Inequality is Savage

Savage Inequalities is a master work in writing by author/teacher/critical idealist Johnathan Kozol. Kozol's research is rooted in his visits to urban schools in East St. Louis, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and New Jersey. He comes to find an unequal school system, in which minority schoolchildren receive an inferior education and exposure to opportunity in comparison to their white counterparts. Kozol contends we can give poor minority children a more equal chance if tax and funding inequalities are overcome. In the text, Kozol paints offers a disturbing picture of dilapidated school buildings, inadequate supplies and learning tools, and the salaries necessary to attract good teachers.

Kozol repeatedly contrasts urban and suburban schools, and blames a socially unjust, uncaring, and greedy society for this massive discrepancy. He likens the scenario in the educational system to a game of little league baseball; suggesting that suburban kids have gloves, bats, and uniforms while urban youth are playing only with their own hands and the clothes on their back. Kozol furthers the comparison by saying that within the baseball context most suburban dwellers would see this contest as unfair and unethical, they seemingly don't have a problem with the educational system being funded and run this way.

Despite the massive obstacles that are omnipresent in their life, some urban young people defy the odds. By hearing the voices of intelligent, articulate, inner-city youth, Kozol combats stereotypes and white privilege by challenging and challenges the comfortable assumptions present in most suburban neighborhoods. As John Lennon said, just "imagine" what urban (and rural) young people could do on a level, equal playing field.

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