The Los Angeles Times gave me a shock this week. I was reading this New-York-Times-wanna-be's latest article documenting yet another problem caused by Southern California's rapidly rising population. This time, it was overcrowding in the schools. Reporter Kristina Sauerwein offered a vivid portrayal:
In Southern California, students skip meals and delay going to the restroom because the lines are longer than the lunch period. Rushing to get to class on time, mobs of students fight their way through narrow doors and cramped hallways, often enduring shoves, bruising, dirty looks and loud obscenities from frustrated peers. Once inside classrooms jammed with three dozen or more bodies, students with desks study elbow to elbow while those without sit hunched on stools or counters, using their laps as a desktop. (9/25/00) [http://www.latimes.com/communities/news
Of course, there's nothing surprising about any of this. What jolted me upright, however, was the 1,105th word of the article, when Ms. Sauerwein got around to mentioning that the cause of the booming student population is "largely a result of immigration."
Even more remarkably, she didn't immediately insert some excuse or even a warning that only white racists worry about immigration. We can only hope that this observant analyst doesn't get in trouble with her bosses for violating the L.A. Times' usual policy: never report any ill-effects of the hippopotamus in its backyard swimming pool.
September 27, 2000