An excellent piece by Trymaine Lee posted today in the Huffington Post chronicles recent moves by the Wake County, North Carolina school board to end a long-standing, successful integration program. The story reveals just how far ultra-conservative groups (i.e. Americans for Prosperity) are willing to go to turn back the clock on all forms of social progress in the United States.
Behind the Curtain
As Lee reports, Americans for Prosperity – funded by the multibillionaire Koch brothers who brought us the Tea Party movement – fueled a campaign to pack the Raleigh-area school board with right-wing activists. As their first order of business, the board members pushed through a proposal to establish a "neighborhood schools" program in the district, effectively re-segregating Wake County.
Standing Up to Racism
While parents, community members, Department of Education, and the NAACP admirably fought back and postponed the implementation of the plan, it could still be put into effect in the coming school year. However, what's clear is that the "neighborhood schools" plan is nothing but a thinly-veiled attempt at returning to a schooling system that embraces de facto segregation.
It's also painfully obvious that this ultra-conservative movement backed by big money isn't afraid to openly pursue a racist policy agenda.
It's just up to us to have the courage to call them out.