Crossing the Line: Sun Editorial Uses Derogatory Term
Posted by Buzz Beeler on 30th March 2017

Photo credit/ The stknitts news observer

Baltimore Sun declares, “the once lily-white suburbs are increasingly diverse.”

The Baltimore Sun’s editorial section tackled the issue of segregation in the public schools, stating that there is no simple answer to the problem; however, the conversation regarding the issue should continue.

We’ll get to the meat of that editorial in a moment, but first I want to take exception to the language the Sun used. The Post believes the language used by the Sun was derogatory toward white people, particularly the following sentence, “We no longer have legal barriers keeping students apart, and the once lily white suburbs are increasingly diverse.”

According to a website, the term “lily white”  is just that–a racial slur. Could you imagine the furor if you described other neighborhoods using similar terms? (The Post will not give examples. Just use your imagination.)

What struck me as a strange, but rather an interesting comparison was that the Sun’s Varsity Winter All Metro boys and girls teams feature all black players.  I did some research and discovered that may be more of a cultural issue that is rooted in other events that have allowed the entire MD school system to stagnate.

In the wide world of sports, there is only one thing that matters–talent–and not skin color.

We all know that the U.S. spends more money per student than any other nation. We also know that the great war on poverty was lost, and not much has changed since then.

What is interesting here is that Catholic schools spend far less and achieve far more than the public sector.

In a WBAL TV report, MD schools have received a B grade and dropped from 4th to 5th place. In the world rankings, U.S. schools now rank 14th, with most Far East nations taking over the top spots.

A global study by The National Center for Education Statistics discusses the subject of race:

“A higher percentage of Asian students (45 percent) than of students of any other racial/ethnic group earned their highest math course credit in calculus. The percentage earning their highest math course credit in calculus was also higher for White students (18 percent) than for students of Two or more races (11 percent), Hispanic students (10 percent), and Black students (6 percent). (Indicator 12).”

Let’s take a look at the dropout rates for various races.  A study by the NCES states the following:

“In each year from 1990 to 2014, the status dropout rate was lower for White youth than for Black youth, and the rates for both White and Black youth were lower than the rate for Hispanic youth. During this period, the status dropout rate declined from 9.0 to 5.2 percent for White youth; from 13.2 to 7.4 percent for Black youth; and from 32.4 to 10.6 percent for Hispanic youth. As a result, the gap between White and Hispanic youth narrowed from 23.4 percentage points in 1990 to 5.3 percentage points in 2014. Most of this gap was narrowed between 2000 and 2014, when the gap between White and Hispanic youth declined from 20.9 to 5.3 percentage points. Although the rates for both White and Black youth declined from 1990 to 2014, the gap between the rates in 2014 did not measurably differ from the gap between the rates in 1990. However, the White-Black gap narrowed from 6.2 percentage points in 2000 to 2.2 percentage points in 2014.”

I think most people will agree that Asian cultures place education high on their list of priorities. Think of it this way: what made Dr. Ben Carson one of the truly great brain surgeons of all time?  It was his environment and the support of his family, which demanded excellence from day 1, rather than hoping he would catch a break because of his skin color.

In summary, I believe that you cannot force together a winning team through desegregation. Rather, we all need to realize what is achievable within the realm of our own abilities.  As the PARCC continue to fall and colleges say that high schools are not adequately preparing our students for college , does the reason fall into the category of segregation or something else.

You read, you decide.

After all, the laws, money, and good intentions have not changed much, with the exception that we keep going in the wrong direction.

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