Racism in "Christian" Education

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Loren B, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. Loren B

    Loren B
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2000
    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    0
    As the new principal of a Christian School, I was told to make sure that the enrollment remained balanced between white and black. I did not give heed to this bit of advice as that obviously would be very discriminatory. I interviewed and accepted students without regard to race. Some of the classes became slightly black in majority. At that time most of the families of one church quietly withdrew from the school. Being ALL white students, the balance then became even more lop sided. This past year another church did the same thing. The school is known for its excellence academically and spiritually and that has not changed. The white flight has affected the racial balance and our overall enrollment has declined significantly.
    The question is: "Should I address this and how?"
     
  2. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    Academic and spiritual excellence, Loren, is a goal. But culturally, people must feel comfortable with the school too.

    This includes rules, ethnicity, and atmosphere that are more "intangible" than the staff, curriculum, et al.

    It should NOT be your job to "profile" students. This should be a church/board decision and then you have to decide whether to stay and obey it or not.

    Most Southern christian schools from the 60's on have been "white flight". They will not tolerate their children being a minority, influenced by what they perceive as "black" culture (language, attitude, music, heroes, etc).

    I know personally a hundred families that would not be comfortable with my children with such influences. They would home school or form another school rather than send them to a place like yours is now.

    It takes a rare student/family to send a white child to Grambling or FSU or Temple.
     
  3. kubel

    kubel
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Messages:
    526
    Likes Received:
    0
    I might sound racist to say this (truely I am not), but these parents decisions to withdraw their children may not entirely be based on the color of ones skin (although that too is a possibility).

    There are cultural differences between races, this is for sure. Perhaps the parents were not willing to send their students because of this simple reason.

    In any event, I don't think it's the role of the principal to take any action regarding this. You can certainly address the issue to your superiors as a reason why enrollement is down... but you should take a very unbiased stand, since this can be a very touchy subject.

    Good luck
     
  4. Loren B

    Loren B
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2000
    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the input. I recognize the cultural argument as real but totally illegitimate. How and when will "Christian" white people finally wake up and realize that "Christian" black people are not that different. The cultural issue is bogus. They are racist to the core and use the culture as an excuse to segregate their children just as their racist forbears did.
     
  5. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    Then you have done nothing wrong. If some folks are afraid of their kids being around too much melanin, let the sin of prejudice be upon them. I know some will disagree with me, but cultural discrimination is a segment of racial prejudice. I doubt the parents are pulling their kids out primarily because the other kids are culturally different.

    When I hear of these things, I'm glad to live in a very racially, culturally, and ethnically diverse part of the US, where no one's race or culture sticks out any more or less than another.

    If you feel the need to address this, perhaps having a discussion on cultures in a history class setting might be appropriate. But I'm willing to bet that the persons who need to hear the message most are not the kids, but their parents.
     
  6. Petrel

    Petrel
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Messages:
    1,408
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, whoop-ti-do. It's a school, and as long as they uphold a standard of academic and moral excellence, the language, attitude, music, and heroes should be acceptable. I'm sure any little gansta coming to school dressed in a slovely fashion, speaking ebonics and obscenities, and blasting Snoop Dogg on his mp3 player would be asked to shape up or get out.

    Loren, I think you're doing fine. You can't be blamed for the White Flight. I guess what to do depends on the situation. Is the school independent of either of these churches? Is there anything in your contract about race as an admission criterion? What I would worry about is what would happen to the school if these churches had the ability to dismiss you and attempt to rectify the "race imbalance" in some fashion.

    If you have the ability to thumb your nose at them with impunity--well, I still wouldn't advise it. [​IMG] But then there might be an opportunity to make advances to these churches and get them to come around.

    And if they won't send their kids back, I guess you have another demographic to target for enrollment purposes!
     
  7. NiteShift

    NiteShift
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,034
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is such a thing as freedom of association. People just tend to self-segregate based on all sorts of things, cultural differences being one of them. I'm sure you've seen churches that are almost entirely black, and I doubt if you'd condemn those church members as 'racist to the core'. Why is the cultural issue bogus?

    My county was under court-orderd busing to achieve racial balance for 30 years, before a local association of parents finally sued to have it discontined. Guess what? The parents who sued were black, and wanted their children to attend a majority black school in their own neighborhood. Are they also racist to the core?
     
  8. NiteShift

    NiteShift
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,034
    Likes Received:
    0
  9. Loren B

    Loren B
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2000
    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    0
    As I recall, the issue there was not that they wanted a majority black school, they were just objecting to the busing. They wanted to remain in their own neighborhoods and the fact that it was a black majority did not bother them. Racism was not the issue.
    The issue here is that 'white" churches are pulling their children out of our school just because they don't like the racial mix. That is racism.
     
  10. LarryN

    LarryN
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2003
    Messages:
    958
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, I personally would not.

    It's not the fault of most of today's members of "almost entirely black" churches that there is little or no racial diversity in their churches. It's the historical biases & discrimination of whites that resulted in these circumstances. Study history: there has been a lengthy period of time in many areas of this country during which most blacks were simply unwelcome in most "white" churches. The solution became to band together to form their own congregations. Happily there have always been some notable exceptions, and the historical biases that resulted in the situation are continuing to cease to be a factor.

    In blaming the current existance of "black" churches on racism amongst their members, you are attempting to pin the fault on the victimized; rather than the victimizers.
     
  11. NiteShift

    NiteShift
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,034
    Likes Received:
    0
    You have misread what I said. I in no way said that the members of black churches are racist. My point was that, given a choice, most people tend to associate with people who are like themselves.
     
  12. NiteShift

    NiteShift
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,034
    Likes Received:
    0
    Call it what you like. Maybe they felt that discipline was suffering, or that the academic standards were becoming less rigorous when kids of a different background were becoming the majority. You know, you could have avoided the problem entirely. I don't mean to be too critical, since you felt you were doing the right thing. But you disregarded some good advice and now wish to condemn the parents and churches for responding in the way they that they did.
     
  13. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6

Share This Page

Loading...