During his deep-dive of his HBO program Last Week Tonight Sunday, host John Oliver took on the seemingly antiquated concept of school segregation, revealing the degree to which education programs today still maintain a striking separation of races among students.
As Oliver indicates, the idea of “school segregation” invokes a bygone era pre-Civil Rights act, something that we learn about in history classes. But in reality, modern U.S. cities and education programs continue to struggle to maintain an equal playing field, and statistics out of liberal New York City still show (“twist ending! You were racist the whole time,” joked Oliver about holier-than-thou New Yorkers).
“Funding tends to follow white people around the way white people follow the band Phish around,” Oliver continued, noting how integration in different forms has often resulted in white money being brought to disenfranchised communities. On the table predominantly in the history of this debate has been a genuine concern from parents — of students of any color — to try and provide the greatest opportunities available for their children.
However, that doesn’t explain away the fact that black and latino children and more likely to attend schools with less experienced teachers, while many of these schools are still less likely to teach adequate college-prep curriculums. The path to integration may have begun long ago, but, as Oliver notes, “the hard truth is you don’t have to be intentionally racist to do things that have racist effects.”
“There are massive benefits,” the comedian continued to say for American kids who attend classes with children who look differently than themselves “if they interacted a lot more at an early age.”
Watch above via Last Week Tonight.
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