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Welcome to STop, the Seattle Times Opinion blog where our editorial writers and editors share their evolving thoughts on a variety of issues. STop is a place where opinion writers and readers can exchange views and readers can learn more about how editorial positions are formed.

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Jim Vesely
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Jim Vesely
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Lee Moriwaki
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Lee Moriwaki
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Joni Balter
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Eric Devericks
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Lance Dickie
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Bruce Ramsey
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Kate Riley
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Lynne Varner
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Ryan Blethen
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October 27, 2005

What Would Rosa Parks Say?


Since I've been imagining dining with civil rights icon Rosa Parks, let me go a step further and imagine how she would respond to readers who assert discrimination to be a thing of the past. These readers seem to want to say, 'the nasty business of racial discrimination is done with, now let's rush along to a colorblind society."

What would Parks say? The sheer hubris of those who want to brush off racial discrimination as a thing of the past would likely make Parks spit her coffee all over my fine china. Parks was a brave woman who endured legal segregation - and whose parents endured far, far worse. She would certainly say America 2005 is a better, kinder society than America circa 1954. But America remains a place where people often pay an unholy price for having a certain skin color.

Kathleen Brose, the Magnolia mom waging an expensive legal battle to get Seattle Public Schools to ignore race in school admissions, is neither a demon nor a racist. She is however mistaken in equating her right to get her daughter into a particular school with the right, make that need, of the Seattle Schools to ensure a top-notch, diverse education to all of its students.

One individual ought not be able to move a system backwards simply so her own needs can move forward.
A lawsuit that siphons money from the classrooms isn't the answer. Quality schools in both the minority and non-minority neighborhoods is. Until Brose and the others who profess to support "colorblind" societies work as hard for inclusion and equal access for everyone as they work at appropriating the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Seattle Schools ought to continue to push for quality educations regardless of race or income.

Read Lynne's Column here.

Respond to Lynne.

 
Posted by Lynne Varner at October 27, 2005 02:09 PM



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