Good question: The Play

Her [Asian-American, early 40s]: Everyone we know in San Francisco is always going on about how important diversity is. And when we talk about schools, all the anxiety is about diversity. We worry that if we send kids to private schools, they won’t be exposed to diversity. But then their own social networks aren’t diverse. Everyone they know is…

Him [White, late 30s]: …white and Asian.

Her: Yeah. So, my question is, why put all this emphasis on schools? Why not just send your kid to private school and give them the education you want, but at the same time work on diversifying your social circle?

Him: It’s harder to diversify social networks because neighborhoods tend to be homogeneous.

Her: So why not just move to a black neighborhood if diversity is so important?

Him: Ah, well…OK, it’s a good question. I guess it’s harder to commit to diversity in your personal life than to commit to diverse schools.

Her: Why?

Him: You have to completely restructure your entire life and you have to practice some kind of personal affirmative action. It’s easier for institutions to practice affirmative action than for people to do it.

Her: Well, what if we just move to Bayview Hunters Point and send L. to private school?

Him: There’s no good coffee in Bayview. And no BART station. And no grocery stores, from what I hear.

Her: Why does everything have to be this way? Why can’t we just all have good public schools?

Him: Maybe we will some day.

Her: Or maybe we’ll just keep expecting other people to do the work for us.

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