don’t see color. I am an ally. I am woke. The truth is only you know what is in
your heart, but I am talking about Jacksonville, which has systematically
disenfranchised the African American community, and it continues to do so to
this day with the white mayor and the overwhelmingly white city council,
fighting against a sales tax referendum that would be used to repair, upgrade, and
replace schools in primarily African
America communities where they have been neglected for decades. Now you might
think you might be woke, but if you are silent on this issue, you are
it was better for the school system to loose their accreditation than do
anything to help its schools that had African American students. Though just
know the powers that be at that time used a different word to describe the
students. This wasn’t a close vote either. There weren’t a few members of the
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; it was unanimous.
reasons, “major problems related to inadequate financial support” that led to
the recommendation: Inadequate maintenance procedures, inadequate custodial
care of buildings and grounds, inadequate textbooks and other instructional
materials, insufficient number of teachers, particularly in elementary and
feeder junior high schools, inadequate laboratory equipment, libraries, and
collections, schools resorting to fund-raising activities that were
educationally unsound to supplement limited budgets, and a “fee system” in all
schools which “violated basic principles of publicly supported education”.
robbed of their rights and a chance of a decent education here in Jacksonville,
and that’s not hyperbole. That’s just how it was. Exacerbating matters, our city’s
leaders were resistant to change even as the writing appeared on the wall,
during the civil rights movement of the sixties. It was kicking and screaming
that they agreed to busing in 1971, when the best solution would have been to
provide the proper resources to all the schools regardless of what side of town
they were in. Though I can imagine any trepidation the leaders of the black community
may have had if that promise would have come through. After all, they were the
recipients of the systematic abuse and discrimination. Unfortunately busing
didn’t work as well as some would have hoped.
side school in elementary school, then I was bused to the Northside for sixth
and seventh grades, and things kind of went along for a number of years.
to unfamiliar parts of town when there was often a neighborhood school close
by. African American opponents believed it created problems with discipline and
eroded away the cohesiveness of neighborhoods. White opponents claimed their
children were being sent to dangerous neighborhoods. Both groups thought it
hurt parental involvement and extra-curricular activities, and some people
think it worsened the problems of economic and racial segregation by
encouraging white flight (white families moving to suburbs). It would be
disingenuous of me to blame all these problems on the school district because
busing was the nation’s plan, and like the rest of the nation, Duval County
gave it the old college try, but at the same time up until then, Jacksonville
had shown zero interest in doing the right thing.
telling us what to do and say. They thought they could get out of this court
order, which meant they had to get more white families to willingly send their
children to school on the Northside, but not necessarily with “those”
students. What could they do to make white families get on board, and then it
hit somebody, they would create magnet schools.
academically talented children more opportunities, but no, it was created to
take away the opportunities of black children, but now with the percentage of
white students up in neighborhoods of color, they could say look we’re woke. We’re
doing the right things, and it didn’t matter that even though the schools
may have been next door to each other,
one was mostly white an the other mostly black.
help the numbers appear even better, Duval County was declared desegregated,
and we were let out from underneath the watchful eye of the federal government.
You probably guessed it; things gradually went back to the way they were
before. Schools re-segregated themselves, and resources, more and more scarce
resources, after 2006, went to the prominently white areas of town. Schools in
the inner core and in neighborhoods where large numbers of African Americans
live were allowed to deteriorate.
Tallahassee’s accountability on steroids, and sadly a lot of African American
Children were robbed of the education they should have had.
exacerbating the problems of the last sixty years by fighting against Duval
County Public School’s desire to have a sales tax referendum to fix it’s ailing
and crumbling schools, as they hold out for a larger piece of the pie for
to help poor and mostly minority children? Their supporters are always saying zip
codes shouldn’t determine destinies, and you would be thinking wrong.
poor and minority neighborhoods. No friends, they open at the Beach, in
Baymeadows, or Mandarin, which as 8, count them 8 charter schools with more
probably coming. Mandarin, by the way, has not just some of the best schools in
Jacksonville but in the state as well, and it’s because of this demographic
that charters seeing dollar signs want to open there. No friends, the zip code assertion is just a
canard meant to distract.
to start putting significant resources into our schools that serve mostly poor
and minority children, and what does Curry and the Council say? No, you can’t
do it. They say to a community that has waited for sixty years to do the right
thing to keep waiting. They propagate the racism and neglect what has plagued
this city for decades, and they do so with a smile.