not as bad as imprisoning 1/4 of the African American adult males in the country, and it's lame to look at the racial make-up of the GMs and Owners and say, "6%!!! Racist!, 12% Not Racist!!!!"

There is a societal trend that handicaps people of a ethnic majority from properly evaluating the credentials of people from an ethnic minority group. I would be very surprised if either our country or our sport were entirely exempt from that.
   11. JC in DC Posted: April 15, 2006 at 07:16 PM (#1965545)
vAnd Rich has Godwined the thread
.

I was just about to write, not only that, but he's put up the Bat signal for Eraser X, when I refreshed and noticed Eraser had already shown up.
   12. MM1f Posted: April 15, 2006 at 07:27 PM (#1965575)
The bigger problem than the "glass ceiling" is there aren't black (esp. if you mean American black) candidates for a lot of these jobs.
Partly its due to the situations Rich mentioned and partly lack of interest.

Like ownership, sure there is a wealth disparity but also blacks with the wherewithal to own sports teams havn't wanted baseball teams.

Also, look at the age of many of these owners and CEOs...this is old money and many have been associated with the highest levels of sports and business for awhile. The past has more effect here than current circumstances
   13. RichRifkin Posted: April 15, 2006 at 07:32 PM (#1965582)
"The fact that this is a crappy, illogical article does not prove that baseball DOESN'T have a glass ceiling on minorities."

Let's posit for example that there IS 'a glass ceiling' on (some) minorities for a very small handful of jobs in baseball. I guess we're talking about 3-4 jobs. The question in my mind, in the big picture context is, so what? Is that really that important of an issue? Out of the 36 million African Americans how many are really affected by that inequity?

One thing I have learned and observed is that where discrimination exists in a marketplace, unless it is legally sanctioned, discrimination creates opportunities in other areas or for other actors. If organization X is prejudiced against certain types of candidates for jobs, organization Y can make more money by employing that underutilized talent. If one field of business operates under an "old boys network" that impairs the chances of outsiders, other fields of business will then open to those outsiders. History is replete with examples of this, not just in the United States but in every country on Earth. And because minorities bring skills that are uncommon and often unique, their chances to grow rich exploiting these niche markets are usually far greater than the chances of people from the majority group who bring no unique skills or assets to the market.
   14. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: April 15, 2006 at 07:51 PM (#1965634)
JC: What would the signal look like, a big "X" or maybe something more like this?
:)

Rich, I think you are underestimating the force of role models. Millions of American children have been affected by Tiger Woods, and I don't think we really know the full extent as to how.

Can we really separate out a "dearth of qualifed candidates" from a glass ceiling? It would seem that the former could easily be caused by the latter--it's certainly what's happened in Hollywood...

I agree with your last paragraph--it makes some very interesting economic points. I would argue that there is a subconscious utility in oppressing others in the ethnic majority (and I'm not just talking about whites) that often overcomes the economic advantage to hiring the best candidate. This manifests itself on two levels:
1) An inability to properly evaluate the qualifications of the applicants that leads one to underestimate the economic advantage to hiring one of them.
2) A tendency to empathize more with and want the success of people who society has programmed us to view as similiar to us. This can be racial, but it could be any other number of factors too.

Of course, in any field there are a number of factors on the other side:
1) The advantage of fielding the best work team, as you mention.
2) Government regulations
3) The social approval that accompanies a diverse team in the current society.

I work argue that in most fields, the former two still overpower the latter three...
   15. Flynn Posted: April 15, 2006 at 07:54 PM (#1965637)
Like ownership, sure there is a wealth disparity but also blacks with the wherewithal to own sports teams havn't wanted baseball teams.


Only one Black person owns a pro sports team. A black guy wanted to buy the Twins - so 50% of stupidly rich Black people want to own baseball teams?
   16. MM1f Posted: April 15, 2006 at 07:57 PM (#1965649)
"Can we really separate out a "dearth of qualifed candidates" from a glass ceiling? "

We can certainly observe that black american participation in baseball is much lower than other sports and thats really where much of this starts. Coaches and scouts come from ex-players and move up from there to GM, Manager and sometimes executive jobs in MLB and with clubs.

This lack of participation isnt because of some glass celing.
   17. MM1f Posted: April 15, 2006 at 08:01 PM (#1965655)
"Only one Black person owns a pro sports team. A black guy wanted to buy the Twins - so 50% of stupidly rich Black people want to own baseball teams?"

The Twins guy didnt have the cash. And there are more blacks with the money to own sports teams that simply havn't tried to get one.

Also, and admittedly i cant prove this though i am fairly sure its the case, minority (in terms of %owned) black owners in other sports are more common
   18. rdfc Posted: April 15, 2006 at 08:58 PM (#1965702)
Rich wrote:

Not to get too righteous on this topic, but whether there is a black owner of a baseball team, or whether there are two or three GMs who are African Americans makes no difference in the every day lives of 99.99% of black Americans.

I think you are significantly underestimate its importance. I don't want to use the phrase role models, because that's not really what I mean, but what adults do with their lives has a profound effects on what things kids think are possible. For a young black kid, seeing a Kenny Williams in his position tells the kid that such a thing is possible. This also has negative effects; too many young black kids think the only thing that is possible is a basketball or football career, and they ignore most other possibilities. That is one of the main reasons black women have made so much more progress than black men over the past 30 years; black women never see themselves as doomed if they don't become professional athletes or rap stars. The opportunity to see someone who is like yourself in many different positions in many different areas of life is a very important thing, and the lack of that is a negative thing. The effect on a youngster of being able to see one's self as a sports announcer, a general manager, a professor, an exterminator, a pet store owner, an astronomer, a stock broker, an encyclopedia salesman, a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker, etc. can be very profound, and in the long run that can have a major effect on whether someone lives in poverty or not. And this makes jobs that are visible to large numbers of people - and sports team owner is a lot more visible than the ownership of most other similar size companies - as opposed to behind-the-scenes jobs - more important.
   19. SouthSideRyan Posted: April 15, 2006 at 10:06 PM (#1965758)
I thought Ralph Wiley died.
   20. Mefisto Posted: April 15, 2006 at 10:09 PM (#1965760)
One thing I have learned and observed is that where discrimination exists in a marketplace, unless it is legally sanctioned, discrimination creates opportunities in other areas or for other actors.

I don't know where you "learned" this, but it's just plain wrong. Discrimination need not be legally sanctioned, as long as it's socially sanctioned. Much of the segregation in American society prior to Civil Rights Movement had no legal sanction, it was just a product of social choice. The "opportunities in other areas" you claim never existed.

Now, while your theoretical point is demonstrably wrong, your practical point may still be true. We have come a long way from the 1950s (thank God), and it's much more likely today that rejection on the basis of skin color would simply result in market failure for the discriminator.

BUT, and I think it's an important BUT, this assumes we'd never go back to the bad old days, that prominent examples of discrimination wouldn't have an insidious effect. Perhaps because I lived through the prior era, I'm not willing to make that assumption.
   21. The Underground Man Posted: April 15, 2006 at 10:13 PM (#1965768)
I hate articles like this, they are fodder for people who believe racism is no longer a problem or that minorities are just whiny and/or angry.
   22. bob gee Posted: April 15, 2006 at 10:49 PM (#1965787)
reggie jackson's been the go-to guy on some groups looking to buy teams - a's, and twins.

he's not the 'lack of money' person who looked to buy the twins.
   23. Sparkles Peterson Posted: April 15, 2006 at 10:53 PM (#1965790)
Sparkles's quick opinion on the state of race: Give the best and the brightest black Americans 50 more years to make inroads into the system and then we'll have black morons owning baseball teams and maybe even sitting in the White House by sheer virtue of their family's connections. Then we will have racial equality.
   24. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: April 15, 2006 at 11:01 PM (#1965794)
#17
Drayton McLane
Owner, Houston Astros
( which went thru 2005 season without any African American players )


Somebody tell Charles Gipson that he's not actually African-American

(Yeah, Gipson had like 11abs, but still, he disproves that claim)
   25. Barca Posted: April 15, 2006 at 11:19 PM (#1965817)
So has the writer of the article placed a bid for the Washington Nationals?

How do Watson, Aaron, and Robinson not make this list?
   26. RichRifkin Posted: April 15, 2006 at 11:20 PM (#1965820)
I don't know where you "learned" this, but it's just plain wrong.

Mefisto,

A few years ago there was <a href="http://www.booknotes.org/Transcript/index_print.asp?ProgramID=1714">a brilliant book</a> -- I read the reviews, but I didn't actually RTDB -- by a Chinese-American woman, Amy Chua, who studied the success and importance of certain racial and ethnic minorities around the world.

Much of the focus of her research was on the Chinese outside of China. If you are familiar at all with countries in East Asia, from Indonesia north, you know that the Chinese minorities, who are uniformly disliked by the majority populations, even hated in some cases, are extraordinarily successful in the marketplace.

What she found wasn't so much that these Chinese emigres are so much more brilliant or more hard working than the indigenous Filipinos or Vietnamese or Thais, etc., but that they can fill a niche that the majority cannot. Back at home in China, these people would not bring special skills to the marketplace. But the fact that they do have a unique culture, and do have unique skillsets, they can exploit that very well.

