Widgets Magazine


Overcoming the racist state

This quarter so far has been making me increasingly impatient about social justice and agitating for meaningful social change. Having seen structural racism, unemployment, underemployment and class inequality in such extremes, I have been at a loss for words as to how anyone can be of the mind that there’s a fighting chance for a just future based on our society’s current trajectory. (“Society” here refers to South Africa, but can also refer to my feelings about injustice in the United States.) It seems impossible to simply transition out of the apartheid regime and create a just society.

As one of our class readings describes, the apartheid educational system – which was structurally designed to turn blacks into members of the lowest caste – was not rebuilt to suit the needs of addressing the damage of segregation. Instead, the transition sought one national curriculum that applied the same standards to all racial groups, even though members of these groups were at vastly different learning levels. Educational justice would have featured a system that re-educated the generations of blacks failed by the Bantu Education Act, a system that recognized that the most disadvantaged of the present generation of students require different pedagogical needs and approaches than their most-privileged counterparts.

While we sat in a high-achieving STEM high school during our first week listening to what the program does for its learners, I was stuck pondering one big question. Why it is that, when legal barriers to structural inequality are removed (ending of apartheid and Jim Crow), structurally disadvantaged groups (blacks in South Africa and the United States) are forced to succeed in the same system that previously sought to limit them? In other words, why are these groups expected to accustom themselves to – and succeed within – structures (like primary, secondary and tertiary education) that were part of old systems of oppression? Why, instead, don’t we redesign our primary, secondary and tertiary schools to accommodate the specific, historic and present needs of these structurally oppressed groups? Why don’t we judge learners not by the tests they were set up to fail, nor the university attainment they were intended never to achieve, but by something else?

The social problems of South Africa, while certainly specific to the context of this country’s history, do not seem that far off from social problems of the United States – particularly those involving (black) minorities in the post-Jim Crow era. It has surprised me so far to hear some of my peers lament about how the educational system fails learners in the townships in ways that are incomparable to educational inequity in the United States. In some states and cities, and particularly within communities of color, there is also overcrowding, underfunding, lack of books or physical education classes (I spent about half of my seven years of NYC public education without any PE classes), issues of students joining gangs, etc. While the magnitude of inequality is different, the issues at stake are the same, as are the underlying causes of such problems. (The same goes for issues of poverty, unemployment, and underemployment.)

This brings me to return to one of my initial comments: that a “just” society seems impossible to achieve under present conditions. To elaborate on this, I begin in the American context: from the country’s founding moment, the United States defined blackness as something excluded from the category of humanity (i.e. “all men are created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights” did not apply to blacks [or women, or indigenous peoples]). By defining blackness as something non-human, slave owners were able to justify the coerced labor of one group to extract profits that fueled the development of the American state and empire of wealth (through cotton, tobacco, and sugar, among others). “Emancipation” did not place blacks on an even playing field with respect to their structural underdevelopment in education, occupational skills, property and wealth – nor did the Civil Rights Movement. As long as America simply removes barriers without recompense or altering its structure, blacks will always maintain a disadvantaged position in American society.

In a similar vein, apartheid (while designed along lines of race) effectively served to police and exploit labor and profits. Systems of dehumanization and segregation provided the bulk of the working class for the sectors in which we continue to see labor issues today (namely farming and mining). Miseducating and undereducating blacks ensured they would inherit the least desirable of jobs. Relocating blacks and colored people away from the city center and into townships ensured that access to power, development and resources remained in white hands.

Apartheid is no longer legal, but its geography, its structural under-education and its class exploitation remain intact.

While I came into this program with a strong critical consciousness, my first three weeks traveling around have sharpened it to the point where I am incredibly impatient for social action. For me, being a “global citizen” means more than being educated or sympathetic about social issues; it is more than doing service. Global citizenship means taking up an active struggle to work with oppressed and marginalized groups around the world to address the systematic inequality and injustice we face.

Recognizing that – just as with service – uncritical and unintentional activism can do more harm than good in an unfamiliar context, my challenge for the next few weeks is to figure out ways that I can meaningfully and helpfully contribute to movements of people actively fighting against the walls closing in around them every day.

Contact Kristian at kbailey@stanford.edu.

