Pierce Greenberg reports over at The City Paper that members of the Nashville chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People are disappointed with federal Judge Kevin Sharp's decision in a controversial Metro schools rezoning lawsuit.
Sharp's ruling — which coincidentally came on the same Friday that the state board of education permitted charter school Great Hearts Academies to open its first facility in the tony wilds of West Nashville — found that Metro didn't intend to segregate students in 2008 even though the policy they implemented causes de facto segregation "in effect." As far as intent is concerned, the legal analog here is manslaughter versus homicide: The former charge can be chalked up to negligence, whereas the latter denotes premeditation. Either way, somebody got got.
In response, Music City NAACP members pointed out the obvious — that fundamental inequities remain and are not addressed — as Greenberg reports:
“I understand the decision that was made ... but what they missed in this and what is missed in the opinion and the discussion that is taking place is that they have failed to recognize the kind of inequities that continue to exist,” said Rev. Sonnye Dixon, pastor of Hobson United Methodist Church in East Nashville.
“We continue to have places where we’re not getting the employment opportunities. So this was just one symptom, one group of people who cried out and said ‘We’re sick and tired of it.’... My fear is that if this community doesn’t continue to recognize this institutional racism that continues to treat a certain group of people as if they are somehow on a plantation, that those who continue to suffer will at some point raise up.”
Plaintiff Frances Spurlock, meanwhile, has indicated to media that she plans to appeal the case — which could easily find itself on a Supreme Court docket in due time, because Tennessee education issues are just that awesome.