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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Wildcat columnists take on the issues – big and small – that shape our world

    Still separate, still unequal

    Nearly 50 years after President Eisenhower deployed troops to enforce racial integration in Arkansas schools, the Little Rock School District was released from federal court supervision. Some have declared that it’s an historic move, while others decry public schools in the district that are de facto segregated. Is this act merely symbolic?

    Big deal. Segregation is still rampant in our school districts. And the federal court, albeit making small improvements after the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, has done nothing presently to stop it. According to statistics, only 10 percent of white students today attend schools that have a predominantly minority population. The release of federal court supervision serves merely to give judges a pat on the back for doing absolutely nothing.

    – Jessica Wertz is a senior majoring in family studies and human development and psychology.

    Civil rights lawyer John Walker exaggerated when he called this “”a return to the concept of white supremacy”” but not by much. If Reconstruction proved one thing, it’s that the federal government has the responsibility to protect the rights of all citizens – and when it last ducked that responsibility, the result was a century of institutionalized racism. The Little Rock School District shouldn’t be let off the hook simply because 50 years have passed since a deranged governor called out the National Guard to keep black students from entering a “”whites-only”” high school. Judging by the racial disparity in Arkansas test scores, his spirit hasn’t left the building.

    – Justyn Dillingham is the copy chief for the Arizona Daily Wildcat and a junior majoring in political science and history.


    A dose of Wiki-reality?

    Middlebury College made headlines this week when its history department banned students from using an oft-cited research source – Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia. Critics of the decision say that Wikipedia is convenient and self-regulating, but others say the veracity of its information is suspect. Should students be allowed to use Wikipedia as a research source?

    Yes, Wikipedia should be allowed as a research source, and it boils down to basic probabilities. There is one version of the truth; there are infinite possible fabrications. And yet, for one of those fabrications to perpetuate itself for long periods of time on the self-editing slate of Wikipedia is well nigh impossible. It would require a collusion amongst hundreds and thousands of people – all agreeing on one version of a non-truth. Please. A better policy would be to double-check Wikipedia citations after some given period ð- say, two weeks. If there are no changes in the facts, all the better.

    – Matt Stone is a senior majoring in international studies and
    economics.

    Sure, using Wikipedia is easy, but it kind of negates the whole point of doing research or of learning at all. Scanning a Wikipedia entry is hardly an effort, and it’s not going to broaden anyone’s mind. If every student in a class gets their information from Wikipedia, every paper’s going to be exactly the same. The result isn’t morally wrong, but it’s boring and makes the research process somewhat pointless. It’s really not that hard to find a few books at your library, and you learn more about your topic as you look through the resources that are there.

    – Lillie Kilburn is a psychology sophomore.

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