Monday, January 22, 2007

Breaking Integration Eggs: Who with the what the fuck now?

Listening to an old Democracy Now!, from December 06 2006, I heard some of Supreme Court Justices John Roberts and Antonin Scalia's counters in the Parents v. Seattle and Meredith v. Jefferson cases before the Supreme Court. (They're cases 05-915 and 05-908, 12/4/06.)

I've really got to get to work, but what in the ungodly fuck is this:
MR. MADDEN: Well, like the Michigan cases, sometimes student in the end of the day have an assignment determined by race. Just like in the university cases, at some point race will be a tipping factor. It's different, though, when we put someone in a basically comparable school.
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Well, you're saying every -- I mean, everyone got a seat in Brown as well; but because they were assigned to those seats on the basis of race, it violated equal protection. How is your argument that there's no problem here because everybody gets a seat distinguishable?
MR. MADDEN: Because segregation is harmful. Integration, this Court has recognized in Swann, in the first Seattle case, has benefits. The district was -
JUSTICE SCALIA: Well, it seems to me you're saying you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs. Can you think of any area of the law in which we say whatever it takes, so long as there's a real need, whatever it takes -- I mean, if we have a lot of crime out there and the only way to get rid of it is to use warrantless searches, you know, fudge on some of the protections of the Bill of Rights, whatever it takes, we've got to do it?

Breaking some eggs? How can anyone with a straight face compare integration as some damaging egg-breakery on par with segregation? AAAAAAAAAHHHH! I know many conservatives do this regularly, but it still blows my mind each and every time. I'm not sure if I've addressed this point in the blog before or not, but I am totally and utterly aghast by the occasionally-mentioned conservative concept that the way to get beyond racial bigotry and segregation and other human and cultural differences is to try to absolutely avoid ever pointing out differences between people. In fact, I seem to remember some other Supreme Court argument where one of the conservative judges said something to the extent of "How can we ever achieve equality if we keep reminding people of the differences between them?" ARGH! The goal here: appreciate difference, not eradicate (or actually, ignore) difference. Black people aren't just going to become white, and the sort of completely-blended multiracial society is a bit a ways away yet. So until there's a whole lot more interracial boot-knocking and the resultant skin color homogenization to a nice toffee color, many minorities are still going to, you know, be and look like minorities. And as long as there are people, there will be cultural differences. Any approach seeking integration through homogeneity is simply not going to work in an already-hetereogeneous society like the US. Even pretending homogeneity, no dice. Especially not while JIM CROW IS IN FREAKING LIVING MEMORY. You'd think we could all agree at least to work consciously on integration until the living memory of American Legal Apartheid is gone (and de facto US apartheid ceases to exist), but apparently not.

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