During the evening of this past Friday (August 11th), a contentious town hall meeting was held in the controversial city of Rockford, Illinois.
According to the Rockford Register Star newspaper, the open-door meeting was hosted by Linda McNeely, Rockford’s Alderwoman. The reason behind the discord present among the citizens of Rockford at the town hall meeting is the city’s longtime resegregation practices by its public school district.
The Register Star reported recently that the resegregation being exercised by Rockford Public Schools is occurring along the lines of geographic school boundaries, which are strategically divided based on race and class. Dozens of parents, community activists, elected government representatives, and teachers were in attendance at the meeting.
People who were against the Rockford public school district’s resegregation practices voiced their disdain over the fact that predominantly black schools in the city’s urban core lack an abundance of useful academic resources. School structure throughout some of Rockford’s public schools was also an issue of concern.
The Register Star print newspaper report titled Segregated Again. But Equal? exposed a lot of harsh realities that non-black people in McNeely’s position do not like to publicly talk about. This is because it places an onus on non-black people in power to do something about institutionalized inequality that is not affecting them or their children.
A portion of the sobering Segregated Again report reads as follows:
After decades of costly legal battles, court orders and fiery public debate surrounding the desegregation of Rockford Public Schools, today’s schools look strikingly similar to their pre-desegregation counterparts, where white children attended better-performing east side schools and black children attended failing west side schools.
Alderwoman McNeely (who is black) said that the newspaper report by the Register Star struck a gloomy feeling within her, which forced her to see how far behind today’s society is when it comes to overcoming inequality. “I got frustrated and upset all over again,” McNeely told the Register Star regarding her feelings about the report.
“So many thoughts over segregation in my mind came forward. It hurts to see a generation of kids not prepared for the future.” she continued.
When you want something done right, most of the time, you have to do it yourself. This is definitely the case as it pertains to black parents educating their children.