We also cannot legislate a conscience or sense of morality. We have proved that forced busing weakens public education. We have a more segregated MCS than we had before busing. Why does anyone think that forcing county residents (some of whom moved away from Memphis to get away from forced busing) to merge with MCS will produce different results? We need a different approach. We need MAD: Mutually Assured Dedication.
Just what does that entail? MCS would agree not to relinquish its charter and SCS would not accept special-school-district status. If either school district did not live up to the agreement, the other would be entitled to deal its trump card.
MCS automatically would be part of the new SCS special school district if SCS obtained that status. Likewise, SCS would automatically be allowed to form a separate special school district should MCS try to force consolidation by renouncing its charter.Commissioner Warren suggests that we give up the last bit of leverage we have in this city? Sir, let me put this in the plainest of terms: you do NOT negotiate with economic terrorists. You do NOT try to shake hands with werewolves, you break out the silver bullets and SHOOT THEM. APPEASEMENT DOES NOT WORK. If he were alive, you could ask the aforementioned Mr. Chamberlain.
Commissioner, every Shelby County GOP legislator could try a faux attempt to stop such legislation (with a nod and a wink, no doubt) and watch "helplessly" as the SSD bill sailed through both houses and got signed by the Governor. THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE GOING TO DO BECAUSE THEY HAVE THE POWER TO DO IT. They have waited for 35 years to have this chance, and don't think for a second that they won't pass this legislation.
Oh, the residents of the areas in the county outside the city will cry and scream and threaten to sell their houses, but how many of them have underwater mortgages? Think they will be ABLE to sell them at anything close to what they paid, even if this fails? I'll let Senator Clay Davis of Baltimore, Maryland answer that one.
In short, we have them by the short and curlies, and we need to act NOW. Monday is the earliest possible moment, and I urge EVERY MEMPHIS CITIZEN to contact their MCS Commissioner to urge them to vote for surrender of the MCS Charter. Ok, don't bother with Reverend Whalum, he can't be moved, but work on the others. We MUST surrender this charter; John Branston was spot-on in his Flyer column this week and he says the very same thing!
Ross also has a great piece up on this situation; he's more well reasoned and nicer about this than I am, but well, that's why you come HERE, isn't it? :-)
I will end this by stealing a line from a guy who also happens to be from my old home town of Dixon, IL. To paraphrase ol' Ronnie:
MR. PICKLER, TEAR DOWN THAT WALL.