Omaha Segregation: White District, Black District, & Hispanic District - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 68 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 2006, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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Omaha Segregation: White District, Black District, & Hispanic District

Omaha school district to split along racial lines

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- In a move decried by some as state-sponsored segregation, the Legislature voted Thursday to divide the Omaha school system into three districts -- one mostly black, one predominantly white and one largely Hispanic.

Supporters said the plan would give minorities control over their own school board and ensure that their children are not shortchanged in favor of white youngsters.

Republican Gov. Dave Heineman signed the measure into law.

Omaha Sen. Pat Bourne decried the bill, saying, "We will go down in history as one of the first states in 20 years to set race relations back."

"History will not, and should not, judge us kindly," said Sen. Gwen Howard of Omaha.

Attorney General Jon Bruning sent a letter to one of the measure's opponents saying that the bill could be in violation of the Constitution's equal-protection clause and that lawsuits almost certainly will be filed.

But its backers said that at the very least, its passage will force policymakers to negotiate seriously about the future of schools in the Omaha area.

The breakup would not occur until July 2008, leaving time for lawmakers to come up with another idea.

"There is no intent to create segregation," said Omaha Sen. Ernie Chambers, the Legislature's only black senator and a longtime critic of the school system.

He argued that the district is already segregated, because it no longer buses students for integration and instead requires them to attend their neighborhood school.

Chambers said the schools attended largely by minorities lack the resources and quality teachers provided others in the district. He said the black students he represents in north Omaha would receive a better education if they had more control over their district.

Coming from Chambers, the argument was especially persuasive to the rest of the Legislature, which voted three times this week in favor of the bill before it won final passage on the last day of the session.

Omaha Public Schools Superintendent John Mackiel said the law is unconstitutional and will not stand.

"There simply has never been an anti-city school victory anywhere in this nation," Mackiel said. "This law will be no exception."

The 45,000-student Omaha school system is 46 percent white, 31 percent black, 20 percent Hispanic, and 3 percent Asian or American Indian.

Boundaries for the newly created districts would be drawn using current high school attendance areas. That would result in four possible scenarios; in every scenario, two districts would end up with a majority of students who are racial minorities.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Link: http://www.cnn.com/2006/EDUCATION/04....ap/index.html

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post #2 of 68 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 2006, 11:26 PM
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What if you're mixed or Asian?

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post #3 of 68 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 2006, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thats what I was wondering. It says "predominately" and "mostly" but I still think it will be weird for mixed or Asian kids.

Also, I'm assuming Hispanic means "brown" people and those who look Latino and not the white or black Latinos.


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post #4 of 68 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 2006, 11:53 PM
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The truly relevant portion of the article
Quote:
Originally Posted by decemberlove
"There is no intent to create segregation," said Omaha Sen. Ernie Chambers, the Legislature's only black senator and a longtime critic of the school system.

He argued that the district is already segregated, because it no longer buses students for integration and instead requires them to attend their neighborhood school.

Chambers said the schools attended largely by minorities lack the resources and quality teachers provided others in the district. He said the black students he represents in north Omaha would receive a better education if they had more control over their district.
My mother, who was a schoolteacher for 30 years, went from being a proponent of integration to an opponent over just this issue. White majorities consistently underfund and under-resource black schools in their districts. Under segregation, Blacks had fewer resources, but more control. Under current forms of integration, Blacks lack resources AND control.