About Kristian Davis Bailey

Kristian Davis Bailey is a junior studying Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity. A full time journalist/writer and occasional student, he's served as an Opinion section editor, News writer and desk editor for The Daily, is a community liaison for Stanford STATIC, the campus' progressive blog and journal, and maintains his own website, 'With a K.' He's interested in how the press perpetuates systems of oppression and seeks to use journalism as a tool for dismantling such systems.
  • wtf

    YOU WENT TO DALTON (a fact you leave out, though you manage to mention your years in public school). Now you’re writing about oppressive educational institutions? Dalton is like the archetypal exclusive educational institution. Seeing as you’re now at Stanford, it seems like you benefitted rather nicely from an educational institution originally designed to create a privileged class. It’s offensive to say we need to change the system to benefit previously oppressed classes as it hints at some form of inherent difference between races inherent intellectual capacity. Congrats you got to Stanford and read a few articles but please stop regurgitating your CSRE readings onto the pages of the Daily until you can produce more than this wandering attempt to make some sort of a point.

  • Havermeyer

    Get over yourself.

  • failed logic

    Because experiencing Dalton’s structures of exclusion immediately bans Kristian from critiquing them? So, by your logic, no one who attends Stanford, where half the student body pays full tuition, is allowed to criticize its myth of meritocracy – or the social relations that make exclusionary systems of accreditation possible? Since we’re all complicit to some degree in oppressive systems, none of us is allowed to fight our complicity? In your universe critique is not possible for anyone, so neither is change. At least you’re reflexive: don’t leave comments on articles “until you can produce more than this wandering attempt to make some sort of a point.”

  • MMD

    I’m pretty sure you’re a Social Darwinist…

    I’m also pretty sure that you don’t understand the fundamental argument Kristian is making. Kristian is certainly not saying that we should just reduce standards in schools in order to make up for racially designated intellectual capacities. That’s an absurd, draconian interpretation that makes me think you can’t see passed your own privilege and perspective. Kristian is just trying to make the point that because the law no longer stipulates segregation and discrimination and racism, does not mean that the social and economic structures, which are the true administers of the law, will also miraculously function the way the law calls for. In fact, it’s these structures that still uphold policies of segregation, discrimination, and racism in the US even after the end of slavery, the civil rights movement, and the first black president. Check out Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow.” Apartheid may have legally ended in 1991, but it’s still alive and well within the systems that were originally used to implement what is now the out-dated law. It’s far easier to amend the language of legislation and end state-sponsored killing and violence than it is to rework entire economic and social systems. Very little beyond legislation ever changed…the foot soldiers that were used to carry out the dirty work of apartheid or Jim Crow are still in play and will continue to oppress and marginalize black South Africans and black Americans until people like you get over yourself and being to critically understand your environment and the systems that actually construct oppression. And unfortunately, like Kristian laments in his article, social change at this magnitude will take decades of work to improve even marginally. Kristian, like many true “global citizens,” is reflecting on this bleak and frustrating realization.

    Kristian – brilliant article! Keep your head up! Don’t let white supremacists who can’t tell their mouth from their asshole deter you. I would like to remind you of an MLK quote you once reminded me of: “The arch of history is long, but it bends towards justice.” We will fight: steady, strategic, intentional, critical. It’s not flashy and it’s not quick, but it will get us to that elusive “better tomorrow.”

  • Thank you, MMD – and failed logic.

    Wtf, otherwise, I’m not sure what you’re getting at beyond that I went to a private school for high school.

    it sounds like you’re saying that because someone decided to give me a scholarship to a private school (and another one to attend Stanford), our educational system no longer functions to create a privileged elite and I should not be talking about the disparities that exist in American education. Failed logic has already addressed that point.

    if you have a point of contention you’d like to discuss, please raise it.

  • Curious

    Kristian, I am curious and have a few questions:

    Do you think that kids in a classroom should receive differing levels of support from teachers and tutors based on their race (i.e. asian, white, black, latino kids get differing levels of educational support)?

    If not, specifically how would you implement this: “Educational justice would have featured a system that re-educated the generations of blacks failed by the Bantu Education Act, a system that recognized that the most disadvantaged of the present generation of students require different pedagogical needs and approaches than their most-privileged counterparts.”?

