Monday, September 22, 2008

Nashville Schools: Racism is in the Eye of the Beholder

Posted By on Mon, Sep 22, 2008 at 2:34 PM

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Think of the races as rival cheerleading squads, only most of us will need bigger uniforms If you’re wondering why there’s been so much strife over Nashville’s school rezoning plan – which some (including Scene) have called resegregation -- a new Stanford poll offers the underlying reason: Black and white still don’t trust each other. Okay, so that’s not particularly revelatory. But in a year when millions of whites will vote for a black man for president, the poll shows that Americans remain very weird (and rather contradictory) on race. The good news is that both sides seem to view the other in an increasingly better light. The bad news is that, when asked how much racism exists, only 10 percent of whites say “a lot.” Among blacks, that figure zooms up to 57 percent. It appears to explain why school rezoning is viewed in such disparate ways. White board members naturally see it as good for education (and perhaps secretly a way to protect white neighborhoods). Yet a majority of blacks tend to see the world through the lens of race, and can’t help but think whitey’s about to pull a fast one. There’s a solid rationale for the latter belief. The poll also indicates that Barack Obama may lose up to 6 points solely due to race. If recent history is any indicator, that’s more than enough to once again throw the election to whitey.

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