We interrupt our regularly scheduled program for a bit of shilling. Today I start a new gig as a columnist at Salon. It’ll be bimonthly (or is it biweekly? I can never get those two words straight.) I’m excited, if a bit nervous, about this venture. But if it goes south, I’m going to blame Henry; when I asked him if I should do it, he gave me his blessing (albeit with reservations.) Anyway, here’s my debut column: on racism, privilege talk, and schools.

Facebook can be a weird place on Martin Luther King Day. Some of my friends post famous passages from MLK’s speeches. Others post statistics on racial inequality. Still others, mostly white parents, post photographs of their children assembled in auditoriums and schoolyards. These are always hopeful images, the next generation stirring toward interracial harmony. Except for one thing: nearly everyone in the photos is … white.

In her public school this year, my first-grade daughter learned that Daisy Bates helped integrate the Little Rock schools. She knows that Ella Baker, someone I’d never heard of till I went to college, was part of the civil rights movement. Meanwhile, her school has a combined black and Latino population of 15 percent, down from nearly 30 percent just seven years ago.

In school, white children are taught to be conscious of race and racism in a way I never was when I was as a kid in the 1970s. Yet they go to schools that are in some respects more segregated now than they were in the 1970s….

Microsoft Word recognizes the word “desegregate.” It doesn’t recognize “resegregate.”

The way we live now is not reflected in the way we talk. Or type.

You can read more here.

And if you have suggestions for topics I should write about in my column—stories not being reported, books not being reviewed, ideas not being discussed—please don’t hesitate to email me at corey.robin@gmail.com. I’ll be looking for material.

Sunday photoblogging: Florence, La Specola

by Chris Bertram on March 8, 2015

18th-century wax model for medical training. An essential place to visit in Florence.