Robert A. Garda, Jr., The White Interest in School Integration

63 Fla. L. Rev. 599 (2011)| | | |

ABSTRACT :: Discussions concerning desegregation, affirmative action, and voluntary integration focus primarily, if not exclusively, on whether such policies harm or benefit minorities. Scant attention is paid to the benefits whites receive in multiracial schools, despite white interests underpinning more than thirty years of Supreme Court integration jurisprudence. In this Article, I explore the academic and social benefits whites receive in multiracial schools, and I do so from a white parent’s perspective. The Article begins by describing the interest-convergence theory and how white interests explain the course and content of the Supreme Court’s desegregation and affirmative action jurisprudence. Multiracial schools will not be created or sustained unless white parents believe it to be in their children’s best interest. The Article next describes the extreme racial segregation in schools today and how white children are the most racially isolated students. This isolation exacerbates the unconscious and automatic racial bias that infects everyone and will impair white children’s ability to successfully navigate the multicultural marketplace. Integrated schools, however, help de-bias white children and teach them cross-cultural competence, a skill they need to effectively participate in a market with increasingly multicultural customers, co-workers, and global business partners. The Article ends by describing steps white parents can take to effectively integrate schools and guarantee their children gain critical cross-cultural competency skills.

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