It’s one thing to simply be against public policies that intentionallly promote socioeconomic diversity. It’s quite another to purport to base one’s opposition on, of all things, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education! But that’s just what Wake County School Board member John “Tea Party” Tedesco attempted to do tonight as part of the debate surrounding the Board’s final vote to eliminate diversity as a factor in student assignment.
Tedesco attempted to draw a tortured analogy between the situation of a lower income student in Wake County who is transported to an integrated, lower poverty school further from his or her home than the nearest school in order to promote better socioeconomic balance and opportunity for him or her and the broader community of students, to one of the plainitiffs in Brown case who was barred from attending an all-white school near her home becasue of her race.
So what we’ve done in this county at some time now, is told many of our children and many of our families even if they live near a school, because their mom and dad doesn’t have enough money in their pocket, they’re not welcome to go to school with their friends and their neighbors. And I just don’t find that fair. I find that inherently unfair. That if a section of children should exceed that fifty per cent or fifty-one per cent or fifty-two percent, that we have to tell that two per cent ‘you got to get on a forced bus ride out of town cause you’re not welcome in your neighborhood.’”
Got that? This is the person drafting THE PLAN to totally remake one of the largest and most successful school systems in the United States: a man who has such a twisted and confused view of American history that he’s willing to cite the most important anti-segregation case ever handed down by the Supreme Court as grounds for intentionally re-segregating the schools!
This is Orwellian reasoning of the worst kind. What’s next for Tedesco? An MLK quote? Cesar Chavez?
All a caring and thinking person can do is echo the cries that came from the back of the audience in the Board room when Tedesco uttered his absurd “argument”: