What’s wrong with segregation? I ask my students this when we talk about the underlying causes of the Tulsa Race Riots. To their credit, some variation of ‘separate is inherently unequal’ eventually surfaces, whether they know Brown v. Board or not. They understand intuitively that when two groups are persistently kept apart, one will likely get a better deal than the other.
But what if it COULD be equal? We have Men’s bathrooms and Women’s bathrooms – separate, but similar. What if we could guarantee consistent quality, and equal value? Would segregation still be bad?