WSJ’s lead editorial today gleefully

WSJ‘s lead editorial today gleefully reports a Brookings study debunking the conventional wisdom that the US is increasingly segregated by race. The crux of their case: “According to the study, the average black attends schools that are 54.3% black, which is hardly cause for alarm. The average white attends schools that are 8.6% black and 7.6% Latino–ratios that aren’t wildly different from their respective shares in the U.S. population. But the media have focused on numbers coming out of New York, California, Michigan and Illinois–states that have cities with large concentrations of minorities attending the same schools.” This strikes me as seeing what you want to see in the data. The US population is roughly 77% white, 13% Hispanic, and 13% black. [No, the numbers don’t add up. See here for why.] So, while it may not be “cause for alarm,” the fact that “the average black attends schools that are 54.3% black” –that is, about four times as black as the total population– would seem to be proof of segregation, not the opposite. And that whites attend schools that are 2/3 as black and 1/2 as Hispanic as the population, while less statistically noteworthy, is nonetheless likewise not proof of racial integration. (The full text of the Brookings report–from April 2001!–is available online here.)

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.