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post #5 of 68 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 2006, 01:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by decemberlove
But its backers said that at the very least, its passage will force policymakers to negotiate seriously about the future of schools in the Omaha area.
Since this law (as described in the article) blatantly violates Brown v. Board of Education, I presume said serious negotiations are the actual goal here.
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post #6 of 68 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 2006, 01:34 AM
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post #7 of 68 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 2006, 02:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joie
I'm having some kind of weird problem clicking on links on this site But before i offer any kind of real opinion on this issue, i really would like more information on the current public school system in Omaha, the economic and racial make up of neighborhoods/districts and how Chambers and others think that separate school systems would be better than the status quo. What i'm not clear on is how are the districts divided up now because the article seems to suggest that its already pretty much segregated....how will it be different once divided up into these districts, i gues mainly by how economic resources are given out...depending on those kinds of issues it might not be a bad thing in practice...there is an argument that black folks did better on a whole in terms of economics, education etc when there was segregation...only problem was there still wasn't any equal rights etc...maybe as the US is today, with blacks/Latinos taking control of their own in those ways, things might be better? Because obviously the staus quo right now isn't working for a large majority of blacks/latinos in the U.S. (especially many school systems). When people hear segregation they automatically think unequal but separate and equal might not be a bad thing Truth is many cities/towns in the US are still very segregated due to economices and that leads to unequal school systems, so if they have a remedy where already 'segregated' schools can be equal in terms of resources, i say yeah.
Agreed! The information offered in the article is lacking in details. And I am too unfamiliar with Omaha to conclude one way or the other. I also am not familiar with Mr. Chambers. And though I consulted wikipedia's BIO on Mr. Chambers, I found it to be the shortest such write-up on a representative I've ever read. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernie_Chambers

Anyway, he sounds like a colorful individual [Democrat], who at times pisses off even his own fellow constituents. I kinda like that. It tells me that he walks to the beat of his own drum.

However, my #1 question is, why would he condone further segregating the [largely] minority areas? There appears to be much that is not being stated in this article that has me ...
Again, and unfortunately, this article provides scant information for me to take a position. But whatever they decide to do, I can only hope that the children are the ones who benefit and not the politicians for political [mid-term election] reasons.

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post #8 of 68 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 2006, 02:17 AM
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I've been to omaha many many times, and all i've seen were white ppl, i hardly saw any hispanics or african americans there.
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post #9 of 68 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 2006, 02:46 AM
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I'm trying to figure out how to rationalize this and I'm not getting it...its wrong.
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post #10 of 68 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 2006, 03:15 AM
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post #11 of 68 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 2006, 03:17 AM
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post #12 of 68 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 2006, 03:35 AM
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These are the policies I am afraid of.
The Republican have admitted their desire to bring the country back to the 1950s in policies, supposedly not the segregation part but everything else.
Obviously noone is going to stop them if they're in power.

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post #13 of 68 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 2006, 04:07 AM
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I would want to know how they would guarantee equal funding? I don't think many black people have major issues with "seperate but equal" the problem has always been that the majority never allowed equality...will this be any different?
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post #14 of 68 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 2006, 04:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReeVeeDynasty
However, my #1 question is, why would he condone further segregating the [largely] minority areas?
Because having fewer resources, but controlling those resources, is better than having fewer resources, but having OTHER people control those resources.

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post #15 of 68 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 2006, 04:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana
Because having fewer resources, but controlling those resources, is better than having fewer resources, but having OTHER people control those resources.
Okay, but we're talking about public schools, right? So, if public schools are funded by federal and state taxes, wouldn't it make more sense to legislate according to need, rather than race?
These are not private entities. Like Omaha Public Schools Superintendent John Mackiel said, there's a definite unconstitutionality here. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if this goes before the State Supreme Court. Maybe even the federal Supreme Court.

From the article, I gathered that these were already segregated school districts. And the legislature's answer is to re-district in such a way as to further separate these children?! I'm sorry, but that is madness.

Why not re-district in a way that redefines the counties themselves. Or how about re-districting individual school district in such a way that would encompass de-segregating the region. This is not a difficult thing to do. Sure you'd have public outcry, but then at least the movement is not in the wrong direction. But in a direction that forces the issue of inclusion and equality.

I will even go so far as to say, "It won't work."
My daughter is half Mexican and half Black...and smart as a whip. In which school format/district/racial make-up would she fit?

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