Judge Allows White Ala. Town to Return to Segregation
A judge told a mostly white suburb near one of the blackest cities in the country that—after reviewing all of the facts—she believed the town’s request to separate itself was motivated by race. She stressed that the move could encourage feelings of racial inferiority among the district’s black students. The judge chastised the white citizens for trying to minimize school desegregation laws. Then, with a pound of her gavel, she allowed them to do it anyway.
Just north of Birmingham, Ala., sits the tiny suburb of Gardendale. While Birmingham’s 74 percent black population ranks it as America’s fourth-blackest city, Gardendale’s population is 88 percent white. Gardendale’s median family income is more than double that of Birmingham, too, giving the small town a lucrative tax base. In recent years, most of Birmingham’s affluent suburbs have left the struggling Jefferson County Schools’ system to form smaller districts, but until now, a judge had never examined the racial reasons and implications as closely, according to a report by the Washington Post.