The debate over Chicago school closings has taken an ugly turn in recent weeks with the charge that city and school leaders are motivated not by economics, not by education needs, but by racism.
"Let's not pretend that when you close schools on the South and West sides, the children affected aren't black," Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said at a recent rally at Daley Plaza. "Let's not pretend that's not racist." That cry of racism has been picked up by other critics who aren't as prominent as Lewis.
This is dangerous, divisive, inflammatory rhetoric. It is damaging to the schools. It is damaging to the city.