The race in question is that elephant that’s always in the room whenever “progressives” are in charge. That pachyderm is exemplified by both skin color and culture.
The problem is that the current crop of progressives, led by our “You didn’t build that” community organizer-in-chief, believe that we all must be equal: equal in opportunity; equal in results.
Any deviation from this vision of a perfect world must be attributed to racism. But only whites may be racist, and, perhaps, Asians as well. Who do those bright Asian kids think they are, excelling at all things academic?
Now, via the Daily Caller, we get an accurate headline: Obama backs race-based school discipline policies. From the story:
[Obama's] July 26 executive order established a government panel to promote “a positive school climate that does not rely on methods that result in disparate use of disciplinary tools.”
Nice and vague, of course. “[A] positive school climate” could mean almost anything, but bet your bottom dollar is doesn’t mean the temperature in the classrooms. It’s true meaning is that regardless of behavior, blacks will be coddled, others not.
The “disparate use of disciplinary tools” can mean one of two basic things. First and most likely in this day and age, it means that one group, in this case blacks, commit more offenses that require discipline.
Second, there is actual racism, where, for some reason, blacks are treated as second-class citizens in the schools, and whites and Asians are privileged. Nice bed-time story, but this isn’t the 1950s. Jim Crow is dead and long buried.
Of course it’s possible that there’s racism. But, given the hugely disproportionate rate of crimes committed by blacks, isn’t it much more likely that blacks are disciplined in schools because they misbehave?
Yes, there are underlying cultural trends that tend to produce more black miscreants in proportion to the population at large. The fact that almost two out of three black children live in a single parent home might have something to do with it. As contrasted with just under one-fourth of white children (Annie E. Casey Foundation).
Then there’s the related higher incidence of poverty, and the “thug culture” in some black communities that seems destined to produce criminals.
The larger point isn’t the disparity of punishment. It is the question of how to best address that disparity. Enforcing a bogus equality of results, i.e. ensuring that blacks are punished at the same rate, regardless of behavior, is unsound and does nothing to improve the likely root causes.