More on racial correctness and incorrectness

There couldn’t have been anything good or true in Strom Thurman’s views on race in 1948, so anyone 54 years later who says anything nice about his presidential campaign is rightly tarred with sheer unmitigated undeniable evil. If you’re a black sociologist, though, you can come out in favor of overturning Brown v. Board of Education on the grounds that integration has been an “absolute, abysmal failure” and get favorable coverage from CNN.

The CNN article features two black sociologists arguing for segregation and a white historian complaining that they “are using the very language that lawyers for white districts used 50 years ago before the Supreme Court to justify separate schools.” The point, apparently, is that it’s known that the lawyers were evil men with bad motives. It follows that it refutes the sociologists’ claims if what they say now can be tied to what the lawyers said then.

5 thoughts on “More on racial correctness and incorrectness”

  1. I’m sorry I don’t have time
    I’m sorry I don’t have time for an in-depth analysis of the CNN article, but I think Mr. Kalb has misread its intent. While Prof. Wilkinson isn’t subjected to the same kind of treatment given white men like Trent Lott, CNN’s article isn’t “favorable” to her.

    For example, Prof. Irons’s observation that her arguments parallel those of white segregationist lawyers of the 50’s comes at the *end* of the article, where it gains emphasis as the “last word”. Since the reporter added no summation of his/her own, that final quotation serves the purpose of stating the writer’s conclusions.

  2. I don’t see an equivalence
    I don’t see an equivalence to the Lott controversy because that involved the supposed view of supporting the whole system of forced segration circa 1948 while the main thrust of the present article is a substantive disagreement as to which kind of school results in a better education environment. Lott did not get into trouble for saying, “Data suggest that allowing schools to reflect their neighborhood racial make-up may produce in some instances a better school.” He got into trouble for seeming to endorse the 1948 Dixiecrat platform.

    I’m not denying the double standard, which is, as we all understand, systemic and tyrannical. I’m just saying that this article does not seem to be an example of it.

  3. To Charlie:

    The coverage of
    To Charlie:

    The coverage of Professors Wilkinson and Innis was personally favorable. They had their absolutely undisturbed say at the beginning of the article for 8 paragraphs, a sidebar and a photo, and thereafter their comments were presented as well as their critics’ arguments. They also got favorable biographical details. So while Professor Irons’ theory that separation is bad, because whites favor it and whites are evil, does get the last word, and is apparently the theory the reporter prefers, presenting the views held by W & I rather than rebutting them seems to have been the point of the article.

    To Mr. Auster:

    Lott’s comments were extremely brief, but on their face they only referred to problems since 1948, and whether a different turn would have avoided them, and not to the system of segregation as a whole at that time. “Supposed views” don’t matter since they can be whatever critics want.

    W & I say far more than “Data suggest that allowing schools to reflect their neighborhood racial make-up may produce in some instances a better school.” What they say strikes me as much clearer and as going much farther than what Lott said.

  4. There is exact parity
    There is exact parity between the two parties’ (Thurmond’s and these women’s) positions, and hence a vicious and irrational racist double standard is being applied.

    The essential question being raised by the two women in the article is whether local populations have the right to decide how to organize and rule themselves or not. Thurmond’s position in 1948 was that they do, and these two professors’ position today is that they should. There is no obvious distinction between their position and Thurmond’s. Both parties champion the right of the people locally to decide for themselves (as do I).

    Neither Innes’ nor Wilkinson’s argument is that schools should be segregated or not segregated. They both merely insist that it should be a matter for local constituencies to decide—the classic states’ rights position:

    “…she [Wilkinson] feels the answer to many societal ills is a return to neighborhood schools that reflect their constituencies, be they all black, all white or whatever.”

    “”What I found out is when you try to force people, it doesn’t get any better,” she [Innes]says.”

    Neither woman seems to have a problem with integrated schools where that’s what the local parents want. Thus, the question isn’t even about race. It’s about states’ (i.e. local) rights vs. federal coercion.

  5. Upon rereading the article,
    Upon rereading the article, I see that Ms. Wilkinson’s comments can indeed be taken in the way Mr. Auster proposes—that schools should be forced to reflect their constituencies, regardless of the wishes of the majority of the parents. That may indeed be Ms. Wilkinson’s position, although it remains somewhat unclear from the article. Ms. Innes, however, is hard to interpret in any other light than the one I’ve asserted.


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