Even in the United States, where Chinese immigrants are now much more well integrated, the Chinese ethnics have a far higher than average income. A lot of that success comes from filling niches. She found that in certain metropolitain areas, these niche-finding ethnic minorities have become dominant economic players.

The same phenonmenon she found with the Chinese of Southeast Asia exists with the Lebanese of West Africa, the Jews of many countries, the South Asians of East Africa, and so on.

In all of those cases, the majority populations have had social prejudices against the minorities. In many they have had legal prejudices against them. But these minorities, rather than trying to do the same jobs in the same way that the majorities were doing, looked for niches that their unique skills could bring.
   27. RichRifkin Posted: April 15, 2006 at 11:22 PM (#1965823)
This was my link: <a href="http://www.booknotes.org/Transcript/index_print.asp?ProgramID=1714">a brilliant book</a>.
   28. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 16, 2006 at 12:41 AM (#1965963)
Since we're in a thread about racism and baseball, did anyone else do a spit take when they saw this headline?
   29. Mefisto Posted: April 16, 2006 at 12:41 AM (#1965964)
Rich, all that's well and good, though I think it's somewhat inconsistent with your original post. You originally said that minorities could succeed if the discrimination was not legally sanctioned. The book you quote seems to demonstrate success in cases where there WAS legal discrimination. That may say something about the cultural background of the successful groups, but it doesn't tell us that it's the marketplace which makes for success rather than cultural factors.

Even if I accepted your examples in full, I wouldn't equate the experience of any of those minorities to that of African-Americans in the US. That experience is unique.

Moreover, your original post suggested (to me, at least) that the market would inevitably correct for the problem. All I need is one example to show that that's not true, and I gave one. I'm pretty sure there are others as well, e.g., Irish Catholics in the 18th Century or Jews in Russia in the 19th. Those are not success stories.

Look at it this way. You're a Jewish merchant in Kiev in the 19th Century. Your Orthodox Christian fellow citizens simply will not buy your products. There's no law against it, your price may be cheaper, they just won't buy. That purely social decision reduces the size of the market available to you and constrains your success.

In Montgomery AL there was no law forbidding department stores from hiring black workers. They just didn't. The market didn't correct this inequality, nobody exploited this inefficiency, even though it lasted maybe 70 years. Political action, backed by outside government enforcement, was a sine qua non for the progress we've seen since then.
   30. JC in DC Posted: April 16, 2006 at 12:57 AM (#1965998)
Even if I accepted your examples in full, I wouldn't equate the experience of any of those minorities to that of African-Americans in the US. That experience is unique.


Now, that I agree with, and on the scale of important social issues, that's way up there.
   31. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: April 16, 2006 at 02:25 AM (#1966155)
Just out of curiosity, who here is black? Not to say that white guys like me can't comment on race issues, but I'd like to hear what a black Primate has to say about this--what would a black owner mean to them, etc. Fabian's the only guy on here I know is black.
   32. eric Posted: April 16, 2006 at 03:00 AM (#1966211)
#17
Drayton McLane
Owner, Houston Astros
( which went thru 2005 season without any African American players )


Somebody tell Charles Gipson that he's not actually African-American

(Yeah, Gipson had like 11abs, but still, he disproves that claim)


Well, one could make the case that Gipson isn't really a baseball player...
   33. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 16, 2006 at 03:26 AM (#1966222)
Excellent summary, Mark. This whole idea that "free market forces" are the cure for all ills almost always begs the question of whether a truly free market can really exist in the sort of societies you mention, with centuries of customs and prejudice there to reinforce the laws. But it's late and that's about all I want to add for now.
   34. McCoy Posted: April 16, 2006 at 04:03 AM (#1966267)
Whats more important ethnic makeup or the dollar? I think a business at some point would set aside rascism in order to stay in business and make a profit. For instance somebody mentioned Alabama and how the market never corrected itself. Well nobody says the market corrects itself overnight. There has to be an inefficiency for their to be a correction. If 90% of the revenue possible is held in the hands of whites who do not wish to be around blacks then there really is no inefficiency. Now then if after sometime as some whites move away and others ask for more money as the supply of cheap labor dwindles there will be a market inefficiency to exploit. Employ black labor at a cheap price thus driving ones costs down. That doesn't mean that all jobs would be available but that the blacks like many other ethnic groups before them had a seat at the table and a foundation to build upon. Even in Alabama that was happening as blacks were the cheap labor doing jobs that whites did not want. In order to get the whites to do it they would have to pay more money thus create and situation ripe for exploitation. I'm willing to bet that without the laws or any kind of social pressure the department stores in Montgomery would be employing blacks by now, they couldn't afford not too.
   35. Mefisto Posted: April 16, 2006 at 04:15 AM (#1966281)
Whats more important ethnic makeup or the dollar?

I don't think it's a close call: people saw ethnic makeup as more significant. The problem with your suggestion is not that it's illogical -- in fact, it's perfectly logical -- it's that it didn't happen. This reminds me of Mark Twain:

"There's something better than logic."
"Indeed. What is it?"
"Fact."

People simply don't behave like perfectly rational economic actors. There's a cost if they don't, but sometimes they're willing to bear that cost. Certain social issues like religion and race are simply more significant to many people than money.
   36. Mr. Hotfoot Jackson (gef, talking mongoose) Posted: April 16, 2006 at 04:24 AM (#1966291)
reggie jackson's been the go-to guy on some groups looking to buy teams - a's, and twins.

he's not the 'lack of money' person who looked to buy the twins.


i think the would-be twins buyer was a guy named donald watkins, who i believe is from birmingham ... somewhere down here (alabama), anyway. he's definitely got lots of money, but my impression is that it's a few zeroes less than he's been known to represent.
   37. MM1f Posted: April 16, 2006 at 04:43 AM (#1966309)
"Fabian's the only guy on here I know is black."

Really? Isnt he the one who goes to WnL? Shoot, id wonder more what its like for a black New Yorker there...i mean im a southern (but not in the true southerner sense) suburban whitie and i doubt i could stand that place
   38. RichRifkin Posted: April 16, 2006 at 04:57 AM (#1966322)
"Rich, all that's well and good, though I think it's somewhat inconsistent with your original post. You originally said that minorities could succeed if the discrimination was not legally sanctioned... Moreover, your original post suggested (to me, at least) that the market would inevitably correct for the problem."

Mefisto,

I do believe many minorities can succeed even if there is severe social discrimination.

The degree of that success often depends on the minority's culture. I did not say or mean to imply, however, that because minority cultures have certain market opportunities (that majority cultures lack) that the market will inevitably correct for all the inequities that arise from social discrimination. No question that social discrimination is a burden and it inherently makes the minority group worse off than it would be without the discrimination.
   39. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 16, 2006 at 06:10 AM (#1966359)
People simply don't behave like perfectly rational economic actors. There's a cost if they don't, but sometimes they're willing to bear that cost. Certain social issues like religion and race are simply more significant to many people than money.
The problem with that argument, Mark, is Jim Crow. If people were willing to bear the cost, then those laws mandating segregation in so many aspects of economic life wouldn't have been necessary.

The problem is the same as in any other cartel arrangement: the incentive to "cheat" is enormous. The one actor that defects by lowering prices (in the case of price fixing) or serving the underserved population (in the case of discrimination) has an massive advantage over its competitors. It's expensive to (say) retain separate railroad cars for blacks and whites. The railroad that doesn't have that inefficient business model has lower operating costs and can undercut its competitors that do segregate. That's why Louisiana had to mandate it. Only government force can prevent one of them from cheating and the cartel from collapsing.
   40. Dave Bowman Posted: April 16, 2006 at 06:25 AM (#1966366)
That's why Louisiana had to mandate it. Only government force can prevent one of them from cheating and the cartel from collapsing.

Orrrrr Jim Crow laws were a formal codification of a social practice that was already widespread to the point of being nearly universal.
   41. McCoy Posted: April 16, 2006 at 07:44 AM (#1966394)
Orrrr it was a way for bunch of rednecks to insure that their views were never eroded.
   42. McCoy Posted: April 16, 2006 at 07:51 AM (#1966396)
Segregation and employement are I think two different issues. One the one hand I can definitely see people keeping two railroad cars one for whites one blacks. The concept of first class, second class, and steerage was known and still used today. SO I can see segregation lasting. But I don't see them being able to bar blacks from the job market. Its not like the whites only cabin would have white porters and the black cabins would black porters. The blacks would be the porters for both which is what happening already in the real world.

A department store in Montgomery that would not hire blacks would leave itself vulnerable to being outpriced in the market by department stores that used cheaper black labor to do most of the work.

Eventually as the blacks worked and progressed the segregationist view would diminish. The Chinese were barred from many places but that view was eroded away. The Jews, the catholics, the italians, the irish and so on all faced segregation and overcame. Personally I think that is largely because they didn't have the existance of a welfare state at the time of their development.
   43. McCoy Posted: April 16, 2006 at 08:06 AM (#1966399)
Next time I write something I'll make sure I have had some sleep.
   44. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: April 16, 2006 at 11:37 AM (#1966427)
The Chinese were barred from many places but that view was eroded away.

