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Savage Inequalities By Jonathan Kozol Essay

917 words - 4 pages

In Savage Inequalities, Jonathan Kozol describes the conditions of several of America's public schools. Kozol visited schools in neighborhoods and found that there was a wide disparity in the conditions between the schools in the poorest inner-city communities and schools in the wealthier suburban communities. How can there be such huge differences within the public school system of a country, which claims to provide equal opportunity for all? It becomes obvious to Kozol that many poor children begin their young lives with an education that is far inferior to that of the children who grow up in wealthier communities. Savage Inequalities provides strong evidence of the national oppression that is endemic in the American system. Focusing on the discrepancy in resources between schools that are predominantly Black or Latino (usually inner city) and schools that are predominantly white (usually suburban), Kozol provides case studies and statistics to show some kids are given every opportunity to succeed while others (oppressed nations) are set up to fail.
Conditions faced by children are a topic that should be an easy wins for Communists looking to explain to people the need for equality for all. It's hard to imagine someone thinking that a kid, born into circumstances out of his or her control, deserves to suffer poor housing, inadequate healthcare, and substandard education. While there are many who would argue adults "bring it on them," kids clearly have no control over where they are born.

But Kozol reports, with great surprise, that he found many white adults making overtly racist arguments about the potential of Black and Latino kids to justify the better funding of the schools in the white neighborhoods. Kozol recalls how these people would have been vilified during the social movements of the 60s, but when he was writing this book, in the early 1990s, these attitudes seemed commonplace. Even the youth in the wealthier schools had lots of excuses to explain why they deserved better schools than kids sometimes living within a few miles.

Kozol describes conditions the clearly violate the landmark court decision in “Brown vs. Board of Education” (No. 1, SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, 347 U.S. 483; 74 S. Ct. 686; 98 L. Ed. 873; 1954 U.S. LEXIS 2094; 53 Ohio Op. 326; 38 A.L.R.2d 1180, December 9, 1952, Argued, May 17, 1954, Decided, Reargued December 8, 1953), which supposedly mandated the desegregation of schools in America. Towns close enough to easily integrate face almost total segregation with abysmal conditions in the Black and/or Latino schools and tremendously good resources in the white schools.
Although the statistics are more than 10 years out of date, the reality of America school segregation has not changed. The barely functional buildings,...

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