Despite the fact that the U.S. population will shift from majority-white to majority-minority by 2042, our kids are still growing up in neighborhoods where the concept of the “melting pot” is foreign.
Considering the strides made in our nation since the 1950s to bridge the gap between the races and to promote greater racial equality-it is surprising that many in this nation still live in a virtual state of segregation. Despite the fact that the United States is a diverse tapestry of nationalities and races, most still live amongst their own kind-choosing to separate themselves into distinct racial “enclaves” and creating a nation of de facto segregation-that which is by choice rather than by law.
The question arises, is this something that we should be concerned about as a nation; most notably, because public schools districts are drawn based on neighborhood configurations-thus segregated neighborhoods lead to segregated schools? Are schools comprised predominately of one race or nationality denying students some fundamental learning experience? Are we adequately preparing them for the world that they will face once they graduate?
One could argue that allowing students to live and study amongst their own kind promotes a better learning environment because tensions that would arise from racial interactions are removed. Additionally, if people want to separate themselves shouldn’t they have the right-as the right to live where and amongst whom they want is a natural right, is it not?