We're still barred from Caucasian Women
   45. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: April 16, 2006 at 01:04 PM (#1966437)
The Chinese were barred from many places but that view was eroded away.

We're still barred from Caucasian Women


You aren't barred from them, it's just that too many believe the myth of the small "package" size.
   46. Mefisto Posted: April 16, 2006 at 02:56 PM (#1966499)
The problem with that argument, Mark, is Jim Crow. If people were willing to bear the cost, then those laws mandating segregation in so many aspects of economic life wouldn't have been necessary.

Well, good thing there wasn't any de facto segregation in the North, since that would wreck your argument. Oh, wait...

It's also a good thing there weren't any segregationist practices in the South unsupported by any law. That would be inconsistent with your argument also. Oh, wait...

David, you can't just argue from logic, you have to start with the FACT of segregation in American life. It wasn't only a legally enforced practice, it was socially enforced.

A department store in Montgomery that would not hire blacks would leave itself vulnerable to being outpriced in the market by department stores that used cheaper black labor to do most of the work.

It may have left iself vulnerable to such competition, but that competition never happened.

Eventually as the blacks worked and progressed the segregationist view would diminish.

How long is "eventually"? Segregation lasted in the US for roughly 90 years and even then began to disappear only because of government action (the SCOTUS and the Civil Rights Act of 1964).

Personally I think that is largely because they didn't have the existance of a welfare state at the time of their development.

You'll have to give me the details of the welfare available to blacks in the South in, say, 1930.
   47. scareduck Posted: April 16, 2006 at 06:13 PM (#1966790)
A poorly written rant with not a lot of meat on its bones. I agree that MLB has gained a lot from Jackie Robinson being dead in terms of being able to sell his ghost, but Kenny Williams' very presence deflates a lot of his wrath. So what some bonehead editor disagrees with him on who is important in, not just baseball, but sports generally?

Aside: I find all the grammatical errors not a little annoying, too.
   48. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 16, 2006 at 07:02 PM (#1966964)
Mark,

Dammit, I just got on here again, and when I read Nieporent et al repeating the same line he was peddling many threads ago, I was about to point out the obvious once again---that segregation laws were far more the byproduct of mores and attitudes than the other way around.

But you beat me to it.

Hell, not just blacks, but Jews couldn't even register at half the hotels in New York until such discrimination began to be outlawed in the 40's, and even then the laws weren't really given teeth until after quite a few years had passed.

And it wasn't as if Jews didn't take this bit of
friendly advice from David's ideological ancestors---which was given not in 1941, but in 1881. The goyim who owned the "No Jews Allowed" hotels didn't seem to mind that the Jewish-owned hotels were luring away all those Jewish dollars from them.

So much for the all-conquering morality of the free market.
   49. RichRifkin Posted: April 16, 2006 at 07:06 PM (#1966984)
"Only government force can prevent one of them from cheating and the cartel from collapsing."

David,

While I agree with your basic point, what you say here is not quite true.

Private actors using violence can also enforce anti-competitive arrangements. In the South, that might have been the Klan or similar roughians who would use violence against someone who violated the social norms, even if there were no legal barriers to compete or integrate. Because the government was biased against blacks and against whites who were sympathetic to blackes, private forces could enforce what you call "cartel" arrangements.

A similar threat or usage of non-governmental violence was (and perhaps is) seen where gangsters enforce certain non-competitive behaviors: for example, making sure that a construction company does not underbid a gangster-controlled construction company.
   50. JMM Posted: April 16, 2006 at 08:42 PM (#1967394)
#17
Drayton McLane
Owner, Houston Astros
(which went thru 2005 season without any African American players)


And also prevented the Astros from signing Preston Wilson this off-season, since that would mean they'd have an African American player in 2006. Or something.
   51. Mefisto Posted: April 16, 2006 at 09:11 PM (#1967444)
Private actors using violence can also enforce anti-competitive arrangements. In the South, that might have been the Klan or similar roughians who would use violence against someone who violated the social norms, even if there were no legal barriers to compete or integrate. Because the government was biased against blacks and against whites who were sympathetic to blackes, private forces could enforce what you call "cartel" arrangements.

Yes, this played an important role in the Southern apartheid system. However, it's not the only factor, since some forms of de facto segregation existed in the North even without that violence.

Andy, feel free to supplement at any time. I'm sure you know more about the details than I do.
   52. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 16, 2006 at 09:45 PM (#1967525)
Mark:
David, you can't just argue from logic, you have to start with the FACT of segregation in American life. It wasn't only a legally enforced practice, it was socially enforced.
I agree -- but I don't know why you think this is a telling point. The point is that social enforcement isn't enough.

To be sure, the argument isn't that segregation disappears instantly, any more than a cartel falls apart immediately. The point is that it can't be sustained in the long run without government intervention.

Andy:
I was about to point out the obvious once again---that segregation laws were far more the byproduct of mores and attitudes than the other way around.
Yes, and? I don't know why you think I'm saying it was "the other way around." I'm not saying that laws created the attitudes; I'm saying that laws were the only way to turn those attitudes into sustainable policies.

Rich:
Private actors using violence can also enforce anti-competitive arrangements.
Agreed. What I meant, though perhaps I should have included it for clarity, is that only government force can legally sustain such arrangements in an otherwise free society.
   53. Mefisto Posted: April 16, 2006 at 11:09 PM (#1967671)
The point is that it can't be sustained in the long run without government intervention.


What I meant, though perhaps I should have included it for clarity, is that only government force can legally sustain such arrangements in an otherwise free society.

If you're saying that governments have an affirmative duty to prevent private violations of civil rights, then we agree. But your argument still fails to explain numerous, long-lasting examples of de facto segregation in the North. Either that, or you have an expansive view of "the long run".
   54. RichRifkin Posted: April 16, 2006 at 11:36 PM (#1967685)
"Yes, this played an important role in the Southern apartheid system. However, it's not the only factor, since some forms of de facto segregation existed in the North even without that violence."

Mefisto,

I think you have to distinguish between two types of segregation: one where a minority group chooses for purposes of cultural or religious affinity, social and familial bonds and social security to live in a neighborhood or town that sets that group apart; and a second kind of segregation where individuals from some minority groups who would otherwise like to live or work as minorities within a majority neighborhood or industry are restricted from doing so by laws, violence or by cartel-like behavior of the majority.

You say, "segregation existed in the North even without that violence." Of course it did (and does) with the first type of segregation. But in many cases of the latter type, even if there was not always violence, there often was (and is) a threat of violence.

I recall, for example, reading stories where black families tried to move into white, ethnic neighborhoods in Chicago. (I'm sure this went on in other cities.) And roughians from those neighborhoods would vandalize their cars, harass them, and otherwise intimidate the blacks into leaving.

My point is that violence often, if not always, played a part in enforcing such conventions in the North, too.

Beyond Northern neighborhood segregation, violence (or threats of violence) was also used to keep workplaces segregated. I know that on the south side of Chicago, where the meatpacking industry was located, there were numerous cases of Polish and Irish gangs that would intimidate of beat up managers or executives from slaughterhouses if they hired blacks to do jobs that white ethnics believed were rightly theirs. In time, no one would dare try to break the cartel on jobs, knowing what the consequences would be. But surely, had that violence been removed, the workplace opportunities for blacks would have been much greater.
   55. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: April 16, 2006 at 11:44 PM (#1967690)
I agree with Rich. To my mind the world's racial troubles are mostly the fault of the Irish.
   56. Mefisto Posted: April 17, 2006 at 12:22 AM (#1967732)
I think you have to distinguish between two types of segregation: one where a minority group chooses for purposes of cultural or religious affinity, social and familial bonds and social security to live in a neighborhood or town that sets that group apart; and a second kind of segregation where individuals from some minority groups who would otherwise like to live or work as minorities within a majority neighborhood or industry are restricted from doing so by laws, violence or by cartel-like behavior of the majority.

I'm only discussing the second type.
You say, "segregation existed in the North even without that violence." Of course it did (and does) with the first type of segregation. But in many cases of the latter type, even if there was not always violence, there often was (and is) a threat of violence.

True, but sometimes the practice persisted without any threat of violence. For example, real estate brokers could not, as a practical matter, sell houses to blacks in white neighborhoods. Sometimes this was a result of violence. But sometimes it was simply that the white neighbors would then boycott the broker, making it economically unfeasible. And that's before we get to more complex questions like racially restrictive covenants.

My point is that violence often, if not always, played a part in enforcing such conventions in the North, too.

I agree with "often", but "always" is an overstatement. In any case, my post #53 addresses this point.
   57. Dan Szymborski Posted: April 17, 2006 at 01:02 AM (#1967766)
But sometimes it was simply that the white neighbors would then boycott the broker, making it economically unfeasible. And that's before we get to more complex questions like racially restrictive covenants.