    How would you propose evaluating people (i.e. “Why don’t we judge learners not by the tests they were set up to fail, nor the university attainment they were intended never to achieve, but by something else?”)? Do you think we should have differing standardized tests for students of different races?

    Can you concisely and clearly define what you mean by a “just future”, “just society”?

    I am aware that these are tough questions and I’m genuinely interested in solutions that you may have in mind. Thanks!

  • Dexter

    Just curious if you personally felt like you had to work harder than your white, asian, or latino peers to get to where you are?Also, I went to a NYC public high school. It wasn’t that bad bro.

  • Hey curious:

    To answer your first question: yes. In the case of South Africa, I think its completely necessary for educational policy to be designed around the specific history and needs of black South Africans. Oppression was dealt most harshly and felt most heavily by that group. White South Africans were privileged by a system that guaranteed their economic success, while black South Africans suffered from a system that guaranteed their underdevelopment. Cape Town and South Africa require different thinking than the United States given that the city and nation are majority Black.

    Part of the solution could be as simple as acknowledging the realities of our past and present in the classroom: acknowledging that our nations are built on fundamental racism; acknowledging that structural underdevelopment of our communities does exist; acknowledging that learners’ lived experiences of struggle do not exist in a vacuum that “school” and “education” cannot accomodate.

    By barring the “real world” from entering the classroom and painting a picture of school in a vacuum, the “abnormal” situation is the learner who does not meet school standards, while the normal or default phenomenon is a society and educational system that systematically underdevelops a large portion of the society. Whereas it should be expected that learners from certain backgrounds are likely (even guaranteed) to fail given certain factors around them, and the “weird” phenomenon should be that we live in a society that functions this way.

    By just future and just society, I mean one in which the systematic exploitation of various minority groups is eliminated from the state and whatever mode of production exists.

    The first step towards getting there is having a society that acknowledges past injustices and compensates injured groups directly for their suffering and goes out of its way to make sure those individuals and groups have the institutional resources necessary for their success.

    On standardized testing and race, I’ll just point to Hunter and Stuyvesant High School in NYC as case studies: in a city where students are majority (70%) black or Hispanic, these groups make up between 1 and 3% of the best public high schools in New York. This is largely due to the resource gap that sees white and Asian families having greater access and ability to pay for tutoring services than black and hispanic families: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/05/nyregion/05hunter.html

    Grace Lee Boggs has written well on why its problematic to ignore what goes in the communities outside of the classroom and on what productive, engaged learning might look like. I can’t find the full chapter, but check this out from a speech she gave in 2002: http://www.boggscenter.org/paradigm-shift.shtml


  • Hey Dexter,

    I can’t say whether I worked harder than my peers of other races.

    I can say that there are greater structural barriers to the success of black and Latino students (male students especially) – and that as a group, we have to work harder than other groups to succeed. Racial profiling, police brutality, and the cradle to prison pipeline come to mind here.

    I can also say that from looking at my (black) peers from elementary and middle school, it is unlikely I would have gotten into Stanford without a private school education.

    The black and hispanic male graduation rate in NYC was 37% in 2012. I am by no means saying that I would not have finished high school–my column is not about my experience. I’m saying there’s something structurally wrong when the education system fails to work for 63% of black and brown males in NYC (and similarly high rates elsewhere in the country and the world for various underdeveloped groups).


  • Smh

    I don’t like your statement. There are CLEAR disparities between the quality of NYC public high schools depending on what neighborhood you grew up in. ie. I went to Hunter College High School which is technically a public school but is one of the top public schools in the country. About 4 students from Hunter go to Stanford every year. This a completely different world from a lot of the public schools in Harlem, the Bronx, Washington Heights, Queens, Brooklyn that have low funding and abismal graduation rates. Bro.

  • Curious

    Hi Kristian,

    Thanks for the thoughtful response. I appreciate it. I have a few thoughts in response.

    I agree that the population of South Africa may be more easily separable into two distinct groups, based on race, than in the America. I also think that a blanket approach applied to the two races may not take into account other important variables. As in the U.S., there are other factors within racial groups that play important roles in educational development, such as the socio-economic background of parents and learning disabilities, to cite a few. I’d rather advocate a system that takes into account the factors that may impede each kid, and give them support accordingly. This is challenging, yet recent developments in educational technology are making more personalized education within reach. The point here is that I acknowledge your point that race can be taken into account in tailoring an educational program to help a kit, yet I’d also recommend considering numerous other factors in the solution.

