Racism Doesn’t Pay

What would this look like in the United States?

A story in today’s New York Times describes the court case against Japan’s Zaitokukai, in which the far-right group had to pay a hefty fine for shouting its racist ideology at a Japanese school.

Image Source: Wikipedia

Image Source: Wikipedia

The school apparently served young people of Korean ethnicity.  The far-right group protested outside the school, calling the children “spies and cockroaches.”

Is this sort of Asian race-baiting translatable?

In other words, what would this sort of racism look like in the United States?

Unfortunately, it is all too easy to see the woeful results of structural racism in America’s schools.  Schools are still often segregated by race.  Those with mostly African American students often lack the resources of schools for mostly white students.  And the educational legacy of white supremacy has often been part of America’s official educational policies, as historians such as David Blight have argued.

Even granting all that, however, I have a hard time imagining this sort of vicious race-baiting in any American city.  Maybe I’m naïve, but I can’t picture any group these days picketing a majority-African American school and shouting racial epithets.  Would the equivalent be something like the infamous Westboro Baptist Church rallies?  Even those, however, cling not to America’s racist past, but rather to an extremist religious vision.  I say again, I can’t imagine any large group shouting racist taunts at African American children.

Is this another case where my suburban liberal upbringing has left me painfully unaware of the realities of American schooling?