Aren't the "choice of vendor" examples kind of moot here? In most cases, you still could choose not to buy something from a white or a Jew or a black or a hispanic person (though this doesn't apply to house sales anymore).
   58. Mefisto Posted: April 17, 2006 at 01:11 AM (#1967776)
Aren't the "choice of vendor" examples kind of moot here?

No, it's part of the explanation for segregated housing patterns in the North.
   59. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 17, 2006 at 02:28 AM (#1967886)
Andy:
I was about to point out the obvious once again---that segregation laws were far more the byproduct of mores and attitudes than the other way around.


Yes, and? I don't know why you think I'm saying it was "the other way around." I'm not saying that laws created the attitudes; I'm saying that laws were the only way to turn those attitudes into sustainable policies.


David,

Apologies for not seeing the nuance in your POV there. Nevertheless, the fact (as Mark puts it) remains that segregation (and all sorts of anti-Semitic practices, the ones famously written about and later dramatized in Gentlemen's Agreement) remained in place in the North for many generations in the absence of any sort of laws requiring it---and in the South during the decades after the Civil War. (Segregation laws there were largely only enacted beginning in the late 1880's, and didn't really become universal until the Wilson Administration.)

Just look at housing, where there were few segregation laws per se outside of a few small towns, but where you had discriminatory government loan policies following and reinforcing social mores, as embodied in privately drawn up and privately enforced restrictive covenants which began long before the government got into the loan business, and which kept neighborhoods strictly segregated until well into the late 60's and beyond. No cops were needed to force all those white folks to sign and respect those covenants. They knew what they were signing, and did so quite voluntarily.

It was only when the Supreme Court in Shelley v. Kramer ruled that these private covenants were in fact unenforceable by courts that the process of breaking down residential apartheid began.

So when Shelley came down in 1948, in the two succeeding decades you had what would appear to be your nirvana: a government-mandated free market, with no enforceable racial or religious discrimination, but no positive anti-discrimination laws which were ever enforced in more than a perfunctory manner. In the North, at least, the "market" was free to let "market forces" decide. According to your theory, residential racial segregation should have disappeared, gradually at least.

So what happened? By 1968 residential segregation was still as strong as ever, in great part (in the North) brought about by one of the great untold American epics: that of the real estate blockbusters and the banking (and government) redliners. The government certainly did its part in maintaining all of our little neighborhood Jo-burgs, but those armies of real estate scumbags who flooded white neighborhoods in the 50's and early 60's with frightmongering flyers and rumors about "black takeovers" were't working for any government. And those discriminatory loans weren't all government loans, either.

Two forces helped to break that down: The first was the rise of the black middle class; but the second was the fair housing bill. Neither would have been sufficient, but both were necessary. There was a strong black middle class in many cities around the country during the segregation era---but there was still residential apartheid.

This is obviously a long and complicated question, and I don't doubt that economics is a strong factor now in breaking down racial barriers. But this is because the pre-conditions brought about by the enforcement of the anti-discrimination laws had begun to be met, thereby for the first time presenting the opportunity for a true free market to flourish.

Prior to the time when anti-discrimination laws began to have some teeth in them (and I'm not talking about quotas and affirmative action, which are wholly separate issues), I maintain that WRT to African Americans, there was no genuine free market in any aspect of American life. The American economy was essentially a white cartel. The black middle class was real, but like the Negro Leagues, the conditions for its prosperity were the result of segregation itself; a sort of bizarro world affirmative action series of set-asides, if you will.

And to the extent that there is a free market for all people now, I maintain that it roughly has been a result of activists FIRST rallying the country to confront the contradiction between its professed values and its real world practices; and THEN by passing the first serious anti-discrimination laws, namely the 1964 Ominbus Civil Rights Bill, the 1965 Voting Rights Bill, and the 1968 Fair Housing Bill.

Only THEN could you sit back for a while to see the expansion of the black middle class, coinciding with the gradual realization on the part of the white majority that black people didn't have tails. These two related developments are what have caused the sea changes in American culture over the past 46 years.

But it didn't happen because of Adam Smith. Adam Smith was mostly in jail during the period in question. He never had a chance.
   60. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: April 17, 2006 at 03:45 AM (#1968013)
Aren't the "choice of vendor" examples kind of moot here? In most cases, you still could choose not to buy something from a white or a Jew or a black or a hispanic person (though this doesn't apply to house sales anymore).

Not directly related but sobering none the less:

Study reveals discrimination against minorities (real estate)

We ended up going through a friend. Things still weren't perfect, but she knows us well enough to realize that steering is futile because we are stubborn, crazy people.
   61. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: April 17, 2006 at 03:49 AM (#1968018)
The goyim who owned the "No Jews Allowed" hotels didn't seem to mind that the Jewish-owned hotels were luring away all those Jewish dollars from them.


Dude, segregation is TERRIBLE for Jewish-Only Hotels...

1) If Jews can only stay at Jewish-Hotels, than Jewish-Hotels would be full of Jews
2) In a society of segregation, I assume the average racist traveller woudln't want to stay in a hotel full of Jewish people
3) Therefore the average racist traveller would stay only at non-Jewish hotels to avoid the crowd of Jews.
4) Which totally screws the Jewish hotel because they can't make money from average racist travellers.

Remember, America is not all that Jewy. I talked to this Jewish Doctor about 2 weeks ago, he said that America's population of Jews is only like 10 million or something. That's not that much. America is far from the Semitic Sinkhole of Immorality James Dobson suggests.

Seriosuly, if I were a Jew, and I saw James Dobson on the street, I'd ####### donkey punch that guy and anal rape him. Because Jews love that sodomy, BIOTCH
   62. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: April 17, 2006 at 04:05 AM (#1968033)
Seriously, what the #### are you talking about?
   63. RichRifkin Posted: April 17, 2006 at 04:05 AM (#1968034)
Andy,

In your explanation of the history of residential segregation you seem to assume throughout that such segregation is necessarily a bad thing, something the government ought to interfere with because it is so bad:

"... all sorts of anti-Semitic practices, the ones famously written about and later dramatized in Gentlemen's Agreement... No cops were needed to force all those white folks to sign and respect those covenants. ... those armies of real estate scumbags who flooded white neighborhoods in the 50's and early 60's... those discriminatory loans..."


But is residential segregation necessarily a bad or irrational thing? I don't think so.

People of common cultural, religious and social backgrounds prefer to live with others who share those things. People feel safer when their values and their neighbors' values are the same. This is especially true of religious minorities. If you are of Latvian heritage, it is likely that you want to live in a neighborhood where there is a Latvian Orthodox Church, where neighborhood markets sell delicacies that you are familiar with, where your children can meet and eventually marry others of your same faith and history. That is why minorities so often choose to segregate. The majority of all segregation in the United States, today, is of that type.

Even in the decades gone by, when restrictive covenants prevented Jews from living in certain neighborhoods, most Jews still prefered to live in Jewish neighborhoods. That only began to change -- after World War II -- when Jews, like all other upwardly mobile urbanites began moving into suburbs. Of course the Jews leaving didn't appreciate legal or social barriers that restricted them from moving into one neighborhood or another. But to the extent that they were religious, they wanted to move into a new community that had a large number of fellow Jews, so that they could have a Synagogue, a rabbi, a cantor, a JCC, and perhaps some kosher restaurants. Those Jews who really didn't want any of those things, who prefered to live in an all-gentile world, were the exception, not the rule.

Even for blacks today, most practice some form of self-segregation. In many metropolitain areas, there are not only black "ghettoes," but there are often majority black middle class neighborhoods. No one forces blacks to live in these self-segregated communities. They -- much like various other minority groups -- prefer it. And in cases in inner-cities, where new arrivals have moved into poor black neighborhoods, many blacks have resisted their encroachment. That resistance is similar to the resistance that blacks often faced in earlier decades. I know of a nieghborhood in Sacramento, Oak Park, where black ministers and other black leaders are today openly speaking out against Asians and whites (and especially against gays) moving in and changing the neighborhood. Such "gentrification" is seen by them as a threat, much like integration in earlier years was viewed by whites as a threat. It's all human nature.
   64. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: April 17, 2006 at 04:10 AM (#1968039)
You know who James Dobson is right?

He's the head of teh Catholic Family League or some religious bullshit.

He went on MSNBC and said this

"Hollywood like anal sex. We like families."

And before that he said Hollywood was controlled by Jews.
   65. RichRifkin Posted: April 17, 2006 at 04:19 AM (#1968042)
"He's the head of teh Catholic Family League"

No.

From "Wikipedia:

"James Clayton Dobson, Ph.D. (born April 21, 1936 in Shreveport, Louisiana), is a conservative Protestant Christian and psychologist who presents a daily radio program called Focus on the Family on over 6,000 stations worldwide in more than a dozen languages. He is chairman of the board of a nonprofit organization based in Colorado Springs, Colorado of the same name, which he founded in 1977. His programs are estimated to be heard by more than 200 million people every day in 164 countries[1], and Focus on the Family is also on 80 US television stations daily
   66. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: April 17, 2006 at 04:23 AM (#1968047)
Here's the exact quote

"Hollywood is controlled by Secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It's not a secret OK, and I'm not afraid to say it"

"hollywood likes anal sex. They'd like to see public squares without nativity scenes. I like families, I like children, THEY LIKE ABORTIONS, I believe in traditional values..."

