Savage Inequalities Jonathan Kozol's Savage essay

Download this essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from essay:

The probability that a child will succeed is considered unimportant when compared to the possibility that a child might succeed.

The racist implications of these educational problems are impossible to ignore. These deplorable conditions help reinforce white racial superiority by keeping minorities in a subservient position when compared to whites. The fact that many affluent suburban schools have minority students does not erase the fact that the single greatest predictor of socio-economic status remains race. Non-whites are significantly more likely than whites to be poor in the United States. Moreover, money is political power, so that these impoverished people literally lack a meaningful voice. Repeatedly in his book, Kozol discusses attempts by community members to improve the conditions in their schools, only to have their concerns completely ignored by various government entities. Even though the Supreme Court mandated equality in school districts in the 1960s, it is clear that the promise of equal education has not been fulfilled for many students in America, and that race continues to be a predictor of educational inequality.

One of the most fascinating aspects of Kozol's book was how self-aware the students were about their social situation. They knew that they were receiving an education that was inferior to what white students in affluent neighbors were receiving. This stigma of inferiority was the very thing that the Supreme Court determined made segregated schools so harmful to minority students. Moreover, though some people suggest that blacks willingly self-segregate, Kozol asked the students about this. They unequivocally stated that they would not be in a segregated school if they had a choice. Most of the students that Kozol interviewed were very poorly educated, but, despite these inferior educations, they could still appreciate the irony of attending a mostly black high school named after famous Civil Rights Movement leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that had sewage running through its hallways.

It is almost impossible to overstate the implications of Kozol's research for criminal justice. While there are many theories about what causes criminal behavior, there is no question that a lack of an education translates to lack of real employment opportunities and increases the likelihood of criminal behavior. Moreover, uneducated criminals are more likely to be recidivists, because they are unemployable outside of the prison environment. Combine a lack of education with the surrounding social problems, and one has little hope that these impoverished areas will ever be able to escape their cycles of poverty and crime. One can understand why the people who are living in the conditions described in Kozol's book may use drugs or alcohol to escape the reality of their scenarios; the situation is so depressing that it would be soul-crushing for many to face those same circumstances every day. However, using drugs and alcohol impairs judgment, which only increases the likelihood of criminal behavior. Many of the families in these impoverished areas have criminal backgrounds, and, even if they want for their children to escape the harsh realities of their neighborhoods, the parents may lack the educational and social backgrounds to help their children escape those scenarios. The reality of these neighborhoods will not change without a significant social intervention that changes the totality of the neighborhoods.

From a punishment perspective, Kozol's book makes it clear that punishment alone is not going to be sufficient to change criminal behavior in these neighborhoods. With dropout rates of greater than 50%, the people in these areas are largely unemployable. Furthermore, they are most likely to know people that are uneducated and unemployed. The situation is one that not only creates the initial criminality, but virtually guarantees recidivist behavior upon release. Moreover, once a person has been convicted, if the crime was a felony, he or she loses the power to vote to try to change the situation for their neighborhood. They literally become non-participants in everyday society. It would be impossible to overstate the criminal justice related implications of Kozol's research.

For me, Kozol's book was extremely sobering. I have always considered myself aware of lingering racial inequality in the United States. I have friends from all different racial backgrounds and from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds and I considered myself very aware of disparity in America. However, I found myself disbelieving some of Kozol's descriptions. I simply could not acknowledge that these types of conditions could occur in modern-day America. Moreover, that people with the power to change those conditions refuse to change them, imparts willfulness to the disparity, which suggests that the evils of colonialism and the vestiges of slavery and Jim Crow still exist. Though there is an African-American man in the White House says less about race in America than the fact that African-American students are still expected to attend school with sewage running through the hallways. Finally, the book depressed me and made me feel guilty for not appreciating my own public education.

References

Kozol, J. (1991) Savage inequalities: children…[continue]

Cite This Essay:

"Savage Inequalities Jonathan Kozol's Savage" (2011, October 18) Retrieved November 29, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/savage-inequalities-jonathan-kozol-46552

"Savage Inequalities Jonathan Kozol's Savage" 18 October 2011. Web.29 November. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/savage-inequalities-jonathan-kozol-46552>

"Savage Inequalities Jonathan Kozol's Savage", 18 October 2011, Accessed.29 November. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/savage-inequalities-jonathan-kozol-46552

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Jonathan Kozol s Savage Inequalities Children

    Then the healthcare provided to rich and poor children is starkly different. Kozol suggests that African-American children do not get proper medical care which makes them more likely to fail in school. Then the high dropout rates among blacks confirm the racist biases of legislators who argue that spending on black children is bad investment. When Kozol visits a wealthy suburban school and talks to children in advanced schools,

  • Richard Dawkins the Selfish Gene Jonathan Kozol s

    Richard Dawkins' the Selfish Gene Jonathan Kozol's Savage Inequalities: Children America's Schools. Plus, read websites: http://www.ou./cls/online/lstd5013/dawkins.shtml http://salmonriver. Richard Dawkins' "The Selfish Gene" Jonathan Kozol's "Savage Inequalities: Children America's Schools" There has recently been much controversy regarding genes, as technology has made it possible for people to make intriguing discoveries regarding the topic and a series of individuals have come up with interesting theories concerning genes. Individuals like Richard Dawkins have gone even

  • Savage Inequalities Kozol J 1991

    Some newspapers, Kozol points out, muse in utilitarian terms. They argue that those children who are likely to produce more returns are likewise more deserving of financial support. But the most brutal irony of the way poor children are treated in New York is the fact that the legislators and the affluent public are more willing to spend money on incarceration than education of poor children. Most of the

  • Savage Inequalities Children in America s

    Kids are hungry, their parents are in jail, and the good schools are in the suburbs, where the Congress people live. Their schools are upscale and well funded, while the inner-city schools suffer all the same problems the schools in the other chapters faced. The administrators feel whites would do anything to keep blacks out of their schools, including move away if too many blacks came into the district.

  • Civic Values in the U S Restoring Democracy

    Civic Values in the U.S. Restoring democracy and civic virtue in the United States will require major reforms that reduce the power of corporations, elites and special interests in the whole political process. Right now, there is a radical disconnect between the political and economic elites and the needs and interests of the ordinary voters. Most people today realize that the country is in its worse crisis since the Great Depression

  • Paradigm Shift in Education Reform Using Thomas Kuhn Richard Dawkins...

    Education Reform A Paradigm Shift in Education Reform Basic ideas are not confined to one branch of science or one area of academic study; if it is a truly worthwhile idea it can be expanded to include many different area of science. The scientific method was at first thought to only be useful to those scientists who knew that they could find definitive answers such as mathematicians and physicists. The hard sciences

  • Survival Theory Richard Dawkins the

    As this meme passed down through generations, it became more pervasive and it also became more complete. When slavery in the New World began, both blacks and whites were enslaved, black slaves could gain freedom, and slavery was not a condition of birth. However, as that changed, the memes surrounding African-Americans also changed. Not only were blacks seen as not equal to whites, but they were seen as incapable


Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved