NEWS FROM THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY
2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Suite 100
Washington DC 20037
For release: June 5, 1997
For additional information:
George Getz, Deputy Director of Communications
Phone: (202) 333-0008 Ext. 222
Why are public schools more segregated,but marriages becoming more integrated?
WASHINGTON, DC -- America is becoming more racially divided and segregated. No, America is becoming more racially integrated and
Actually, both statements are true, the Libertarian Party says, depending on who's in charge -- private citizens or the government.
"The evidence is clear: If you want a racially divided society, get politicians to start passing laws," said Steve Dasbach, the party's national chairman. "If you want to promote harmony and tolerance, put your trust in individuals and the free market."
Need proof? Dasbach cited two new studies -- one showing that America is fracturing on racial lines, and one showing that racial togetherness is flourishing like never before.
* A new study by the Harvard Graduate School of Education entitled "Deepening Segregation in American Public Schools" reveals that "segregation is spreading" in government schools. The study, taken between 1968 and 1994, reports that segregation of black and Hispanic students is surging -- despite the government's 43-year campaign to mandate integration.
* But new research by the Bureau of the Census discovered that intermarriages between blacks and whites are skyrocketing. Since 1970, the number of interracial marriages has grown from less than 400,000 to more than 1.5 million. The number of interracial children has quadrupled to more than 2 million. And by 1993, one in every eight African-American marriages included a white spouse -- the highest percentage in American history.
"Marriages are becoming more integrated. Government schools are becoming more segregated. How do we explain this paradox?" asked Dasbach. "The answer is simple: The government is in charge of schools. And individuals are in charge of marriage."
Coincidence? Not at all, said Dasbach. Instead, it's the result of a fundamental difference between the government and individuals.
"Government politicizes every decision and creates battling special interest groups," he said. "In fact, politicians maintain their power by encouraging conflict and divisiveness -- and by handing out
favors and privileges to the people who win political battles.
"The result? Throughout history, certain groups have been able to use the power of government to turn their prejudices into law: Through slavery, Jim Crow laws, apartheid, affirmative action, restrictions on voting, and so on. In other words, racism gets perpetuated through too much government, not through too much freedom."
The answer is not to turn to more government for solutions, said Dasbach, but to keep government from doing harm. "The answer is to trust people to do the decent thing, and give them the freedom to do what is right," he asserted.
"In America, in those areas where we've kept the government out -- in marriage and most interpersonal relations -- racial tolerance is flourishing. But where the government is most involved -- in education, especially grade schools and high schools -- we see more racial hostility and segregation," he said.
"So, America has a choice to make: Do we want to repeat the mistakes that created more school segregation -- or encourage the trends that sparked more intermarriages? In other words, should we put our trust in government or individuals to create a more tolerant society? The answer should be obvious."
The Libertarian Party opposes government discrimination of any kind. The party believes the only way to create a harmonious society -- with opportunity for all -- is by making sure that the heavy hand of government is not used to pass laws against, or restrict economic opportunities for, any group or individual.