Last night I got around to watching the most recent John Oliver piece on school segregation. As par for the course, it was equal parts funny, informative, and depressing. While it covered ground i was aware of, I didn’t know that the South was far more integrated educationally than NYC. I was also unaware of Malcolm X’s sadly still extremely prescient commentary about the hypocrisy of the Northeast’s liberal elite.
A few weeks back I was on a website that posted about Samantha Bee. In the comments there was a snarky post about how Bee and her husband Jason Jones were full of shit because they opposed a desegregation measure in their local school district. I didn’t give much credence to some random internet commenter and put it out of mind. At any rate, it had nothing to do with the article.
After I watched the segment on John Oliver I decided to head over to the Google to locate the origin of the Bee and Jones story. I found it on Chalkbeat, a website I was unfamiliar with (“Education news. In Context.”):
This week marked the second time in less than a year that parents on the sharply segregated Upper West Side gathered in droves to protest a rezoning plan with the potential to make their schools more diverse.
This round, it was parents from P.S. 452 opposing a plan to move their school into a building 16 blocks south, where it would have more space and a new zone that could potentially include more low-income families. The school’s population is 74 percent white and Asian and 9 percent low-income, in a district that is 43 percent white and Asian and 48 percent poor.”
Bee and Jones were present and oppose the plan:
‘Painting any opposition as classist or racist is as bad as it can get,’ said Jason Jones, the former “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” comedian, near the end of Monday’s nearly three-hour meeting.”
Really Jason? Getting morons to display their various bigotries consists of the vast majority of the Daily Show’s field pieces. And you were great at it! Easily in my top 5 (in no particular order: Bee, Jones, Colbert, Corddry, Williams).
From another parent:
‘Why do we have to fix that issue for the whole district?’ one woman asked…While many said that segregation was a serious problem in the district, they found it unfair that their school should have to shoulder the burden of integration”
Fuck. You. Although, I have to say I like it when people, both on the right and left, fail to couch their opinions within the safe confines of politically correct PR-speech. Let your bigotry and hypocrisy flags fly high, I say! It’s little wonder that, per WNYC, Jones urged his community to “stop talking to the press.” Sage advice.
Aside from Slate, the left-leaning media didn’t really cover the story. For the Slate article, the non-liberal commentariat were predictably delighted. An example:
Samantha Bee is a liberal, right up until she thinks about her children having to go to school with black kids. Then, she turns into Strom Thurmond.”
I wouldn’t go that far. And to be fair, I have no idea if Bee or Jones have done any pieces on school segregation. But it certainly seems like a topic that wouldn’t fall outside their oeuvre.
I wonder where Oliver will send his child in a few years. And I wonder about those whom rapturously share and consume the media of the Daily Show and its spin-offs. Do their progressive beliefs end where their children’s perceived well-being begins? And where do I send my kids to school? Nowhere, because my wife and I are deliberately childless. I’d like to think that we’d be compassionate enough to be on board with integration measures, but who knows? People understandably want what’s best for their kids. But I guess the societal benefits of school desegregation are too abstract for most to endanger their precious offspring possibly *gasp* not getting each and every privilege they’ve “earned.”
Fortunately my wife and I will never have to make any decisions in regard to this topic. I can sit on my high horse and look down on well-to-do liberals who fight tooth and nail to ensure their kids can attend the best schools without the poor fucking everything up. And those kids will grow up, have kids and probably work toward the same end, ad infinitum. Fuck.