    Regarding the second paragraph, I have a few thoughts. a) If we’re going to acknowledge that the nation was conceived with racist assumptions, its also worth acknowledging the huge progress that has been made since then. I’m relatively confident that you’d agree that, to take the case of America, this country is not defined just by its founding, but by events you mention, such as the Civil rights movement, that have taken into account since then. The point I’m getting at here is that while America was founded with some deeply flawed notions, the history rises above that. b) Sure, acknowledgment is a step, yet I don’t think its a solution. It may make people more aware of problems or more open-minded to thinking about solutions, yet its not a solution in itself. I’m not criticizing – it’s something I’m thinking about myself. The challenge I’ll lay down though is that you mention that you’re wanting to think about taking real action: what solutions can you develop to actually make a difference in this area?

    I agree with your third paragraph.

    In terms of your definition of a just society, a) I’d broaden it from “various minority groups”. In particular, wouldn’t a just society apply its justice to all groups, including all minority groups and members of majority groups? b) Another quibble is around what we mean be systematic exploitation. Some definitions include “use or utilization, especially for profit”, “selfish utilization”, ” to take advantage of (a person, situation, etc), esp unethically or unjustly for one’s own ends”. I’d argue that certain kinds of the former definitions can be good; I get a job because the employer thinks he can get more value from my labor than he will pay me, etc. I’m not arguing for pure Adam Smith style invisible-hand free markets, and I acknowledge that there can be moral issues with markets; however, market systems that can utilize self-interest can be a powerful alleviator of poverty and creator of wealth. My point is that its more of cases of non-voluntary exploitation or prejudiced/unequal application of services, such as education, that I would take issue with. c) a similar point, yet applying to “whatever mode of production exists”, is that certain organizations (e.g. for or non-profits) may want to make systematic, meritocratic discriminations (i.e. who gets a job) that are cases that can be argued to be worth upholding.

    Fourth paragraph: I take issue with justifying this on the grounds of past injustices. Do you inherit the guilt and misdeeds of your ancestors? Do you inherit the recompense? However, I’m fully for providing additional resources on the grounds of giving each kid what they need to reach their potential.

    Thanks for the example. I think a better system is to evaluate the standardized scores with a weighting that takes into account a kids background, rather than having no standardization. Standardization is what allows us to identify these kinds of disparities; giving people different tests would lead to segregation and would make it easier to conceal inequality.

    Thanks for the link. I’ll check it out.

    Good luck on your thinking in SA. The main area I’ll push you towards is thinking through how we could come up with real solutions to these issues.

  • Asians

    What about Asians? They represent a significant minority group, often from immigrant families or broken homes that are wildly successful in our education. Maybe there’s something that has to change from with the Black and Latino communities. Examples could include role models, family dynamics and cultural stresses. Society affects minority communities, obviously, but the culture of that community is important. South Africa and the US are different in one other major aspect that hasn’t been stressed here. Blacks only account for 13% of the US population, 90% of the South African population. How accommodating the US should have to be to such small percentages, and what that looks like, is far different from South Africa’s needs.

  • Agreed!

  • I’m going to ask you to be really cautious about what you’re saying/implying, here:

    “Examples could include role models, family dynamics and cultural stresses. Society affects minority communities, obviously, but the culture of that community is important.”

    It sounds like you’re saying one of the primary causes for the underperformance of black and latino communities stems from the culture of those communities. Is that a correct reading?

    “Blacks only account for 13% of the US population, 90% of the South African population. How accommodating the US should have to be to such small percentages, and what that looks like, is far different from South Africa’s needs.”

    It also sounds like you’re saying that the needs of and resources of the black American community do not need to be accommodated as urgently because black “only account for” over a tenth of the population.

    Could you clarify/elaborate on these points?

  • Thanks curious, as you push me, I push back! 🙂

    Responding to an essay is hard, so I’ll try to limit these to one point.