Oh James, why are you such a #########.
   67. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: April 17, 2006 at 04:24 AM (#1968049)
Oh F!@# I got the wrong guy.

it's WILLIAM DONOHUE

My bad.

I got the wrogn docuhe.
   68. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 17, 2006 at 04:49 AM (#1968067)
Andy, I don't feel like getting deep into this discussion tonight, but let me just make the following points:

* The fact (since you like boldfacing it) is, you underestimate how much progress was made prior to the anti-discrimination era of the 1960s. By many metrics, the rate of progress was greater before the civil rights era than afterwards. Someone here objected to the Losing Ground citation I made a few weeks ago; another source is America in Black & White.

* Nonetheless, I agree that in some ways, in some aspects, government intervention in the 1960s helped speed up integration.

* However, I'm not sure how much credit government should get for it, since government was the cause of many of the problems it was credited with helping to solve. If you come into the hospital for a cast on your arm, and a doctor accidentally cuts off your arm, the fact that his brilliant surgical skills stopped the bleeding and saved your life and maybe even reattached the arm doesn't really justify praise for the doctor.

* Indeed, you guys underestimate the government intervention, even in the North, in favor of segregation. It wasn't just explicit separate-but-"equal" [sic] Jim Crow style laws. There were plenty of laws which were facially neutral but which were used to create and enforce segregation. Zoning laws, for instance. Nominally neutral, but in practice, used to keep out undesirables in circumvention of free markets. Federal labor law, often designed to protect (racist) unions at the expense of blacks. (Davis-Bacon has explicitly racist origins.) Much of the New Deal was tilted against blacks; it was the compromise FDR made with the Southern Democrats in Congress who made up such a key part of his coalition.
   69. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: April 17, 2006 at 05:35 AM (#1968126)

Even for blacks today, most practice some form of self-segregation. In many metropolitain areas, there are not only black "ghettoes," but there are often majority black middle class neighborhoods. No one forces blacks to live in these self-segregated communities. They -- much like various other minority groups -- prefer it. And in cases in inner-cities, where new arrivals have moved into poor black neighborhoods, many blacks have resisted their encroachment. That resistance is similar to the resistance that blacks often faced in earlier decades. I know of a nieghborhood in Sacramento, Oak Park, where black ministers and other black leaders are today openly speaking out against Asians and whites (and especially against gays) moving in and changing the neighborhood. Such "gentrification" is seen by them as a threat, much like integration in earlier years was viewed by whites as a threat. It's all human nature.


Of course there are extremists who are preaching this on the basis of hatred, but it's really disingenuous to equate these as equivalent situations.

The difference is power. The institutions of racism are the ones punishing those who want to integrate (regardless of their ethnicity) far more seriously than any individuals.

No one "forces" blacks to "self-segregate" except the people selling them houses, the people who marginalize and mock their perspective when they are dissenting minorities in a pre-dominantly white area, those who redistrict schools and go private when a few students of color are slated to enter the building, and on and on.

Remember, we live in a society that boasts a school system that is more segregated than it has been in 35 years. Are you really telling me that poor students of color are in segregated schools because they choose to not go to rich white schools with better resources?

Maybe middle class minority folks self-segregate because they lose patience with people who ignore the stark segregational systems at work in our society and instead lay responsibility at the feet of "self-segregating minorities".
   70. RichRifkin Posted: April 17, 2006 at 06:58 AM (#1968226)
Maybe middle class minority folks self-segregate because they lose patience with people who ignore the stark segregational systems at work in our society and instead lay responsibility at the feet of "self-segregating minorities".

Or maybe some just prefer to self-segregate. Maybe some (blacks in this instance), given the choice, prefer going to a historically black college. Maybe some ethnic Chinese-Americans really like to live in communities where there are a lot of other Chinese-Americans. Maybe that is just human nature.
   71. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: April 17, 2006 at 07:28 AM (#1968238)
Are you really telling me that poor students of color are in segregated schools because they choose to not go to rich white schools with better resources?

To tell you the truth, I'm not sure what's worse:

1) Going to a school in an economically disadvantaged part of town filled with crime, poverty, and poor teaching resources

2) Going to a school in an economically advantaged part of town filled with pretentious spoiled rich White people who act like ########## and do drugs anyway because IT'S COOL!!!1111
   72. RichRifkin Posted: April 17, 2006 at 08:03 AM (#1968248)
"Are you really telling me that poor students of color are in segregated schools because they choose to not go to rich white schools with better resources?"

When you say color, do you include the yellow skin of people from the Orient? Or the brown skin of people from the Indian sub-continent? Or the light-brown skin of people from the Middle East and North Africa? Schools filled with these kids blow away "white" schools.

If performance is a reflection of resources, then the best schools to go to are not "rich white schools," but rather schools with a large percentage of students whose heritage is from East and South Asia or North Africa.

In dollar terms, with only a very few exceptions -- most notably schools in Palo Alto and Carmel -- public schools of equal student enrollment in California all have about the same financial resources. (Smaller, rural school districts in CA have money more per pupil.) So the difference in perfomance in say, the Fremont public schools (which has a huge Asian and Afghani population) and the Oakland public schools can not be explained by resources. They are more or less equal. The money comes from the state and they get essentially the same per pupil, not counting special ed dollars. (Federal dollars for Title I actually gives more money to the poorer districts.)

The big advantage that the better performing districts have is a cultural advantage, in which some parents, particularly some Asian parents, push their kids to excel academically. That hard work pays off.
   73. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: April 17, 2006 at 08:20 AM (#1968257)
The big advantage that the better performing districts have is a cultural advantage, in which some parents, particularly some Asian parents, push their kids to excel academically. That hard work pays off.

Also drives some kids whacko
   74. JMM Posted: April 17, 2006 at 11:47 AM (#1968275)
So the difference in perfomance in say, the Fremont public schools (which has a huge Asian and Afghani population) and the Oakland public schools can not be explained by resources. They are more or less equal. The money comes from the state and they get essentially the same per pupil, not counting special ed dollars. (Federal dollars for Title I actually gives more money to the poorer districts.)

The big advantage that the better performing districts have is a cultural advantage, in which some parents, particularly some Asian parents, push their kids to excel academically. That hard work pays off.


You try telling that to some of those MSJ parents though when you try to rebalance the district by sending a few kids to Irvington and they'll burn you at the stake....

[Fremont schools also spend a lot less money on things like security and recruitment of teachers -- higher retention rates -- so even before you account for the level of corruption, while you are technically right, the Oakland student ends up having less spent on his/her class day than the Fremont student.]
   75. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: April 17, 2006 at 12:01 PM (#1968283)
This thread is far more illuminating and interesting than the article.
   76. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 17, 2006 at 01:39 PM (#1968345)
First, Rich's post:

Andy,

In your explanation of the history of residential segregation you seem to assume throughout that such segregation is necessarily a bad thing, something the government ought to interfere with because it is so bad:

"... all sorts of anti-Semitic practices, the ones famously written about and later dramatized in Gentlemen's Agreement... No cops were needed to force all those white folks to sign and respect those covenants. ... those armies of real estate scumbags who flooded white neighborhoods in the 50's and early 60's... those discriminatory loans..."


But is residential segregation necessarily a bad or irrational thing? I don't think so.

People of common cultural, religious and social backgrounds prefer to live with others who share those things. People feel safer when their values and their neighbors' values are the same....[etc.]


But of course this begs the question, which is the difference between the tendency of most human beings to want to live around people like themselves (which is what you're talking about), which is not in and of itself a particularly bad thing, and the use of force---whether governmental or private---to compel everyone to go along with them.

David would argue that it's wrong for the government to compel such preferences, but that the government should more or less act with benign neglect if a homeowner simply refuses to sell his house to an African American---even if he announces his reason in a newspaper ad. I don't think I'm misreading David's position here.

You, OTOH, seem to be in a rather undefined state where you're not really defending discriminatory practices (you haven't really addressed this), but where you're waxing slightly nostalgic for the old-time neighborhoods of the type you used to see in every city: Little Italy, Chinatown, Greektown, "Hanukkah Heights," etc.

But while there is much to be said for cohesive ethnic neighborhoods, the problem arises when individuals within those neighborhoods want to leave and move on. If they are African American and don't want to live "among their own," for whatever reasons good or bad, but if they can't move elsewhere because of the "natural preferences" of white people not to let them (enforced by restrictive covenants both written and unwritten), I'm not sure why (in your words) it isn't "necessarily a bad thing."

But maybe I'm just missing something in your post which deals with this.
   77. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 17, 2006 at 01:48 PM (#1968353)
And now to David's post,

The fact (since you like boldfacing it) is, you underestimate how much progress was made prior to the anti-discrimination era of the 1960s. By many metrics, the rate of progress was greater before the civil rights era than afterwards.

Nonetheless, I agree that in some ways, in some aspects, government intervention in the 1960s helped speed up integration.


