Stinker Quote of the Week: 'Diversity'

"Are we doing anything to increase our diversity?"

— Ward 1 Councilman Quentin Whitwell questioning Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Cedrick Gray on the racial makeup of JPS, where the student population is 98 percent black.

Why it stinks: As Dr. Gray, who seemed stupefied by Whitwell's question, rightly pointed out, JPS serves the kids who live in Jackson. Jackson is a city that is around 80 percent black. This racial imbalance in both Jackson and our public schools originated when thousands of white residents immediately took their kids out of Jackson Public Schools after the U.S. Supreme Court forced Mississippi to integrate in early 1970, and many fled to suburbs, taking their tax dollars with them. Most of the city's remaining 18 percent white population lives in north Jackson, which is the ward Whitwell represents. So it seems to us that if there's an imbalance in JPS' diversity, Whitwell should be asking his constituents—or better yet himself—how to fix it, not Dr. Gray.


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