Read the Bills Act Coalition

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Chesterfield Successes = Racism?

Michael Paul Williams had a piece in the Times Dispatch about schools where he makes the statement that since Chesterfield is replacing a 34 year old school and the newest Richmond school is 40 years old that there is a racist element at play. To quote “Racial segregation has been replaced by economic apartheid, as Richmond -- with its dwindling population and stagnant tax base -- cannot provide school buildings on par with its more affluent suburban neighbors.” Economic apartheid? Mr. Williams has to be joking or oversimplifying the issue for dramatic effect because in reading the definition of apartheid, “1. (in the Republic of South Africa) a rigid policy of segregation of the nonwhite population. 2. Any system or practice that separates people according to race, caste, etc. I fail to see how Chesterfield County school by building a new school to replace an old one is enacting a system to keep a certain section of the population down, there are children benefitting from these new Chesterfield Schools of all races and creeds. Chesterfield School system is responsible for Chesterfield children of all races, creeds and castes but is not responsible for Richmond’s youth since I think they have their own school board to handle that issue. What solutions are offered in this article: ZERO!! As Theodore Roosevelt said, “It is not the critic who counts . . . who points out how the strong man stumbled. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again . . . who, at the best, knows in the end the triumphs of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails . . . his place will never be with those timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” Chesterfield has a great school system and a great school board that is trying to keep up with growth, built great facilities and educates all of Chesterfield’s children, maybe Mr. Williams should organize a forum with Richmond Henrico, Hanover and Chesterfield educator’s to find solutions instead of pointing fingers issues that are not present to stir the pot. In reading the comments that accompanied the story it also strikes me that the first solution is that the government step in and give money. Which government? Local, State, Federal? There is no arguing that children need good facilities to learn in but how about getting private enterprise involved and creating some innovative solutions instead of always looking for the government to bail out a crisis. Article can be read here: http://www.inrich.com/cva/ric/news/community/chesterfield.apx.-content-articles-RTD-2007-11-30-0154.html

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