Mullane: An embarrassing case of racism and questions white liberals don't want
Date of publication: Oct. 12, 2017By John Mullane, columnistThe Intelligencer and Courier Times
After Quakertown’s Friday night homecoming football game, as black cheerleaders boarded their school bus back to Cheltenham, several white kids from Quakertown hurled racial slurs and tossed rocks at the cheerleaders’ bus.
It’s an embarrassment to the Quakertown Community School District, which said it has disciplined two eighth graders; a third student could also face punishment, according to Wednesday’s papers.
“We’re getting right to the bottom of it and we're not going to put up with it,” said school board President Paul Stepanoff said.
Several parents, urged by Quakertown Community Outreach, made a stand in the stands at a soccer game this week. They displayed signs “Q-town Love to Cheltenham,” “We are so sorry, Cheltenham,” and the obligatory hashtag campaign of #love, #acceptance and #stopthenonsense.
While the school district is right to correct the students responsible, it can only treat the symptoms. Much as the district might like to think otherwise, it is powerless to stop this kind of stuff. Racism, hatred, bigotry, call it want you want, is learned at home. At the “bottom of it” are some blinding stats. The six municipalities that comprise the 72-square mile school district in Upper Bucks County’s far reaches are quite white.
The numbers, according the U.S. Census:
Quakertown, 91 percent white, 2.4 percent black.
Richlandtown, 98 percent white, 0.39 percent black.
Trumbauersville, 95 percent white, 0.06 percent black.
Haycock, 96 percent white, 1.0 percent black.
Milford, 94 percent white, 1.5 percent black.
Richland, 96 percent white, 0.93 percent black.
Contrast this with Cheltenham High School’s 791 students, who are 54 percent black, 31 percent white, as are its elementary and middle schools.
If we are to get to the real “bottom of it,” and tear out the problem branch and root, we must have that discussion on race that we never seem to have. Why is it that so many white people, particularly white progressives, choose to live lives of de facto segregation where racism naturally breeds?
The people who preach and lecture that “diversity is our strength” almost always live in white-out communities.
They attend (mostly) white colleges, married white, purchased homes in white neighborhoods where their white children attend (mostly) white schools. They are employed in lines of work where anyone at the top level of the company with any real power is probably white.
“Diversity is good for thee but not for me.”
Why? I've been asking this for years. So far, no answer.
Hashtags and other virtue signaling fall short explaining what you say you believe and how you actually live.
I can explain why Levittown, where I live, is so white. It was built for white people. Unlike places like deep blue progressive Doylestown — where Pearl S. Buck was mortified in the 1950s when the main hotel in town would not rent a room to the Chinese ambassador’s black chauffeur — Levittown never tried to disguise its sin.
Sure, the color line was broken by the Myers family in 1957, but the only reason Levittown has fewer white people (88 percent) than Quakertown’s school district is because in 1960 the feds incorporated the largely black neighboring development of Bloomsdale-Fleetwing into Levittown’s Census Designated Area.
Mrs. Mullane and I originally sought a house in Bristol, because she liked its diversity (69 percent white, 16 percent black, 15 percent Latino), which she said was like a “little Brooklyn,” where she grew up.
But needing a place big enough for three kids and my mother, Levittown had the space.
In 1999 Levittown, at least its Bristol Township portion, publicly apologized for hounding the Myers family. Apology accepted, but the wounds remained. It was a tough moment. I was there to report it, and not everyone agreed that the then-mayor, Sam Fenton, should have done it. But Levittown/Bristol Township had the hard discussion and did what it could, in good faith, with its elected leaders standing in line to shake hands, embrace and apologize.
Such a moment awaits the Quakertown Community School District, and any place in Bucks County where people prefer the easy way out with hashtags of #LoveAndTolerance instead of hard personal questions that leave us, but especially white progressives, muttering #HominaHominaHomina.