Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Did New York City Get More Racist Since the 1980s?

1/25/22 New York Times discusses the elite public high schools and the issue of race, focused on a girl of Bangladeshi ancestry:

Tausifa Haque, a 17-year-old daughter of Bangladeshi immigrants, walks in the early morning from her family’s apartment in the Bronx to the elevated subway and rides south to Brooklyn, a journey of one and a half hours.

There she joins a river of teenagers who pour into Brooklyn Technical High School — Bengali and Tibetan, Egyptian and Chinese, Sinhalese and Russian, Dominican and Puerto Rican, West Indian and African American. The cavernous eight-story building holds about 5,850 students, one of the largest and most academically rigorous high schools in the United States.

Her father drives a cab; her mother is a lunchroom attendant. This school is a repository of her dreams and theirs. “This is my great chance,” Tausifa said. “It’s my way out.”

Cab driver and lunchroom attendant.  She just reeks of white privilege.

The left is upset:

Liberal politicians, school leaders and organizers argue such schools are bastions of elitism and, because of low enrollment of Black and Latino students, functionally racist and segregated. Sixty-three percent of the city’s public school students are Black and Latino yet they account for just 15 percent of Brooklyn Tech’s population.

For Asian students, the percentages are flipped: They make up 61 percent of Brooklyn Tech, although they account for 18 percent of the public school population.

Some critics imply that the presence of so many South and East Asian students, along with the white students, accentuates this injustice. Such charges reached a heated pitch a few years ago when a prominent white liberal council member said such schools were overdue for “a racial reckoning.”

 Tausifa asks:

The school boasts many advantages, as most students are well aware. Nearly all balked, however, at describing it as segregated, not least because the descriptor “Asian” encompasses disparate ethnicities, cultures, languages and skin colors.

Tausifa looks at the multihued sea of students pouring through the doors of Tech. She expressed puzzlement that a school where three-quarters of the students are nonwhite could be described as segregated. “I have classes with students of all demographics and skin colors, and friends who speak different languages,” she said. “To call this segregation does not make sense.”

To which Salma Mohamed, a child of immigrants from Alexandria, Egypt, and a graduate of Brooklyn Tech, added: “It’s very interesting to me that the word segregated is used in a school that is predominantly Asian. It connotes white and class privilege. That’s not us.”

So how long has this racism and confused white privilege been going on:

That said, the dwindling number of Black and Latino students at these high schools is a great concern and a mystery. Bill de Blasio, when he was mayor of New York, suggested the heart of the problem lay with a biased entrance exam.

That does not reckon with history. Decades ago, when crime and socioeconomic conditions were far graver than they are today, Black and Latino teenagers passed the examination in great numbers. In 1981, nearly two-thirds of Brooklyn Tech’s students were Black and Latino, and that percentage hovered at 50 percent for another decade.

Black and Latino students account for 10 percent of the students at Bronx Science; that percentage was more than twice as high in the 1970s and ’80s.

To understand this decline involves a trek back through decades of policy choices, as city officials, pushed by an anti-tracking movement, rolled back accelerated and honors programs and tried to reform gifted programs, particularly in nonwhite districts.

Black alumni of Brooklyn Tech argue that this progressive-minded movement handicapped precisely those Black and Latino students most likely to pass the test. Some poor, majority Black and Latino districts now lack a single gifted and talented program....

Denice Ware, a daughter of Jamaican and Panamanian immigrants and president of the Brooklyn Tech Alumni Foundation, grew up in Ocean Hill-Brownsville in Brooklyn, an impoverished neighborhood. She was class salutatorian of her middle school for gifted students; the top 10 graduates that year, all Black, gained admittance to specialized high schools.

“Don’t tell me Black and Latino children can’t get into these schools,” she said. “Our teachers made sure we were prepared.”

The current focus on "race equity" is really an attempt to avoid asking why primary education has failed BIPOCs.  Fix that, for every student, and stop playing games that are unconstitutional and provoke the sort of racial division guaranteed to provoke white supremacy among disadvantaged or lazy whites--unless that is the goal.

At times, the whole DIE (Diversity, Inclusion, Equity) program seems like something the Klan would have devised to keep blacks at the bottom and make whites hate the

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