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If you grow up in the South Bronx today or in south-central Los Angeles or Pittsburgh or Philadelphia, you quickly come to understand that you have been set apart and that there's no will in this society to bring you back into the mainstream.
If we allow public funds to be used to support our relatively benign, morally grounded schools, we will have to allow those public funds to be used for any type of private school.
I'd love to go back and teach primary school. I used to teach fourth grade and fifth grade. I'd love to spend several years teaching kindergarten or maybe third grade.
I think a lot of people don't have any idea of how deeply segregated our schools have become all over again. Most textbooks are not honest in what they teach our high school students.
I am opposed to the use of public funds for private education.
Even if you never do anything about this, you've benefited from an unjust system. You're already the winner in a game that was rigged to your advantage from the start.
During the decades after Brown v. Board of Education there was terrific progress. Tens of thousands of public schools were integrated racially. During that time the gap between black and white achievement narrowed.
Children are not simply commodities to be herded into line and trained for the jobs that white people who live in segregated neighborhoods have available.
But for the children of the poorest people we're stripping the curriculum, removing the arts and music, and drilling the children into useful labor. We're not valuing a child for the time in which she actually is a child.
At that time, I had recently finished a book called Amazing Grace, which many people tell me is a very painful book to read. Well, if it was painful to read, it was also painful to write. I had pains in my chest for two years while I was writing that book.
Apartheid does not happen spontaneously, like bad weather conditions.
An awful lot of people come to college with this strange idea that there's no longer segregation in America's schools, that our schools are basically equal; neither of these things is true.
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