#201: It Was Never About Busing


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The Highlighter
Hi again, loyal readers! I’m back after a week-long vacation, which involved advanced rest and relaxation, deep conversation with good friends, and newfound respect for paddle boarding. Did you handle last Thursday’s newsletter-less morning with skill and grace, or did you experience frustration and anxiety? If the latter, don’t fret: My next break will be in late-December. 😀
This week’s issue begins with a powerful one-two punch on school desegregation, likely the most-followed topic at The Highlighter. If you can spare 19 minutes and want to learn most everything there is to know about busing, why integration failed, and how “it is unlikely that we will ever again see an effort to deconstruct our system of caste schools,” please (re-)read today’s lead article, “It Was Never About Busing,” by the brilliant Nikole Hannah-Jones. If that’s not enough for you, I’ve got 336 additional pages of goodness that will leave you with no doubt that desegregation works, plain and simple.
Also in this week’s issue, read about how a group of white boys in Maryland explained away their hate crime — and about how a visit to your local water park will urge you to reconsider the Books of Genesis and Revelation. Have a great week!

It Was Never About Busing
Children of the Dream: Why School Integration Works, by Rucker Johnson
Here’s the kind and thoughtful Tony enjoying his bounty of VIP perks, a smörgåsbord of Highlighter merchandise. It‘s never too late to become an esteemed VIP. hltr.co/membership
Here’s the kind and thoughtful Tony enjoying his bounty of VIP perks, a smörgåsbord of Highlighter merchandise. It‘s never too late to become an esteemed VIP. hltr.co/membership
Yes, I Spray Painted Swastikas All Over The School, But I’m Not a Racist Kid
For Whom Is the Water Park Fun?
+ Reader Annotations: Issue #200 elicited many kind words from loyal readers, including Beth, who wrote, “Thank you for your work, warmth, and unwavering will to include others in the written word” (I appreciate the alliteration), and Kati, who wrote, “If it’s Thursday morning, it’s Highlighter time! I look forward to The Highlighter’s thoughtfully curated articles that encourage me to think about an issue from another perspective, or learn about an issue I was woefully uninformed about.” Thank you!
Also, let’s hear it for loyal reader Nicki, who consistently offers thoughtful responses to her favorite articles. Here’s what she shared about “The New White Flight” (#198), which focused on the proliferation of white charter schools:
As someone who only has experience working with charter schools and strongly believes in school choice, the article challenged some of the beliefs. For one, I did not realize that white charter school enclaves existed and how white parents may be using the concept of school choice to further segregate their children from students of color. Second, while I still believe that parents and students of color should have school choice, maybe what I really mean is that families and students of color have a right to quality school options. What the article affirmed for me is that I do agree that heterogeneous schools are better for everyone — students who identify as white and those who identify as people of color alike. Diversity, I think, is one way people develop empathy for each other despite lines of difference; this is more likely to happen when we have schools that are diverse and less hyper-segregated (whether through indirect or direct choice).
Loyal readers, let’s keep this conversation going. If an article moves you, please feel free to share your thoughts.
Alas, the end is near. I apologize that you have reached the end of this week’s issue of The Highlighter. Use the thumbs below to tell me what you thought. Or hit reply and type me a quick message.
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Mark Isero
Mark Isero @iserotope

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