    *”Past injustices” are present injustices: stepping outside a strictly individualist frame of the world, I am a continuation of my mother (the first in her family to attend college), am an extension of my grandmother (who moved from North Carolina to New York the day she graduated high school), am an extension of her parents (farmers), am an extension of theirs and their parents (one of these two generations were slaves). What we’re talking about here are not simply the misdeeds of ancestors perpetrated against mine, we’re talking about the intentional, state-sanctioned dehumanization, exploitation, segregation, discrimination and underdevelopment of an entire race – upon which the wealth and stability of this country was founded. None of these issues has ended – not with emancipation, not with the Civil Rights Movement, and certainly not with the election of Barry O’B.

    I don’t ask this antagonistically, but how do you think this country’s history has risen above its deeply flawed notions regarding race and discrimination?

    This was a question we interrogated in Modern African American History last quarter. Read the introductions of “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander (which we read for the class) or “How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America” by Manning Marrable (which I finished this week) for a better understanding of how I’ve come to the view I have. (Both books are excellent in their entirety.)

  • Some thoughts

    I didn’t write the comment above, yet I’ll respond with some thoughts to your questions, Kristian.

    It depends on what we mean by culture. If we mean the collection of beliefs, attitudes, commonly held values, etc that a group holds, then it might well have an impact. I’ll give an example then the abstract point.

    Example: some people go to high schools where huge portions of students don’t graduate; some people go to high schools where its almost unthinkable not to go to college. What is the difference here? Yes, there are many factors at play, including the level of attainment students with an inferior level of support have achieved, yet a factor here may be what we mean by culture. Expectations, which are a part of culture, matter. If you’re expected to not finish high school, that has an effect; if you’re absolutely expected to go to college, that has an effect.

    My point is that if you disagree with his sentiment it is likely that you agree when culture is used by other names.

    What lead to that culture? Well, that’s involved a lot of what you mentioned above in your article. However, now that we’re here, what do we do? One opinion is that a critical action-oriented activist, which is what you would like to become, would analyze the effect of a group’s culture and think about how to change it.

    Two final contextual points worth keeping in mind:

    – although it seems you’re not the biggest fan of the President, he takes an interesting approach here: “eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white.” http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/2004_Democratic_National_Convention_Keynote_Address – essentially, he is acknowledging a piece of insidious, limiting culture and attacking it.

    – While Weber’s “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” has a lot to critique, it’s still one of the founding works of sociology and the point that culture has an impact on economic performance is one that may still be worth analyzing.

    I won’t speak much to his second point, except to say that I think he was meaning that we have a much more diverse populating in America and so its harder to apply the kind of more binary solutions that may make sense in SA. Complications involve a larger number of racial groups, a growing multiracial community, non-racial oppressed minorities or individuals, etc.

  • Thanks for your thoughts!

    I respectfully reject that Obama limits and attacks insidious culture affecting blacks. His 2008 Father’s Day speech implicates him very deeply in it:

    “Too many fathers are M.I.A, too many fathers are AWOL, missing from too many lives and too many homes,” Mr. Obama said, to a chorus of approving murmurs from the audience. “They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.”

    What Obama ignores, and what Michelle Alexander calls out in “The New Jim Crow” is that many black fathers are AWOL or MIA, but behind bars at the hand of a structurally racist (in)justice system. He perpetuates the notion that (poor and working class) black culture is lazy and to fault for its own dysfunctions. He also perpetuates the myth that “all you have to do is work hard” to get out of the stronghold of poverty, racism, and class exploitation that is a necessary feature of capitalism.


    So insofar as “culture” may mean things like “expectations”, I still reject that it is black or Latino (poor and working class) culture that needs to change. Our “expectations” and therefore culture are grounded in material reality. In the seventh grade, the adults at young male mentoring group at my church lined us up, had us count off from one to four and then told us that every fourth of us would be incarcerated at some point in our lives (this figure is 1 in 3 for hispanic males born after 2000). When the expectation is incarceration, police brutality, no justice from the “justice” system, and a society that mistrusts and discriminates against poor and working class, black and brown men and women, the culture that arises from this has nothing to do with our communities.

    The effects of the specificity that I think is necessary to grant the history and politics of black oppression within the educational system necessarily spill over to the next most marginalized groups of students (in urban populations).

