Why our schools must address racial injustice.

    July 7, 2016



    America/The National Catholic Review

    ‘Opportunities to understand and experience the feelings and worldviews of those who are different from us are becoming more elusive. This month’s shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile have provided yet another set of painful reminders of how different our stories of America can be.’


    ‘Today’s university jeopardizes its ability to speak to today’s protestors when it departs from its mission of forming the person. Rising student debt and questionable employment outcomes have caused many families to approach college through a strictly economic lens. In addition there is increasing concern that the identification and cultivation of particular virtues represents a kind of moral paternalism. As a result more aspirational educational goals are pushed to the margins. The hollowing out of the university mission makes it difficult to engage meaningfully with today’s campus protesters. After all, they are not demanding better job training; they are demanding a more inclusive community. This is a deeply moral demand.’


    ‘History matters. As Americans, our short memories can be a strength, as we perpetually reinvent ourselves and shake off the past in pursuit of a brighter future. Among the many downsides, of course, is that we can be reluctant to connect present struggles to historical oppression. President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation more than 150 years ago, but that did not end racial oppression in our country. Jim Crow laws provided the framework for a society that was hard-wired for the subjugation and exclusion of blacks. Our criminal justice system has too often contributed to racial disparities through targeted policing, selective prosecution and inequitable sentencing. A post-white-flight lack of economic opportunity in our inner cities has created crushing cycles of poverty. Blacks were largely cut out of the legitimate home mortgage market until the late 1960s. The list goes on. The progress we have made cannot obscure the fact that today’s protesters speak from a centuries-long stream of marginalization.’


    Posted by dayle at 3:39 pm
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