Racial Segregation in U.S. Schools: Illinois Terminates Chicago's Desegregation Decree

All people should have the opportunity to succeed in life, regardless of their race. But a recent Illinois district court decision jeopardizes that possibility.

In U.S. v. Board of Educ. of City of Chicago, an Illinois district court ended a twenty-three year old consent decree, which was intended to ameliorate segregation in Chicago public schools. Viewing the Chicago public school system through the lens of the particular constitutional violations that had warranted the initiation of the decree in 1980, the court determined that the consent decree was no longer necessary, because those "vestiges of discrimination" identified in 1980 were "no longer."

With an eye towards racial progress and expanded opportunity in the United States, this narrow view of segregation in public schools is deeply problematic. Although we might hope that race does not matter, too often it does. Even though over fifty years have passed since Brown v. Board of Education, according to a 2005 report by the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, almost 2.4 million students—including about one in six of both black and Latino students—attend schools in which the student population is 99-100% minority.  Nearly 40% of both black and Latino students attend schools in which the student population is 90-100% minority; conversely, only 1% of white students attend such schools. Additionally, 72% of black and 77% of Latino students attend schools in which minorities constitute a majority of the students.

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Progressive Democrat Newsletter Issue 237

The right wing is getting crazier and crazier. Glenn Beck is showing he doesn't believe in American democracy and is calling for revolution. Followers of Sarah Palin are threatening Jews with being stuffed into ovens. Teabaggers are threatening assassinations. All of this is disgusting, un-American bigotry and proves once again that the right wing extremists in America really at heart hate everything America stands for. I have never seen such a bunch of whiny, hysterical, stupid fools as modern day right wing Republicans. Of course one of the main things driving them to new heights of hysterical fear (aside from a simlpe polite bow by our President to the Emperor of Japan) is healthcare reform. Speaking of which, let's keep in mind why we need healthcare reform:

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Evangelical Movement Within The Democratic Party - Good or Bad?

I was going to post this topic under a specific state as there is a race catching a lot of attention, but I am going to broaden this question and talk about Democratic strategy versus core Democratic values.

That actually brings up a larger question about Democratic values and what are they... really?

There is a growing movement since 2004 of evangelical leaders embracing the Democratic Party. Many feel that Bush used this base to get him elected, then turned on them.

The question I have for the readers of this post today, is:

Is a growing Christian base of leaders and voters good for the party?

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Progressive Democrat Newsletter Issue 235

The Progressive Democrat got some major readership during the election. Not sure how much of an effect it had, but certainly in some of the smaller races where I cover Progressive Majority candidates I think I make a bit of a difference.

Progressive candidates did very well in Washington State and Minnesota. Not so well in Pennsylvania or Colorado. Virginia and New Jersey governorships switch to Republican. NYC continues to be dominated by political machines and developer money. I would say that the elections were NOT a referendum on Obama, who remains very popular everywhere but the South. Rather it is a referendum on the Democratic Party which has been tending to do what it always does--water down its message until it no longer seems to stand for anything. This always happens for good, logical reasons. But people don't vote for good, logical reasons. They vote for a strong message that they feel attracted to and the Democratic Party is not delivering that right now. Obama often is, but the party as a whole is not. That is what is happening.

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Progressive Democrat Newsletter Issue 234

November 3rd is election day. PLEASE VOTE!!!! I highlight candidates in several states like Minnesota, Washington State, NYC, and Pennsylvania. I also highlight the elections in Texas, Virginia and New Jersey. Voter turn out will be low so PLEASE read up on these elections, make your choices and vote. I should note that many more places have elections than I have been able to cover, so even if I am not covering your local elections, please vote.

For other states I continue highlighting the same facts and figures on healthcare reform that I have for weeks. I want to keep these handy for everyone until we have a bill passed. Keep up the pressure!

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