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The Power of Free, Self-Selected Reading

The Politics of Jeb Bush and Jim Crow

Jim Crow is hard to recognize these days but he is here. Today, politicians use the twin canards of “choice” and school grades to carry out their agendas. It was not too long ago that some states actually closed public institutions or threatened to take them private in order to avoid desegregation. 

Today, “choice” is the main weapon of segregationists. They use school grades and test results (which almost always line up by poverty) to push their Plessy v. Ferguson schemes. These people do not want a level playing field. One member of the Florida Legislature- Don Gaetz- even came right out and said that things should not be level. This was a brazen comment that was ignored by the media. Maybe Gaetz yearns to return to 1920. 

States like Florida create the illusion of failure to push through segregationist policies. Florida race baits by legislation. They make things so onerous and test heavy- that many flee to private schools- using voucher money from Uncle Jeb and his friends. They would never want things “level” since there would be no reason to choose other options. 

Florida loves to push “White Flight” under the guise of benevolent paternalism. The state also claims to care about the poor and minorities by giving them handout vouchers to flee public schools that have been labeled as failing.  Florida creates a vicious cycle that is fed by tax dollars diverted from our needy schools in poor areas.

Schools simply reflect the areas they are in and some folks just can’t accept that. They scapegoat schools for the ills of society. This twisted ideology goes unchallenged by most in the media. During the days of reconstruction, the KKK burned down Freedmen’s Bureau schools. Today, we have some who just try to close our schools in poor areas. Any difference?


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