David, this may be the biggest concession I've ever seen you make on this site, even if you have made it before.

And I am certainly not underestimating the amount of harm that governments did in promoting segregation and other forms of racism, which you refer to later in your post. Entire books have been written on the subject. Neither of us really had (or have) the time to explore this with much depth, but I didn't dwell on it not because I refuse to admit it, but only because I don't have unlimited time to post.

But the real question is this: Chicken v. Egg.

And in this case, there is strong evidence that one of those really did come before the other.

Who or what, exactly, caused these governments to pass all these laws you refer to?

And who or what, exactly, caused them to go beyond the letter of the law in enforcing them?

They weren't just put on the books as a personal favor to a crony. They weren't put in there because the Ku Klux Klan was swimming in foundation money to be passed on in order to bribe Woodrow Wilson into South Africanizing the civil service, and FDR into instituting FSA policies which stripped blacks of their farms.

Wilson may have been a nasty racist of the worst sort, but how many white people objected when he did his foul deeds?

And FDR had very little personal animosity toward blacks. He was, however, dependent on the southern white vote as a key component of his coalition, and knew exactly how it would play with them if he started issuing anti-discrimination edicts throughout the government. He was merely following (or reinforcing) the overwhelming sentiment of his voting constituency.

The same point could be made about all those government policies after the war which redlined blacks out of the suburbs, and caused Levittown's racial makeup to resemble a gated community in Johannesburg.

All this wasn't exactly a conspiracy conducted in secret by a handful of "government" operatives. It was a mission undertaken by (nearly) our entire society. And while there's no question that government piled on, the government by itself did not make the initial hit. The responsibility for Jim Crow lay at the feet of the mores and preferences of the vast majority of white Americans, as reflected in the views of those representatives whom they time and time again elected to office.

And that is the fundamental point which you seem to wish not to confront.
   78. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 17, 2006 at 01:59 PM (#1968365)
you still could choose not to buy something from a white or a Jew or a black or a hispanic person (though this doesn't apply to house sales anymore).

What does this mean? That I can be forced to buy a particular house?
   79. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 17, 2006 at 02:58 PM (#1968446)
Rich,

Looking back on one of your earlier posts, I see that I missed this:

I think you have to distinguish between two types of segregation: one where a minority group chooses for purposes of cultural or religious affinity, social and familial bonds and social security to live in a neighborhood or town that sets that group apart; and a second kind of segregation where individuals from some minority groups who would otherwise like to live or work as minorities within a majority neighborhood or industry are restricted from doing so by laws, violence or by cartel-like behavior of the majority.

As long as you recognize the absolute necessity for restraining these latter distortions of the free market, your points about self-segregation fall into a completely different realm, one which is more a matter of individual taste than anything else. There are plenty of shades of differences in how you approach this, but no clear and final answer to the questions it poses.
   80. Mefisto Posted: April 17, 2006 at 03:36 PM (#1968541)
JMM touched on this issue in response to Rich's post 72, but let me supplement it.

It is only sort of true that in CA money is distributed equally to schools. (In other states, it's not necessarily true at all.) Two examples: the better teachers don't want to teach in "problem" schools. As a result, those kids end up being taught by less experienced or poorer teachers. In addition, those schools generally are forced to spend money on things like extra security, meaning resources are unavailable for things like textbooks or photocopy machines.

The problem is much more complex than Rich makes it. I agree that money alone probably can't solve the problem, but it sure would help.

I think Andy has dealt with the issue of self-segregation, but again I have a few supplemental points. First, the very practice Rich praises (?) -- self-segregation -- can lead pretty easily to the more insidious kind of socially or governmentally mandated segregation. If a Latvian wants to live next to other Latvians, it's not a very big step to discourage non-Latvians from buying the house next door. This is exactly the sort of social, not governmental, segregation which I was discussing above. And it can certainly persist even when the behavior is uneconomic.

Second, I'm skeptical of the extent to which self-segregation is as voluntary as Rich paints it in 63. He gives no source for it and I suspect the practice has much more to do with the discouragement people face when they try to integrate other neighborhoods. To a substantial extent, I see Rich's claim of "voluntariness" as contradicted by his point about self-segregation.

Finally, David, I certainly am not disputing that government policies contributed a great deal to segregation and discrimination. What I've disputed here are the unsupported assertions that (1) the government was solely responsible; and (2) that in the absence of government, the market would have "eventually" solved the problem. Again, I see Rich's point about self-segregation as reinforcing my 2 points.
   81. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: April 17, 2006 at 03:54 PM (#1968580)
Even in the decades gone by, when restrictive covenants prevented Jews from living in certain neighborhoods, most Jews still prefered to live in Jewish neighborhoods. That only began to change -- after World War II -- when Jews, like all other upwardly mobile urbanites began moving into suburbs. Of course the Jews leaving didn't appreciate legal or social barriers that restricted them from moving into one neighborhood or another. But to the extent that they were religious, they wanted to move into a new community that had a large number of fellow Jews, so that they could have a Synagogue, a rabbi, a cantor, a JCC, and perhaps some kosher restaurants. Those Jews who really didn't want any of those things, who prefered to live in an all-gentile world, were the exception, not the rule.

Was it ever a majority though? Those old ethnic neighborhoods were rarely ever mono-ethnic. The census bureau has a stat: Index of Dissimilarity (or Dissim. Index, I've seen both) which measures the degree of ethnic concentration of a group within a community on a score of 1-100 where 1 = perfectly integrated throughout society with no degree of ethnic living, and 100 = perfect apartheid.

I've only looked much at DIs for one city (Chicago). In its ethnic heydey, only one white ethnic group broke 50% -- Poles at a little over 50%. Most others were in the 30%s or so. For some reason I remember the Irish were in the low 20s. Most ethnics, going by DIs, lived in mixed zones.

The DIs for blacks? When Poles were at 60% Chicago's blacks were at 98%. Maybe 95%, my memory isn't perfect. Welcome to South Africa. Now it's "only" 80%.

Even for blacks today, most practice some form of self-segregation. In many metropolitain areas, there are not only black "ghettoes," but there are often majority black middle class neighborhoods. No one forces blacks to live in these self-segregated communities.

Can be both middle-class and coerced segregation. I know a few stories . . . Black family tried to move in to the wrong side of town in Broadview when my parents lived there, and some people tried to burn the house down. I have an acquietence who thought about getting involved in real estate in Rockford. In class the instructor said you're not supposed to sell houses to different groups based on their race and it's illegal "if you get caught doing it." He thought that she was joking with that "if you get caught" bit and chuckled. Then he noticed no one else was laughing, and some gave him some mighty interesting looks. There was an incident when a black tried to get a place to live in Berwyn about 10 years ago. . . . There's a few others things I could say. There's still plenty of middle-class/working-class neighborhoods (the Bungalow belts of Archie Bunker-dom) where a black middle class wouldn't be made to feel comfortable living in at all. Sure there's some self-segregation, but it's not nearly so simple as that.

Who or what, exactly, caused these governments to pass all these laws you refer to?

And who or what, exactly, caused them to go beyond the letter of the law in enforcing them?


Has anyone mentioned sundown towns yet? One scholar studied them and found that they almost never (maybe one or two exceptions out of likely 1000+ sundown towns) where blacks weren't allowed to live in town by law, but social custom was so strong it didn't make any difference. They'd put a sign on the main road heading into town saying "N*****, don't let the sun go down on you in Pekin (or Pana or West Frankfurt or whatever the town's name was" and it remained law-by-custom.
   82. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 17, 2006 at 04:06 PM (#1968595)
I think that the whole issue of "self-segregation" boils down to this:

When is “voluntary” self-segregation really voluntary?

And who determines this? A person trying to break down a barrier? Or a person who is trying to keep a barrier in place?

If a white person refuses to sell a house to a black person, on the ground that his neighbors would object (and this is what those restrictive covenants were all about), as long as this practice falls within Rich’s definition of a “cartel-like behavior of the majority,” and agrees that it is within the government’s duty to put an immediate stop to it, then we’re probably more or less on the same page.

But if this sort of practice is euphemized as an “understandable” desire for white people to “live among their own kind,” one that government should treat with benign neglect as a matter of “property rights,” then it’s nothing but a not very imaginative enabling excuse for racism, no matter how personally non-racist the person making this argument might be.
   83. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: April 17, 2006 at 04:23 PM (#1968617)
I must say, Repoz is great at finding articles that spark multi-page meta-threads...
   84. Dan Szymborski Posted: April 17, 2006 at 04:25 PM (#1968622)
What does this mean? That I can be forced to buy a particular house?

Well, selling that is. And you're unlikely to find a broker that only sells houses to white people in order to enforce the boycott - I should have been more clear.
   85. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 17, 2006 at 04:40 PM (#1968642)
Has anyone mentioned sundown towns yet?

Not so far, but if anyone is interested in that topic,
this book is a good place to start. It’s the one that Dag Nabbit refers to above.

And that was also a telling incident that Dag Nabbit related about that real estate class.

