Sunday, January 06, 2008

Separate But Inequal

Irish Travellers have their own traditions, which largely revolve around travelling. They're part of the Emerald Isle's scenery, wandering the roads in their caravans, being colorful for the tourists. Father MacGreil thinks they need their own schools to help them preserve their culture and banish discrimination of the travelling set.

Black folks in the U.S. should be able to relate to the concept. They had their own schools at one time, yet they failed to see the benefits. How many young men have been accused of acting white when they excel at their integrated school? It's the infusion of Caucasian culture that's the cause, and it wouldn't happen if children of color were attending schools that were segregated.

Conditions for the Travellers would improve if their children weren't in school with everyone else, according to Father MacGreil. If Travellers had their own separate but equal facilities, they could preserve their culture of grinding poverty and illiteracy in peace. While they are there, the rest of us would learn to respect Traveller culture and then, in the future, we could all just get along.

Look at how smoothly the Old South ran, when the black folks had their own place and knew enough to keep it. How much better it could be for the Travellers if Ireland were to take a page from Lester Maddox's playbook.

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