Rob at the Amicus posted the latest of posters from (I believe) Utah Democrats. This one is a winner. This poster is titled "White Flight," in reference to Southerners use of tax-funded private schools in the early days of desegregation as a means of continuing segregation despite Brown v. Board of Education. The picture incorporates images of white folks marching with the confederate flag in protest of desegregation. So what is the intent of this poster......
A commenter tried to defend the poster with the following:
"nowhere do I see any comparisons of voucher supporters to "racist, Confederate flag-waving segregationists from the 1950s South.' "
I'm afraid I don't bite on the poster, or the anonymous commenter's defense of Utah Democrats. Despite the lack of language affirmatively calling voucher supporters racists, it doesn't take a genius to see that the "racist" implication is (to say the least) mildly being suggested. The clever use of negative images (the Confederate flag) is a subtle but clever way of calling someone a racist without actually saying it.
What else are voucher opponents telling us using this argument, lets pause and think about this?
1.)Utah's voucher program is designed to benefit the lowest income students: The script regarding poverty is that it effects minorities first and Caucasians last. So, the reasoning behind "White Flight" fails the first test. Utah's voucher plan is designed (following the White Flight" logic) to benefit minorities first. The poster shows that voucher opponents don't embrace the state's move to provide equal opportunity for less advantage minorities to choose the best suited schools for their children.
2.) Utah schools are succeeding in spite of themselves: One commenter and many voucher opponents have stated in opposition to vouchers that vouchers can serve no purpose with a school system that is flourishing. However, these concerns about "white flight" (not considering the racial stereotyping involved here) show that voucher opponents fear strong students leaving public schools. If Utah's public schools were as great as voucher opponents like to believe, then what difference does it make if strong or weak (minority or Caucasian) students make up the student body. It is a unintended admission that Utah schools succeed in large part to the quality of the students and parents (and some teachers) and in less part due to the bureaucracies which run Utah's schools.
3.) Utah Democrats are perpetuating racial stereotypes: Since we are going to (however subtly) through around accusations of racism. It seems to me, that the Utah Democrats are perpetuating the myth or stereotype that minority students are less apt or able to achieve in academics. Taking seriously the wild assumption that due to vouchers alone Caucasian students will leave Utah schools in droves large enough to constitute the catch phrase "White Flight"; why is there an issue with which students leave a system that is excelling in its job to educate all students? They are, however ambiguously, demonstrating a (in most cases mild) belief in certain racial stereotypes.
The Daily Herald rightly awarded this a "Buffalo Chip Award". Excrement from a large free roaming herbivore seems like an accurate depiction of this piece from the Utah Democrats. Please bring back some intelligent dialogue on this issue.