Don’t Dilute Integration Goals

Letters in Hartford Courant

Consequences Of Segregation

 Governor Dannel P. Malloy‘s suggestion that the plaintiffs in the landmark Sheff decision appear “as if we’re going out of our way to deprive kids from Hartford of a good education” by resisting the further dilution of integration goals is a disingenuous and ahistorical argument.

Low performing schools in racially and economically segregated communities were created by white flight, decades of FHA mortgage insurance requirements that utilized redlining, the use of racially restrictive covenants to prevent people of color from purchasing homes in white neighborhoods, exclusionary zoning practices that limit the availability of affordable housing in the suburbs, and the use or threat of violence to keep black or brown families brave enough to try to cross the color line out of white communities.

To suggest the plaintiffs’ actions are depriving kids of a quality education — instead of pointing at decades of official government policy that promoted residential segregation, the actions of individual white homeowners who chose rising property values over integrated neighborhoods, and the racist practices of the real estate industry, banks and mortgage lenders — is the equivalent of man who sets his house on fire and then blames the fire department for not getting there soon enough.

Bilal Dabir Sekou, Ph.D., Vernon

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