The 50th anniversary of the landmark decision in Brown vs. Board of Education was passing almost uneventfully with typical historical references and lamentations from the usual suspects of how much more remains to be done to achieve racial harmony. Then, in a speech at Constitution Hall in Washington, out of the blue and to the dismay of the racial victimization crowd comes Bill Cosby with a headline message aimed at the parents of black children, particularly the poorer ones—you are failing your children, you are not “holding up your end of the deal”. And further, he said, many young men in prison are not “political prisoners”, but are guilty of real crimes, not police profiling or brutality, and “where are the fathers?” Predictably, the NAACP and other vested interests in the race industry were appalled and rushed immediately to criticize the messenger, without any visible response to the message. In fact, Cosby deserves an ovation for his leadership and honesty. Now if we can just get him to take a leadership role in advancing the cause of school choice, those parents who heed his admonition to take more responsibility will have an alternative to the monopoly school system that has made very little progress in closing the racial achievement gap in the 50 years since Brown. The average black or Hispanic student today leaves school with an eighth-grade education. Integration was supposed to be the panacea for equality, but “busing” to achieve racial integration, a direct result of the Brown decision, was among the major social engineering frauds and helped to discredit measures like school choice that would have had much more impact, both on integration and, much more importantly, equality of student achievement.
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