Washington, D.C. (the city itself) was about 70% white in 1950, the year before my parents moved into the area and bought a house in Cleveland Park, then an all-white area and now still almost entirely so. But there were huge swaths of the “white” city which were served by under-utilized white schools, whose vacant spaces created pressure for converting them into black schools, since the existing black schools were way overcrowded. (This was when D.C. schools were formally segregated.) The areas around Cardozo (13th and Clifton) and Roosevelt (13th & Upshur) High Schools were prime examples of this.

This in turn created great anxiety in those neighborhoods that “those people” (I only euphemize to avoid Furtado’s wrath) were about to move into “their” white neighborhoods, with all the nightmares that entailed.

And boy, did those real estate people smell a gold mine.

Flyers appeared under every door, and in every mailbox, warning in not-so-subtle terms that their houses were about to lose their value, and that the best time to sell was immediately. Fire sale prices quickly emerged, in a state of panic caused by a lethal combination of racism and cynicism.

Of course, those same real estate dealers were then more than willing to sell those same houses to black families---at an inflated price. They didn’t tell those black families that “their” neighborhood was about to be devalued.

And the next step was perfectly logical: Approach the white neighbors of those new black families and give them another flyer.

It was like a license to print money. And it was a lovely example of the “free market” at work, in the real world of mid-century America, as opposed to the theoretical world of the textbooks.
   86. RichRifkin Posted: April 17, 2006 at 04:40 PM (#1968643)
One thing I have noticed is that new immigrants to the U.S. continue to self-segregate. In the Sacramento area, where we have a large former Soviet population, there are heavily Russian neighborhoods, and others that are heavily Ukranian. (They are by no means 100% of those groups. But the newcomers all want to live near others of their same ehtnicity.) The same is true of the Hmong and Mien. And I know in L.A., which is the most polyglot city in the world, there are Salvadoran, Ethiopian, Armenian, Kenyan, Eritrean, Nigerian, Vietnamese, Korean neighborhoods, etc. (And of course half the people in L.A. are from Mexico.) New arrivals find where their compatriots are living and choose to reside there.

All this said, I should add that I am an integrationist, not a segregationist. I favor the law and spirit of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. But my belief is that for immigrant groups, integration (often) takes a few generations. Most grandchildren of immigrants lose the ties to the old countries and the old language, and they don't see the benefits of living among people of shared heritage. They marry outside of their group and they fully become Americans in a cultural sense. That is why they don't want to be restricted as to where they can live.
   87. Mefisto Posted: April 17, 2006 at 04:57 PM (#1968703)
<blockquote>But my belief is that for immigrant groups, integration (often) takes a few generations. Most grandchildren of immigrants lose the ties to the old countries and the old language, and they don't see the benefits of living among people of shared heritage. They marry outside of their group and they fully become Americans in a cultural sense.

I agree.
   88. RichRifkin Posted: April 17, 2006 at 05:05 PM (#1968718)
Mefisto writes:

"It is only sort of true that in CA money is distributed equally to schools. (In other states, it's not necessarily true at all.)"

I don't know that much about other states. But I hear all the time that "the problem is the money." And here in CA, where I've written about and researched this issue, it's not a question of money.

"Two examples: the better teachers don't want to teach in "problem" schools. As a result, those kids end up being taught by less experienced or poorer teachers."

True, and that helps make my point. Many good teachers don't want to teach in "problem" schools because of the culture of those schools. They don't leave them for wealthier schools to make more money. Teachers in poor, urban districts tend to make more money than they do in wealthier suburbs.

In Davis, the wealthy town where I live, teacher salaries are about 10% less than they are in the two urban districts in Sacramento, Grant and Sac Unified.

"In addition, those schools generally are forced to spend money on things like extra security, meaning resources are unavailable for things like textbooks or photocopy machines."

I'm not sure if this is true in California. It probably is, I've just never seen any data to support it. But if it's true, it's just another example of how the big factor is not the poverty of the students' families that hurts poor schools, it is a problem of cultural violence.

Also, I should add that textbooks almost always suck everywhere.

"The problem is much more complex than Rich makes it. I agree that money alone probably can't solve the problem, but it sure would help."

Mefisto, I'm not the one who said the problem is simple. Those who harp on money make it sound like an equalization of money would solve the problem of ghetto schools. California shows quite clearly that equal funds do not make equal schools. The problem is very complex. It involves radically transforming the culture and values and family crisis of inner city parents.

The best real world test of the money hypothesis -- outside of California -- was the Kansas City, Missouri case, where, due to a court order, the inner city schools were given almost twice the money as the suburban schools over a 14 year period. Even with twice the money and better facilities and much higher paid teachers and security guards and everything you could want, the inner city K.C. schools still failed.

Here is a link:

"For decades critics of the public schools have been saying, "You can't solve educational problems by throwing money at them." The education establishment and its supporters have replied, "No one's ever tried." In Kansas City they did try. To improve the education of black students and encourage desegregation, a federal judge invited the Kansas City, Missouri, School District to come up with a cost-is-no-object educational plan and ordered local and state taxpayers to find the money to pay for it.

"Kansas City spent as much as $11,700 per pupil--more money per pupil, on a cost of living adjusted basis, than any other of the 280 largest districts in the country. The money bought higher teachers' salaries, 15 new schools, and such amenities as an Olympic-sized swimming pool with an underwater viewing room, television and animation studios, a robotics lab, a 25-acre wildlife sanctuary, a zoo, a model United Nations with simultaneous translation capability, and field trips to Mexico and Senegal. The student-teacher ratio was 12 or 13 to 1, the lowest of any major school district in the country.

"The results were dismal. Test scores did not rise; the black-white gap did not diminish; and there was less, not greater, integration.

"The Kansas City experiment suggests that, indeed, educational problems can't be solved by throwing money at them, that the structural problems of our current educational system are far more important than a lack of material resources, and that the focus on desegregation diverted attention from the real problem, low achievement."
   89. RichRifkin Posted: April 17, 2006 at 05:14 PM (#1968737)
My own take on the KC situation is somewhat different from the author I quote above. I believe that the problem stems mostly from the parents. Instead of having intact, two parent families, most kids are being born into one parent (mother only) families, where the mother is too young and too stupid to properly raise children. She herself lacks discipline, life experience, culture, grace, education, work skills and stability. She cannot raise her children to value education or any of the other myriad things that it takes to raise a child who will become a success. It is not surprising to me how badly children from such homes perform. What is surprising is that despite such lousy parents, some kids from these homes ultimately do end up as productive members of society.
   90. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 17, 2006 at 05:19 PM (#1968748)
David would argue that it's wrong for the government to compel such preferences, but that the government should more or less act with benign neglect if a homeowner simply refuses to sell his house to an African American---even if he announces his reason in a newspaper ad. I don't think I'm misreading David's position here.
Correct.
You, OTOH, seem to be in a rather undefined state where you're not really defending discriminatory practices
Just for the sake of clarity, I want to note that I'm not "defending discriminatory practices," but only the right (<u>of private parties</u>) to engage in them. Just as my support for the Nazis in Skokie was not a defense of Nazi philosophy, but only of free speech.
   91. Mefisto Posted: April 17, 2006 at 05:20 PM (#1968751)
True, and that helps make my point. Many good teachers don't want to teach in "problem" schools because of the culture of those schools. They don't leave them for wealthier schools to make more money. Teachers in poor, urban districts tend to make more money than they do in wealthier suburbs.

I think this actually contradicts your point. If you change the word "money" to the word "resources", it's clear that some schools don't receive the same resources. Nor do teachers make decisions solely on the basis of money, but on other aspects of the job.

the big factor is not the poverty of the students' families that hurts poor schools, it is a problem of cultural violence.

I absolutely agree that this is a significant part of the problem.

Those who harp on money make it sound like an equalization of money would solve the problem of ghetto schools. California shows quite clearly that equal funds do not make equal schools. The problem is very complex. It involves radically transforming the culture and values and family crisis of inner city parents.

I agree, though I want to be clear that not all inner city parents need "transforming". But there's no doubt that cultural change has to be a part of the solution. Along with more money.
   92. RichRifkin Posted: April 17, 2006 at 05:39 PM (#1968809)
Mefisto, I don't expect you to read that whole KC link. It would take an hour. But if you have some time and you do read it, you will see how money will not solve the problems of ghetto schools and won't even have an impact.
   93. OCF Posted: April 17, 2006 at 05:48 PM (#1968843)
And I know in L.A., which is the most polyglot city in the world, there are Salvadoran, Ethiopian, Armenian, Kenyan, Eritrean, Nigerian, Vietnamese, Korean neighborhoods, etc. (And of course half the people in L.A. are from Mexico.) New arrivals find where their compatriots are living and choose to reside there.

In the case of some of the Southeast Asian war refugees, the federal government tried to get them to disperse around the country, but they chose to largely concentrate themselves in a few areas. The particular distinction of Long Beach is that it became home to a very large Cambodian population. As the members of that community have pursued various business interests, they have spurred the development of commercial properties in Long Beach, particularly along Anaheim Street and 10th Street. And yet - take a drive down Anaheim or 10th and read the signs. The Cambodian flavor is obvious, but not all of the businesses are Cambodian, probably not even half of them. There may be nearly as many business that appear to be Mexican-owned or cater to a Spanish-speaking clientele as there are Cambodian businesses. You'll also see Vietnamese signs, a Thai restaurant or two, places advertising themselves as Irish bars, sandwich shops that probably serve a mostly white clientele - it's a very mixed commercial neighborhood. And there are no high schools or middle schools that are majority Cambodian.