    The same racist capitalism and “democracy” that utilized coerced slave labor for profit then underdeveloped black life for the purposes of low-cost wage labor; following civil rights legislation and the globalization of capital that we’re used to today, racist logic of capital shifted south, west and east, to utilize the third world labor (which is necessarily black and brown) to serve the same ends. So we wind up with underemployment and structural unemployment of poor and working class blacks (who are no longer needed by the system), the use of (hispanic) migrant groups and the subaltern poor for cheap labor, and the influx of immigrants and refugees from the countries we now exploit.

    Class oppression becomes tied up with racial oppression across most minority groups. Poor whites, who have historically resisted organization under unions out of refusal to work with black workers also get the short end of the stick due to racism.

    So I maintain that just as racist capitalism against blacks birthed a lot of the oppression of our modern age, the solution to the oppression of all these groups (within the context of the US) lies in addressing the original victims of modern racism. We need to address the specificity of blackness in the context of America, capitalism and exploitation.

  • Dexter

    All I’m saying is that it’s not an automatic condemnation to mediocrity if you go to NYC public school. I went to a public high school in Queens (idk if Queens and Brooklyn can unilaterally be considered poor neighborhoods but that’s a different argument), not one of the specialized schools.

    I’d also like to point out that students are not limited to one high school choice. The city provides ways for students to apply to other high schools. Some of the draws were random, others merit based when I went through the process (around 2002, I don’t know what it’s like now). I know PLENTY of black and latino students that came to my high school that were not zoned for it and did really well for themselves, and a lot of white and asian students that did poorly. And frankly I know a lot of students that simply lied about their address to go to better schools. Nothing is handed to you that’s for sure, but you can make the system work for you if take full advantage of every opportunity broseph.

  • I went to a public school in Princeton. Children of professors were generally, due to lots of parental tutoring and other support, channeled into AP classes and honors classes, which also got better teachers than the mediocre classes other children were put into. The school got rated nicely for having a lot of good test scores, but the inequality was very much along racial lines (basically White and Asian vs Black and Latino) and that was pretty obvious even within my group-that-ate-lunch-together.

    I also gave tutoring support in a K-8 public school in Philadelphia for a year, a school which really lacked for support staff overall. They channeled most of their Asian students into 1/3 of their school which had teachers who had to commit more time, and otherwise obviously better educational standards; most of the Black and Latino students (almost no students were white even if light-skinned) were put in the “bad” 2/3. This too was related to parents, plus many kids were taking ESL and overwhelmingly they were in the “bad” group. The point is this school was listed as failing guidelines but even within that it had obvious racial gaps, and completely failed to connect to students’ cultures despite the amazing diversity they had represented in large numbers–many kids from the US, Haiti, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, and Fuzhou and Canton (China). The whole school knew this but nobody talked about it. When I was asked to name a racist dynamic in the school and said t, apparently that was a really big deal. And I was asked this in the context of a meeting where we were supposed to be using a book called “Courageous Conversations about Race”, which suggested that a great thing to do would be to celebrate kids’ own cultures!

    Moreover, the students in the “bad” group felt so undervalued and many of them got angry and were put in detentions by the security guard or kicked out; actual counseling or positive engagement with those kids was rare and was done by the teachers and staff on their own time whenever they could spare it, or by us volunteers. You could see the school-to-prison pipeline right there and it continues to make me so angry.

    So yeah, the racism in the system can be about what school you’re in and what resources that school has. It can also be about how that school treats different students and does not deal with their cultures and expectations.

  • The culture of each community is important! It is very important for the White community in America to learn to respect, communicate and cooperate with people of other cultures.

  • Asians

    Yes, I am saying that there are certain behaviors exhibited by black and Latino communities, such as broken families, drugs, gangs and a deemphasis on education that contribute to their stunted social progress. It’s a cycle that feeds into itself. Absent parents can be a combination of higher crime (and subsequent imprisonment) coupled with a cultural deemphasis on fathering. Likewise, a student may feel basketball is his only option out of the innercity because he has no black role models, and these ideas are perpetuated by his peers.

    And yes, the difference in population sizes between the US and SA means resources should be allocated differently, that’s all the statement is. A comparison between the two countries that doesn’t recognize this distinction is faulty.

    And no, you didn’t address why Asians are more successful, despite often being from broken/immigrant homes and the presence of Asian gangs. Asians, a more significant minority than blacks, seem to do quite well in the NYC testing schools.