Friday, April 21, 2006

Segregated Spaces

The Nebraska state legislature has approved a plan to split the Omaha school district in three--one district predominantly White, one predominantly Black, one predominantly Latino (the tax base of the district will be pooled, however). What makes this case interesting is that the single Black member of the Nebraska legislature, Ernie Chambers, voted for the plan, explaining that he wanted the Black community to be in charge of its own schools.

Jack Balkin has a great post exploring some of the dangers of such a proposal. But the real gold in them thar hills was written by Heather Gerken, who explores the consequences of labeling the Omaha plan "segregation", and makes a call for more complex vocabulary to talk about the issue (a position that I hold near and dear to my heart regarding race generally). All I can say is go read.

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