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Rose 1

Minority?s fight for quality education in America has been a difficult one. Huge strides have been made, but not without difficulty and much perseverance. As a young American it is difficult for me to imagine the atrocities that are spoken of in my history books. I have been exposed to many forms of segregation and racism, but nothing to the extent of this country?s preceding events. That having been said I am not na?ve enough to believe that the fight for racial equality has in any way diminished today. Occurrences of blatant discrimination are evident throughout society, however the emphasis does not seem to be placed in the solution of the problem, but rather the placating of those who raise their voices in protest.

Multicultural education has been an issue plaguing our nation?s school system for years. There is the issue of misrepresentation of events, concerning minorities, in text and equality in activities, such as sports. Equal treatment and facility dilemmas reach all the way back to Plessey vs. Ferguson. Legislation and policy implementation has attempted to alleviate the effects of these problems and have made ardent strides towards the ending of segregation permanently. So one might believe that any place that still holds the long forgotten belief that separate can ever be equal, is still lost in the dark ages. However such places still exist, like Hernando, Mississippi. Upon reading that a school system would actually support such a blatant misrepresentation of the idea of equality was at first shocking to me. But upon further consideration I began to realize that the intent of the school system was to alleviate any possibility of an act of segregation. So much emphasis today has been put on the individual rights of the minorities that much is being lost in the area of greater good for society as a whole.

Creating clubs and offices only available for certain races creates an acceptance of the idea that it is perfectly alright, and even expected, for each and every minority to be

Rose 2

placated and proved for. The belief of ?equality for all,? has never existed to further all minorities by lowering them to the same level, but rather making it possible for all races to be treated equally and afforded all opportunities for advancement of self. By placing such importance on respecting the rights of minorities, the schools system is over exaggerating the issue or perhaps even creating a problem where one might not even exist.

Many facets of the government have this problem. As a soldier in the U.S. Army, I have often been forced to attend sensitivity training, or equal opportunity awareness briefings. I do not pretend to advocate the elimination of such programs, as their importance is evident by events such as the recent death of a soldier in Ft Campbell Kentucky. Nonetheless, by placing such a high priority on race relations the government might just be pouring acid on a wound that has been steadily healing. Often times this overemphasis is a result of preventive measures on the part of the institution. It alleviates any chance of blame being laid on the government and their lack of effort to prevent an incident of discrimination. Policies like that of one African American principal and one White principal are in fact just the systems efforts to ?cover all bases.? Such blatant separation policies, although initially well intended, are outdated. Emphasis on culture and diversity are important in the school system but should never override core curriculum or fair competition. The United States should abandoned this archaic method of thinking and instead focus on how to better prepare our children for the real world, where everyone is leveled in the economic melting pot, and how hard you work is what really sets you apart from everyone else, not the color of your skin.

?They Mean Well?

Separation Policies in American School Systems

n/a all original thought.


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