But these were not archival footage of white southerners from the 1960s. This happened last year in Howard County, Maryland, a suburban community that prides itself on racial integration. It was there that progressive white parents packed with other groups to try to stop the school merger plan that would transfer poor students, mostly black and brown, to richer and white schools.
Willie Flowers, a father of two eighth graders in Howard County Schools, was stunned by the ferocity of the resistance. He says it was a flashback to the kind of racism he encountered in schooling with whites in the south.
“I am from Alabama and I thought I was running away with this kind of nonsense,” says Flowers, president of the NAACP Maryland State Conference. “There were cases of Confederate flags in high school football matches, racist elegies.”
However, any attack on entrenched racism will collide with one of the most difficult barriers to real change: good whites.
Many of them are dangerous opponents of racial progress because their goals cannot see their racism coming – and often they cannot. Scientists say these people are often driven by the unconscious racism that they hate to admit and conceal racial hostility in harmless terms such as “schools of neighborhoods” and “property values”.
Matthew Delmont, author of “Why Work Failed: Race, Media and National Resistance to Abolish Apartheid in Schools” says there can be no real change until whites are willing to give up some of the power and resources where they live.
“The sign that change is real compared to symbolism is that people are making real changes to things close to them in their backyards, such as supporting more affordable housing in their neighborhood, or programs that will integrate schools,” Delmont says. Professor of history at Dartmouth College.
But he says that many eggs have never been ready to take this step.
“In general, white Americans and other socio-economic people must be willing to give up something in order for a society to be more fair and equitable.”
Why do integrated schools give rise to so much resistance?
Black Lives Matter signs appear on more lawns of white people today. But statistics indicate that these lives don’t matter much if more blacks start sending their kids to school with white kids.
Public schools in America are still very isolated, not only in the south but in many blue states and progressive societies.
She said that less than 13% of white students attend a school where the majority of students are black, while almost 70% of black children go to these schools.
It would be bad history to attribute all this failure to white southerners. Bus resistance in places like Boston in the early 1970s was as evil as it was in the south. But northern opponents of school enrollment used terms such as “forced transfer” to conceal their racial hostility.
“In general, they will say that they are not racists, they are not like racists in the south, and they are in fact liberal and voted for the Democrats,” Delmont says. “But when it comes to their backyard, they have a different perspective.”
It would be unfair to say that all progressive white parents who are retreating from changing the ethnic composition of public schools for their children are hypocrites. Delmonte says some of their behavior is also driven by something called “hoarding opportunities.”
“Once the white parents are able to reach the school area they feel works well for their children, they try to do everything in their power to create barriers around it to conserve resources for themselves and their small number of peers,” he says.
Flowers says he is still angry at the ethnic tensions exposed by the episode. It was also shocked by the resistance because Howard County includes Colombia, which is one of the first planned integrated societies in the country. He also says that some of the school’s opponents were black.
“The surprise was the negative response, the dungeon, and the resistance not only from white families, but also from other ethnic groups,” he says. “They all strongly opposed the idea of having their families in schools with African American children.”
Why are American cities still largely separate?
There is also a long tradition of white resistance to racially integrated housing. Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. once said that some of the most hated people were white residents of Chicago who resisted the open housing campaign he led in 1966. During one march, King was hit on the head with a rock. It is one of the few times that fear has appeared on the camera.
This type of resistance evaporated today. Many white people are more acceptable to people of color in their neighborhoods. But if many ethnic minorities move, many whites start renting vans. This phenomenon is so common that sociologists have a name for it: racial “turning point”.
In a message posted on Twitter, Trump told “all the people who live their dream in Suburban Lifestyle that you will not be bothered or financially hurt by building low-income housing in your area.”
American suburbs are becoming more diverse – democratic raids with suburban voters demonstrate that.
Both mentioned “amazing facts” about the residential class:
“Middle-class blacks live in neighborhoods with higher poverty rates than low-income white people; African-American families headed by a bachelor’s degree have less wealth, on average, than white families headed by an individual who lacks a high school diploma.”
So, how does housing segregation continue after decades of laws such as the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which prohibited the rental, purchase, and financing of homes on the basis of race, religion, national origin, or gender?
Two words: district laws.
Political leaders can still prevent blacks and browns from moving to whiter and richer societies by using survey area laws that prohibit the building of low-income housing or apartments, say scientists and activists.
Omar Waso, an assistant professor of politics at Princeton University, says this clash between white house owner policies and zoning laws that makes their ethnic isolation possible can lead to some strange images. Housing policy is the “zero point” of racial equality, Wausau says, as it constitutes access to schools and good jobs, as well as the ability to build wealth.
“There are people in Princeton who will have a” black life “sign on the front lawn and a sign that says” We love our Muslim neighbors, “but they are opposed to changing zoning policies that say you should have one and a half acres for every home.
“This means that we love our Muslim neighbors as long as they are millionaires.”
What real change looks like
There were plenty of examples of progressive white Americans wanting to give up something for racial progression that transcends symbolism.
Viola Liuzu, a white housewife in Detroit, sacrificed her life for black voting rights when she was killed by racists during a peaceful campaign in 1965. Whites voted in favor of programs such as Obamacare that disproportionately taxed the rich to help blacks and browns. Some white families insist on sending their children to ethnically diverse public schools and make every effort to worship in integrated communities and live in ethnically mixed neighborhoods.
There are also leaders from the white city, businessmen, and civilians pushing for deep ethnic change.
Delmonte, Professor Dartmouth, says the benefits of abolishing apartheid in schools are well documented. He says that spreading educational resources around the metro area has proven to improve this community. He says there is also a selfish reason why white parents are not afraid of racially integrated schools.
He says, “You are not training your children to work as adults in the world as it appears today if they do not face integration before they enter the workforce.”
Some do this by blaming the lower-class whites of persistent racism. They adopt a “white middle class” lifestyle – they say the right things about race and avoid public acts of racial hostility – but they use this good as a mechanism to ignore responsibility and protect their white status.
Sullivan says that many progressive whites often don’t realize this aberration. They do not intend to deliberately exclude people of color from their public schools or neighborhoods. In her book, she says that many of these attempts to protect their situation “work subconsciously but nevertheless exist and are effective.” One of the most popular deviation strategies, Sullivan says, is advocating ethnic reconciliation.
“Reconciliation is related to the white feeling uncomfortable,” she says. “They are not going to describe it this way, but they just want them not to feel uncomfortable and make them not feel good if there are some angry blacks out there.”
As Americans now discuss how to move forward, Sullivan says she prefers her white citizens focus on another word.
She says, “I want to hear about justice.” I want to hear about things that restore destroyed societies. I don’t want to hear how we can make eggs feel comfortable again. ”
However, justice often means giving up some power or sharing resources. This was a move that many good white Americans were unwilling to take. When was the last time you heard someone speaking openly about merging? This ethnic optimism looks almost peculiar, as remains of another era.
Anything is better than the racial hostility that was prevalent before.
But this is an uncomfortable fact that many black and brown people know from their bitter experience:
Unless more white people are willing to give up something to change the ethnic makeup of where they live and send their children to school, there will be no real racist awakening in America.