We have met the enemy and s/he is us: "good white people"

Interesting editorial on CNN with which I largely agree: https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/01/us/white-liberals-hypocrisy-race-blake/index.html

The gist is that while white social liberals (of which I am decidedly one) talk a good game, when it comes time to actually make a sacrifice they turn away. We point and laugh at those Southern rednecks who uses the n-word but pragmatically we aren’t much better.

I live in Boston, one of the most liberal areas of the country and not (overall) poor. Yet our minority schools are atrocious. If you’re a white kid in Boston then you almost certainly attend either a private school or one of Boston’s public exam schools which–surprise surprise–are excellent. Brookline, one of the towns abutting Boston, is well-known for its excellent public schools. Guess what ethnicity dominates that town.

We say we want to help but my how liberals squawk when something happens that might bring in undesirables. We couch it in terms of “property values” or noise (or parking) but in the end it has the same result. But hey it’s all good because we want to raise taxes on those rich people to pay for public programs.

If we want real, lasting change we have to be willing to make a real sacrifice. Maybe that means your property value will take a hit when they put in affordable housing next door. Maybe your first-grader will be surrounded by Spanish speakers. Whatever it is we have to be willing to give up some of our white privilege. Attending a few BLM protests won’t cut it.

Are you old enough to remember the 1970s busing riots in Boston?

Nope, the number one thing I want is a better life for my kids. I’m more than happy to have a black or hispanic family live next door or in all the houses around us but I don’t want a half way house, townhomes or condos anywhere close. I want my kindergartners to spend all of her time getting better not sitting around bored while others are brought up to her level.

I’m happy to vote for every tax increase to fund all schools in my county to the highest level so that even the poor parts of the district have a good education. But we aren’t going to move into a high crime area regardless of the races in the area and we’re going to send our kids to the best school we can no matter the racial make up of the school. And if the crime moves to our neighborhood or the school quality degrades we’ll leave.

That article is not about good people. They are like most people, big talk until it affects them directly.

Do I need to post that Phil Ochs song for, like, the fifth time this year?

Nah, I got it. “Love me, I’m a Liberal”.

Unfortunately, inequality in school funding, (some schools have stadiums, marching bands, voice coaches, while in the same town other schools don’t have enough textbooks!), is very similar to profit in healthcare, it is almost impossible to turn the train off the track once it’s in motion.

Good governance is, and always will be, about making the right choices at the right time.

Reversing such choices are truly Herculean struggles.

Does “townhome” mean something different to you?
Or “condo” why is that lumped in with halfway homes?
When I think of a condo, I think of something like this

… and can assure you that I’d be the riff-raff in that community.

Is it okay if other kids have to sit around while your kid is brought up to their level, though? Is her Spanish up to par? What if she’s in a class with a math prodigy or a history buff?

You must be really sheltered if you think townhouses and condos are nothing but crack houses.

This is exactly the problem. You admit that you are selfish and you don’t care. There are millions of you.

NIMBY-ism really is prolonging and ensuring segregation and inequality, and it’s extremely harmful. Housing shortages and outrageous rent are both problems that could be mostly solved (and have been in some places) by the free market. Building more housing would do a lot to solve these problems, if only suburban white people would stop restricting this possibility.

I think it’s a bit silly to think one cannot be a “good white liberal” without living in a crime infested neighbourhood even if you have the income to not have to.

Exactly and because schools are largely funded by property taxes, the whole system keeps the poor folk poor. It creates this false narrative where the lily white suburbs live in fear of cities which they think are crime infested hell holes and then pat themselves on the back for not dropping the n word in conversation.

Live in whatever neighborhood you like. But then advocate for policies that fight against segregation and inequality. For example, but a nice house in a nice neighborhood. Then work to encourage the construction of affordable housing in your neighborhood. This doesn’t mean you have to tear down your house for a high rise apartment building. But it does mean that you shouldn’t campaign against the construction of affordable apartments nearby.

Single family zoning is mostly a legacy of white supremacy. It’s one of the major ways this country kept certain neighborhoods white. Why would any decent white person want to continue this? Single family homes won’t stop existing. But exclusively single family neighborhoods in desirable areas (and thus mostly white neighborhoods) near big cities might cease. Which would be good.

So they don’t turn into ‘’‘crime infested neighborhoods’’’ . . . not that that’s a dog whistle or anything.

To be more accurate: it’s one of the major ways this country created neighborhoods, even whole cities, that were white.

The Ochs song needs updating.

Above all, we need a National Conversation about increasing the volume of futile white pseudoliberal guilt.

This is not true. For the most part the largest part of school funding is from the state. Money from the federal government is targeted to low income areas. Combined this means that except for Illinois, schools that serve low income areas are better funded than average. This does not apply to athletic booster clubs and the like but the schools themselves are better funded.

I don’t want to live near dense housing my town is currently fighting a 200 condo development. Its not about poverty or race simply about population density. More people leads to more traffic, more crime, and more of everything. Sure 200 million dollar condos would increase the net wealth in my town and I’d still be opposed to them. I like my kids watching baby elk being born in the front yard.

Well, so far she’s a year ahead in school. I’d be fine with her being dropped back a year. I’m also ok with those prodigies getting moved to their own special school. In fact that’s exactly what my school district does. After third grade all of the TAG kids change schools so they aren’t held back by the normals. I’m ok if my kid is one of the normals and I’m ok with her being in special ed if that is what she needs. Group kids with similar needs is a great idea.

Yep, I’m not willing to get shot to prevent another unarmed black guy from getting killed by the cops either. Luckily, we have better methods then harming me and my family.