I'm baaaaaaack.

Hoarding All the Glitter Since 2001.

17 October 2010

White Liberal Social Darwinism.

Only in San Francisco, seriously*.

According to denizens of the Aggrieved Reverse Racism Brigade, San Francisco (the city?  the district?  each and every resident?) is attempting to ensure "equality of results" (er, the usual phrase is "equality of outcomes", but I think the intent was to dumb it down for dimwitted Kindergarten teachers).

There is only one way to respond to this:

No.  There is no equality in outcome or in opportunity being attempted here.

How could you even say that with a straight face?

Let's look at some of those conditions here.

  1. How many white people live at Sunnydale, originally slated to be torn down in the 1950s?
  2. Are you aware of the location of Superfund sites in San Francisco?
  3. How about of the breast cancer spike?
  4. The asthma spike?
  5. Taken a look at school funding inequities within the District lately?
  6. Seen any of the figures on educating high-needs children?
That's just a teeny scrape on the pyramid of institutional racism.  There are your starting conditions.

As far as attempting equality in outcomes, how you could create evidence that anyone in San Francisco is attempting that is beyond me.  Are many forces - including SFUSD - trying very hard to ensure a quality education and college readiness for all students?  Is San Francisco attempting to offer medical care - thereby increasing productivity, life expectancy and ability to care for oneself - to the city as a whole?  Arguably, there is some attempt to enable equality of outcomes.

The thing is: it's a massive failure, and no one is trying that hard.  Yammering about being Beyond the Talk and being Beyond the Talk are two different things; no action SFUSD has taken leads me to believe that we'll be going beyond talking about Beyond the Talk.  Demanding A-G requirements is as powerful as mandating CASHEE: sounds good, no proof it'll do anything but increase the dropout rate.

Ultimately, what these semi-educated claims tell me is that the huge simmering vat of ignored privilege and sunny colorblindness that characterizes San Francisco's white liberal community is nearing a fast boil.

This is why I do not particularly care if San Francisco ever desegregates its schools.  Honestly, my school has a better chance of succeeding in its mission without having disruptive, anti-change elements like these in our community.  The students at my school are not the people who need to knock some sense into the ambience.

It is necessary work, of course.  Like it or not, the only way to ensure eventual equality of opportunity is to get all the stakeholders on board, and that includes the families turning to private schools because the public schools are scary social engineering places.  (Hack.)  And I do believe that it is the responsibility of white allies to do this work.  But I need a break from it, because I'm about to bash my head against the monitor to put it out of its misery**.

In other more cheerful news, I got a winter jacket.  With my thrifted Haider Ackermann culottes I cut a very Novakian figure in it and am more pleased with myself than usual.

*Okay, not really.  This particular blend of happy talk left politics and racism you don't see everywhere, though.  It's like a Ron Paul convention with more hugs.
**Which speaks to my own privilege, but you know what?  I am going to need to cut myself some slack on this one and reflect later.

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