I think they’re just as harmful as all-white schools and I will tell you why.
When I went to college I met other students from inner city schools who had never met a white person who wasn’t in a position of authority. The only exposure to white people they had were teachers, police, bank tellers and cashiers. I know what you’re thinking – How is a cashier or a bank teller in a position of authority? Simply put – because they are not your peers. Most likely, they were adults while you were a minor. You treat them all with the same respect “yes ma’m, yes sir” “thank you ma’m, thank you sir”. As adults, they had adult wisdom and because they worked there you relied on their knowledge and expertise. There is a saying that goes “Knowledge is power” and power = authority. Ultimately, they were the gatekeepers and whether you had enough money to buy some food or not determined if you got to walk out of there full and happy or hungry and embarrassed.
What I find is some of those students had trouble making the transition into the real world where white people are your peers and not just gatekeepers. Some of them kept to themselves and avoided making friendships with people shades lighter than their own. They had been conditioned to hold them to a professional standard and I think that feeds into inequality.
White people are NOT better than you, they are NOT more professional than you. They also lead their own lives – they drink, party and turn up as well and will turn to you for your knowledge and expertise. STOP regarding them as high and mighty. They aren’t all racist and it is okay to have white friends.
I still think there is a lot of work to be done when it comes to fully integrating inner city schools as I do believe monoracial schools feed in to some of the problems we have today.
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