A friend sent a link to this short film about what's happened to the Wake County Public Schools system in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Wake system has built a reputation for school quality with a deep and abiding focus on inclusivity and socioeconomic integration as part of its district assignment policies. But that has changed in the last two years, as a political organization has inserted itself and its ideology into the school system through the local school board.
I considered whether or not it's really applicable to South Carolina, as our state never made a similar commitment to the spirit of integration. In fact, our leaders fought tooth and nail for as long as possible to prevent integration, then dragged our collective feet until the U.S. Supreme Court ordered us to make it happen. And through the present day, though we operate under the letter of the law, we certainly have encouraged and supported the efforts of groups and communities to build and operate racially-segregated academies. So in this regard, we're quite unlike Wake County in North Carolina.
But I decided to include this note because South Carolina -- thanks to our lingering lust for free market economics and Libertarian politics -- is fertile ground for interlopers who come bearing campaign contributions. Howard Rich is a prime example; would Joey Millwood have ousted former longtime Rep. Bob Walker of Landrum, and would Millwood now sit on the SCETV Board of Directors, without Rich's campaign aid?
No, Millwood and others are examples -- like Wake County, now -- of what happens when we all fall asleep at the switch.