Two trends thwarted effective integration in Arkansas' schools. By fleeing from Little Rock to outlying communities that were essentially all white, parents ensured their children would continue attending all white schools. Of course white flight was a national phenomenon and primarily economic rather than racially motivated. But the effect was especially marked in Arkansas. Panderbear has relatives who fled to the suburbs to avoid having their children attend integrated schools.
The other phenomenon, apparently far more common in the South than elsewhere, was the rise of the Christian Academy. Arkansas is now awash in Christian Academies. Whether there is outright discrimination in the application process Panderbear cannot say, but the additional expense of sending children to private academies ensures attendees are among the more affluent and in Arkansas that means white.
The end result is that segregation never really ended, it was privatized. Never mind that separate is inherently unequal. Never mind that parents are harming their own children by preventing them from learning lessons that come by exposure to diversity of race, culture, and religion. Never mind that parents sending their children to private schools vote against spending more on public schools, while decrying the low quality of public education. Arkansans seem oblivious to these wrongs. Don't expect Arkansas' politicians, whether Republican or conservative Democrat, to ever address the harmful effects of de facto segregation. Unfortunately, it is the children, not their intolerant parents or the pandering politicians, who continue to pay the price.
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