The Black Education Money Hole

Repost from the old site. I love to take on White nationalist nonsense because unfortunately there is so much of it in this movement. This line is a classic. From the comments, a classic rendition of this endlessly repeated line:

I don’t see much point in this. The fact is, the US taxpayers have spent so many billions of dollars trying to help these people catch up, yet they keep screwing everything up. Just let evolution roll the dice and let it land where it wants to.

This is the one of biggest White nationalist lies of them all. It works on various levels, and it’s internally contradictory, like most White nationalist stuff. First of all, the taxpayers have been devastated by endless spending since the 1960’s to help Blacks catch up to Whites (particularly as far as the Achievement Gap goes) and it has all been for naught. The argument takes two forms. First, it blames Blacks for “screwing up” as this commenter puts it, implying that it’s all their fault, and they could easily catch up if they tried. But at the same time, there is almost always a hereditarian argument running here that says that Blacks are hereditarily inferior in intelligence to Whites. This would mean that failure is not their fault at all. Implicitly, the White nationalists say first that it’s genetic and nothing can be done, and then blame Blacks for being the victims of the genetic dice. It’s a most cruel argument, but so are most White nationalist arguments. I’m not aware that the US taxpayers have spent any extra money trying to help anyone catch up. We spend money on education, it’s true, but we educate everyone from low IQ to high IQ. Could someone please show me how and where we have poured money into Black schools in a wild effort to close the achievement gap? The evidence seems to be lacking. This is one of the big lies of the White nationalists – that the government has spent all of these billions and billions on Blacks to help them catch up, and it’s all failed. But they haven’t. Let’s go through this one more time. The government spends money on education. The government doesn’t spend any extra money on Blacks or other lower IQ groups to try to help them catch up. Where did you ever get that idea? All the state does is educate kids. All kids get educated, White to Black, smart to dumb. I’m not aware of any efforts made in any recent era to pour money into low performing students to move them up. How exactly would this money manifest itself? Let’s look at this line from some other points of view. If this were true, we would expect ghetto schools to look like the Upper East Side. Since the government is pouring so much money into trying to move Blacks up, they must be scrimping on Whites. It’s nonsense. You go to White schools and they are stocked to the hilt – I’ve taught in many of them. You go to ghetto schools and they often look like Europe after WW2. The schools are wrecked, they are falling apart, there are not enough tables or chairs, there are hardly any supplies, often there are not even enough books and those books that do exist are very out of date and falling apart. Now think about this real hard. Does it really sound like the government is flooding these ghetto schools with cash? I’ve taught in these schools. I taught there for years, in Compton and LA. Trust me, the government isn’t “pouring money into trying to bring Blacks up to everyone else.” Forget it. The state is barely even educating them in the most basic way. Despite all of this, another aspect of the White nationalist argument is false – that there has been no progress. This is not true either. Wikipedia notes that Blacks have closed the gap in math, science and reading by 1/3 over 30 years – no small achievement. I suppose in a way it is true that we are spending more on educating Blacks than we did in the pre Civil Rights Era. Black schools, especially in the Deep South states like Mississippi, were truly horrible. It’s amazing that anyone came out of there learning anything. After the passage of the Civil Rights Act and especially after Brown v. BOE, there was a lot of litigation pushed trying to promote the notion of equal educational opportunity for all races at public schools. Due to the fact that schools are paid via property taxes, education in the US is still very unequal. Truth is, White taxpayers probably pay little money to educate Blacks. The people who pay to educate Blacks are probably Black homeowners in the ghetto. Overwhelmingly, White tax money goes towards educating their own White kids in the local schools. That’s how property tax funding of neighborhood schools works. I think what the White nationalists are really getting at is they don’t think that many or most Blacks should be educated at public expense at all. They consider most Blacks to be ineducable, and figure we shouldn’t even make the effort to even give them the most basic education. Either that, or they want to go back to pre Brown vs BOE days. Recall that the years 1954 (Brown vs BOE) and 1964 (Civil Rights Act) are marked as Years of Infamy by almost all White nationalists. Nice people.

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One thought on “The Black Education Money Hole”

  1. I have been following this achievement gap issue, a long time ago, but this is the first time i heard about this argument. Thanks for the information. I still think the parents have a great influence on the students achievement.

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