During confirmation hearings for Justice Alito, conservatives pooh-poohed his sketchy record on race by arguing that race wasn’t an issue the Supreme Court would have to face any more. When the Voting Rights Act was challenged in the Supreme Court a little later, conservatives argued that its stronger provisions should be declared unconstitutional, and suggested that the Act was outdated anyway. We’re post-racial and post-racism, they insisted.

Not so much:

A federal court has ordered the Walthall County, Miss., School District to eliminate policies that have resulted in significant racial segregation among students in the school district, the Justice Department today announced.

The United States filed a motion on Dec. 21, 2009, in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi arguing that the Walthall School District is in flagrant violation of a prior court order from 1970, the Equal Protection Clause and Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“More than 55 years after Brown v. Board of Education, it is unacceptable for school districts to act in a way that encourages or tolerates the resegregation of public schools,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “We will take action so that school districts subject to federal desegregation orders comply with their obligation to eliminate vestiges of separate black and white schools.”

…permitting hundreds of [white] students … to attend schools outside their assigned residential attendance zone without restriction prompted a disproportionate number of white students to attend a single school in the district, leaving a number of other schools disproportionately black.

… the community regarded certain schools in the district as “white schools” or “black schools.” … officials in certain district schools grouped, or “clustered,” white students together in particular classrooms, resulting in large numbers of all-black classes at every grade level in those schools.

Or as Phil Ochs put it 50 years ago:

And here’s to the schools of Mississippi
Where they’re teaching all the children that they don’t have to care
All the rudiments of hatred are present everywhere
And every single classroom is a factory of despair
There’s nobody learning such a foreign word as fair
Oh, here’s to the land you’ve torn out the heart of
Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of


  1. #1 smiling jack
    April 14, 2010

    This would come as no surprise to any one who left the south in the 50’s and has been back lately. Until all of the old bigots, and perhaps their children, die off this will continue to be a problem.

  2. #2 megan
    April 14, 2010

    [[quote –
    This would come as no surprise to any one who left the south in the 50’s and has been back lately. Until all of the old bigots, and perhaps their children, die off this will continue to be a problem. ]]

    The problem is, like the whole Confederacy crap, racism and it’s philosophy is passed down like a family heirloom and then replanted to spring tolife anew in the next generation.

  3. #3 megan
    April 14, 2010

    [[quote- The problem is, like the whole Confederacy crap, racism and it’s philosophy is passed down like a family heirloom and then replanted to spring tolife anew in the next generation.]]

    Why these people want to destroy the public schools and education on history and science. Homeschooling to ingrain a false reality and fantasy.

  4. #4 whatev
    May 5, 2010

    Josh, I just discovered your blog via a link to a post about Cupp from Razib and I’ve been enjoying it quite a bit. I’ve hit upon a snag here though.

    As is obvious by the fact that I’m writing here for the first time, so far down in your blog (and which you may never even see? okay, I’ll try to limit the irrationality of writing by closing in a few sentences) I have a bit of a bugaboo issue with race.

    My views about race or more or less what liberals held in the early 20th Century – iow, klan fare today.

    It should go without saying (but I know it doesn’t) that I voted for Barack Obama, have African American friends, judge individuals as individuals, believe it’s possible (though hardly likely) that the person with the world’s highest IQ is Black, etc, etc, etc. – again, I’m a Teddy Roosevelt liberal on the subject.

    The facts remain however that racial concerns in the US aren’t simply about bigoted people who are prejudiced against logic. Black people in the US have a violent crime rate 8 times that of white people. A white woman is 100 times as likely to be raped by a black man than is a black woman to be raped by a white man. YOU YOURSELF(and all of your dittohead commentors) would not walk as freely and openly through Bed-Sty in Brooklyn at midnight as they would through the campus at Berkeley.

    The fact remains that in this country (and everywhere – that’s what makes the argument for nature over nurture so compelling) blacks are a significant problem and empowering them through the doctrine of having been “wronged” has caused immeasurable – no, actually, quite MEASURABLE – amounts of bloodshed toward innocents.

    Should ever field of endeavor be open to African American individuals? Of course. Should every effort be made to redistribute wealth from the well-to-do to those in terrific poverty be they African American or otherwise? Of course. Should racism based solely on the color of one’s skin be rooted out as an anti-humanistic evil? Absolutely.

    But should libraries full of evolutionary theories, scientific measures, historical records and impeccable modern data from every corner of the globe be tossed out in favor of some fashionable morality that the fortunate few happen to currently hold? No.

    I’m tempted to be prescriptive here too but, as noted before, it’s awesomely irrational for me to spend so much energy on such a useless endeavor.

    It’s unfortunate that my temperament is such that I generally speak up only when I disagree with something someone has said rather than (as most people do) speak up to nod in agreement with things I like, but such it is. Take it as a note therefore that I agree with pretty much everything else I’ve read here thus far and have particularly enjoyed your ripping apart of Cupp even though I, oddly, am also rather agnostic but wish I weren’t. Unlike here I’m honest about the thing and don’t play repulsive games with big words for the sake of furthering my career.

    I often wonder in fact about these talking heads what’s left of them after every natural thought and inclination in their heads is replaced with market-tested buzzwords, created controversy and didactic drivel for the sake of furthering their “careers”. It’s astounding that “people” (in scare quotes because a computer could generate “positions” and controversies sure to achieve acclaim) like her can achieve prominence when more genuine (and often more intelligent) people like yourself, myself and any one of thousands of fascinating bloggers and blog commentors remain sidelined thanks to their sincere authenticity.

    Anyhow, cool blog, thanks for it and please do consider becoming a pioneering one of the “good guys” who doesn’t shy away from inconvenient truths about race while being just as (socialistically) humanistic as the ostriches who do.


  5. #5 whatev continued
    May 5, 2010


    My blog comments are full of spelling errors and whatnot but they generally don’t matter. This one though might.

    “Unlike here I’m honest about the thing…”

    HERE should obviously read “HER”. Normally that too would go without saying but race discussions are the insanity of the day (like transubstantiation in a Polish hamlet in the 15th century) and every weapon of cognitive dissonance is employed to stave away the most obvious facts that stare us each in the face but an inch away – so I figured I oughtta correct that one and my apologies if in your particular instance it was not at all required.

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