That's probably the way it is in a lot of commercial strips. "Little India" in Artesia has many Korean and Chinese businesses. I don't know what things look like in Burbank or Gendale, but I doubt that there are totally Armenian neighborhoods. And so on. For the most part "voluntary self-segregation" isn't total.
   94. Mefisto Posted: April 17, 2006 at 05:48 PM (#1968844)
Mefisto, I don't expect you to read that whole KC link. It would take an hour. But if you have some time and you do read it, you will see how money will not solve the problems of ghetto schools and won't even have an impact.

Rich, I'll read it if I get the chance, but while I agree that money alone will not solve the problem, I find it hard to believe money can't buy improvement.
   95. RichRifkin Posted: April 17, 2006 at 05:55 PM (#1968879)
This is a post-script that came with that KC link above. It's interesting:

"People who believe there's a strong connection between money spent on education and student achievement have a hard time explaining what's going on in the tiny 284-student Sausalito, California, Elementary School District. The district spends more than $12,300 per student each year-- nearly three times the state average.(130) Students go to school in freshly painted buildings, with manicured lawns and new playground equipment. Class size is a mere 16 students per room, half that of many larger districts. The district has special instructors for art, drama, science, and computers. Yet, when it comes to student achievement, none of that seems to matter. Test scores are the lowest in Marin County; a third of the students are in special education classes; classrooms are "chaotic"; teachers are "frustrated, distressed and exhausted" and afraid to "turn their backs" on their classes.(131)

"How could that happen in Sausalito, a wealthy liberal community of some 7,200 artists, writers, and professionals just across the bay from San Francisco at the northern end of the Golden Gate Bridge? "Why," asked one Los Angeles Times reporter, "aren't children performing better in a district that wants for nothing money can buy?"(132)

"One reason, certainly, is parental influence, or lack thereof. Sausalito shares its school district with an unincorporated area called Marin City, a federal housing project built to house the families of workers who flocked to area shipyards to build oil tankers during World War II. The contrast between Marin City and Sausalito couldn't be more striking. Sausalito, which is 94 percent white, has an average family income of $107,500, an unemployment rate of 3.8 percent, and hillside homes that overlook San Francisco Bay. Marin City, in contrast, suffers from a 38 percent unemployment rate; two-thirds of its 2,000 residents live in public housing best known for fostering dependence on welfare, crime, alcoholism, and drug abuse.(133)

"Even so, the situation of the schools was stable until 1990, when the Department of Defense closed three nearby bases. When the military left, a lot of social stability went with it and the schools quickly began to deteriorate. Concerned white parents began to transfer their children from the local public schools to private schools. By 1997 only 13 of the estimated 200 elementary-school-age children in Sausalito were going to school in their own school district.(134) Eighty percent of the district's students were black, and most came from Marin City.

"Their chaotic home life came with them to the classroom. Students were "disruptive, ill-trained, ill-prepared, often without the most basic academic and social skills."(135) During the 1996-97 school year, teachers and principals called the police on 50 different occasions. According to a Marin County civil grand jury report, the district lacked strong leadership, the teachers were demoralized, and the students were so violent that the teachers feared "turning their backs" on them.(136)

"When parents complained, some board school members blamed low test scores on poverty, unemployment, and drugs. But a group of concerned parents pointed out that there were schools in San Francisco and nearby San Rafael where students had just as many disadvantage and those students were doing fine.

"Many people have suggested ideas for improving the schools: replacing the school board; hiring a dean and a full-time counselor for troubled children; coming up with a new curriculum; encouraging parental involvement, now close to nonexistent; and improving communication.(137) So far, however, no one has suggested solutions that might actually work. One reason is that school officials are so wedded to the notion that money is the solution to low achievement that, when they have money and it doesn't help, they don't know what to do.

"In the meantime, they ignore ideas that might work. They might fire poor teachers and reward good ones with merit pay, give parents vouchers so they could send their children to private schools, or stop trying to solve the problem of dysfunctional families after the fact and look upstream for a solution--the elimination of welfare to end the resulting social chaos."
   96. Mefisto Posted: April 17, 2006 at 06:02 PM (#1968907)
Rich, the irrelevant and loaded reference to ending welfare at the end of that last quote soured me on the prospect of reading it. I'm not interested in ideology, I am interested in improving schools.

I have no doubt that changing behavior and attitudes among students and parents is an important part of the solution. Money to alleviate the problems those cause needs to be part of the solution until we can accomplish the first part.
   97. RichRifkin Posted: April 17, 2006 at 06:06 PM (#1968933)
"That's probably the way it is in a lot of commercial strips. "Little India" in Artesia has many Korean and Chinese businesses."

OCF,

I've never been to Artesia (though I've driven by it), but I know a small Indian neighborhood in (or near, I'm not sure of the borders) Culver City, where there are a bunch of Indian restaraunts, shops and so on. One day, three years ago, I was eating in one with a crowd of people from a TV show I was working on, when in walked the biggest human being I've ever seen in my life. This guy was about 8 feet tall and quite broad everywhere. Hed had to stoop to avoid the ceiling. He seemed like a different species -- super human. We had no idea what the deal was. But as I later found out, Barnum & Bailey Circus was at Staples, and this guy, who is from Pakistan, appears there as the World's Tallest Man. He just wanted to eat some familiar food, and I guess Indian food is close enough to Pakistani.
   98. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: April 17, 2006 at 06:36 PM (#1969010)
Mefisto, I don't expect you to read that whole KC link. It would take an hour. But if you have some time and you do read it, you will see how money will not solve the problems of ghetto schools and won't even have an impact.

I think that Kozol's work strongly contradicts this thesis. We can easily cherry-pick examples of districts where funding was increased and scores did not rise due to mismanagement or other factors, but it's no more scientific than pointing to a bad season by a steroid user as proof that steroids do not aid performance. Furthermore it doesn't explain the fact that rich districts are so deeply convinced that funding does matter that they are happy to spend millions of dollars in legal costs to ensure that they can maintain their separate, and unequal funding scheme.

I would agree that we don't need to randomly throw large sums of money at problems in unstrategic ways. I would agree that equal funding, even strategically funding would not lead to equal achievement.

That would take integration, social reform AND equal funding.

I will say that huge class sizes, buildings that were falling apart, and one textbook for every five students did not aid my last teaching excursion.

But hey, money wouldn't affect any of those problems, right?

In Japan, they pay teachers more to teach in less desirable areas and compensate them for showing expertise in that area.

If teachers who learned to relate to working-class inner city students were paid three times the normal teacher salary for performing their more difficult job, don't you think that more would devote themselves to learning to be effective urban teachers?
   99. rr Posted: April 17, 2006 at 06:38 PM (#1969016)
Instead of having intact, two parent families, most kids are being born into one parent (mother only) families, where the mother is too young and too stupid to properly raise children.

I work with a lot of young single moms of varying races. Some of them are the bravest, smartest people I know and hammer the need to get educated into their kids. Some of them are messes. The same could be said of any demographic group, including upper middle-class white male baseball fans.

Having taught high school in both impoverished and upper class environments, I can say without any hesitation that money spent properly would help some. I would need to know more specifics about the KC situation, but I will say that spending money on a robotics lab and a field trip to Senegal and then basing your results on test scores--assuming it is standardized tests, rather than a robotics demonstration and a multimedia presentation on Senegal--shows a lack of understanding of educational processes. Education, like many things in society, is a non-linear process subject to lot of linear measuring tools. Also, while technology in the hands of skilled pedagogical professionals who understand their audience can be a valuable educational tool, people who work outside the field tend to overrate the effect of high-tech equipment and to underrate the effect of individual attention. The class size shows they thought of this, but they might have done a lot better if they had ditched the pool and the underwater TV and spent more on tutors.

Your analyses are correct on a rudimentary level: it starts with the parent/guardian, and schools, and teachers, cannot be expected to replace this influence. But to the extent the school is functioning as a parent in an educational sense, the key to that is attention and patience, which, like everything else, you have to pay for. Also, your analysis is a dead end and not helpful to anybody actually working in a classroom. Not that it has to be or should be in a forum like this, but I have heard your line a million times before--from principals, politcians, private school parents--and it goes nowehere. The question is "how do you help a kid in this situation?" and if the answer is "well, don't spend money on him" then count me out. It's like anything else: spend wisely and back it up with brains and compassion. The KC school sounds like what George Steinbrenner would do to help eduation.
   100. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 17, 2006 at 06:49 PM (#1969033)
If teachers who learned to relate to working-class inner city students were paid three times the normal teacher salary for performing their more difficult job, don't you think that more would devote themselves to learning to be effective urban teachers?

I agree, but I believe that the teacher's unions would never allow this.
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