Trey Garrison Hates Diversity

Our esteemed contributing editor has himself an op-ed column in today’s paper. Fiery stuff. I’m a little late in getting to it, as I just returned from vacation, and my first day back in the office was consumed by gloating over the 20 bucks I won from Eric (thanks, Alison Draper!). In any case, I won’t say that I don’t get Trey’s deployment of the phrase “Potemkin village” in describing the Dallas ISD, and I’ll resist the urge to call Trey’s bluff that he’s been hanging out with his neighbors (“Some of my new neighbors in Plano include people from Thailand, Armenia, India, Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Colombia and the Ukraine …”). Instead, I’ll just say this: wow. On a day when the paper’s parent company announces huge layoffs, the DMN publishes something it too seldom does: a snarky celebration of ignorance. If they did this more often, maybe things down at the paper wouldn’t be so grim.


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28 responses to “Trey Garrison Hates Diversity”

  1. Enrique De La Fuente says:

    Say what?

    Since when did suburbanites start acting like victims? They have never apologized for their lifestyle until now.

    I went to DISD for elementary, and then was taken to Allen ISD because “the schools are better”.

    If you expect a school to babysit your child than I guess AISD is better than DISD. But a smart kid in Dallas would still be a smart kid in Allen or Plano. Schools do not make the child, parents do. Schools only enhance – or try to at least – what is given to them.

    Now that my sister and I have long since graduated from Townview…err…Allen High School, my old man is now thinking about moving back to Dallas. How ’bout that?

  2. Ana Moure says:

    Such a pity Trey didn’t post it here.
    Great article!

    Imho, diversity is overrated, excessive commitment to it is bad for educational system, and it doesn’t it all prepare kid for real life in adult, for-(huge)-profit world.

    Trey’s friends say he is robbing his kid from some important experiences.

    Well, in my life I had some experiences I’d be happy to be robbed from regardless of their importance.

    Like studying in public school where there were many kids of plant workers. Reading books was wildly unpopular, and I started to think of myself as some kind of super-mega-genius, because everything seemed too easy.

    I’m glad I could pass exams to a private school. No diversity there: most kids were from scientists families, they liked to read, and write, and learn, each one played one or two musical instruments, could paint, or had other special talent, – and noone teased them about it.

    In this awfully uniform crowd, preparing to enter the adult world was much more fun, – and productive too. 95% of my private school classmates entered Top3 universities on the first try. I doubt many of my public school classmates even tried to apply there.

    My parents wanted me to learn to love diversity. The only experience I got from public school was sad realization that I was too different, and could never get accepted into human society. Unless, maybe, if I stopped getting all As, and started to smoke, wear makeup, and make out with boys. I was almost ready: social acceptance is very important to little girls. Luckily, private school showed me that I can be friends with everyone without doing all this disgusting stuff, – but only when surrounded by right kind of kids.

    I applaud Trey for not willing to let his daughter learn this my way.

  3. AS says:

    Goodbye Trey!

  4. Harvey Lacey says:

    Hey, Mark Davis has made a career and more than a few dollars echoing unfinished thoughts.

    He contributes to the Dallas Morning News.

    So I doubt Trey dumbing down to do his best Mark Davis is going to alter DMN’s slide

  5. amanda says:

    Trey is right. Diversity is neither postive nor negative…it just is. It’s a fake ideal with varied meaning. Embracing diversity feels so superior, but the reality of living it is difficult.

    I had a brush with “diversity” last year…

    We hosted an exchange student from The Netherlands, and she attended Richardson High School… It’s okay to be Latino diverse, African-American diverse, even Asian diverse at RHS, just not Dutch (white) diverse.

  6. wja4507 says:

    Ana Moure: went put. “Embracing diversity” is simply the vehicle by which people really mean – don’t hate those who are not like you by some characteristic over which they have no control. A child does not need to be daily enveloped in all of the bad decisions of ner-do-well kids from careless families to understand that ideal.

  7. Enrique De La Fuente says:

    Trey’s reason for moving to the ‘burbs was because of the awesome drug free and superior schools of Collin County.

    His debate on diversity is a secondary issue. He probably realizes how boring Plano is, and is trying to convince himself of how awesome it is. Boring is “in”.

    The perception of the schools being better in the ‘burbs is somewhat overblown.

  8. Daniel says:

    My kid can commit suicide or OD on heroin just fine right here in Dallas, thanks. As for “diversity,” it’s just another smug Pepsi tagline to me. Other races can be damned annoying, but you really will be around them the rest of your life. I went to a nice private school here in town, and while I’m grateful for some elements of my education, others were frankly pedestrian. There was one black kid per class and only a couple of Hispanics. Being sheltered in that way neither harmed nor helped me. Being around all wealthy kids, however, was an unrealistic social experience. Drugs, unseemly sexual escapades, and antisocial criminal behavior were rampant. Money doesn’t equal parenting and white doesn’t equal civilized.

    In another thread, wasn’t Bethany bandying about the term “Potemkin Village”? That’s what they should rename Plano.

  9. Louisa Meyer, Dallas ISD parent since 1993 says:

    Live wherever you chose. There are many factors beyond schools that form that decision. All I ask is that, wherever you are, with or without children, you are well informed about your public schools. You’re paying for them and they’re a vital part of your community. The same holds true if you have a religious or other preference toward private school.

    What irritates me are:
    1) the folks who dismiss the neighborhood school based on ignorance or bigotry then say they HAVE to move elsewhere — suburb, magnet or private — and then bemoan the move, commute or tuition and
    2) the community at large who complain about the school system yet never participate in the election of their school board representative or the bond program for which they will also be paying.

  10. Tom says:

    Amen, Louisa. I’ve been encouraged by the number of families in my neighborhood who have left private schools for DISD, in addition to those of us without kids who have become more active and aware. It’s no coincidence that DISD has 100 exemplary schools this year.
    Whether your kids are enrolled or not, whether you have kids or not, everyone in the community benefits from a strong public school system.

  11. the difference says:

    The difference is night and day, and you’re focusing on the wrong things when comparing the two cities. It’s not the diversity, or the schools. Quite simply,it’s the spirit of the community that is different. It’s like the difference between bland and spicy or right-brain and left-brain. It’s the difference between Greenville Avenue, and Parker Road. It’s the difference between going to a megachurch or going to a small chapel. It’s the difference between an On the Border, and an El Jordan’s. It’s the difference between a Nokia Live, and a Lakewood Theater. It’s the difference between Allen’s Outlet Mall, and the Bishop Arts District. It’s the difference between knowing every single one of your neighbors and sharing beers with them on your front porch, and only knowing the first name of the divorcee who lives diagonally from you. You can’t see it, but the difference is palpable.

    Is one better than the other? That’s for you to decide, and it sounds like your values line up with everything Plano has to offer. That’s not a bad thing.

    My father (a giant Libertarian like Trey) moved us to Plano when I was in Junior High, and I graduated from PSH in ’93. It was a great education surrounded by a very boring environment (which is why the heroin thing got big). What you gain in one area, you lose in another.

  12. S.E. says:

    wja4507 – I think you summed up the diversity argument well. While I want my kids to understand that people have differences, I think the suburbs can provide enough examples of diversity. I grew up in the “country” town of McKinney in the 70s and 80s and had friends of different nationalities. We aren’t completely backwards in the ‘burbs, as much as the “too hip for north of 75” crowd would have everyone believe.

    Ana Moure – You are so right about diversity not applying in that case. Without my circle of friends (who were almost all “A” students), I would have wished that my parents could have afforded a private school.

    Enrique – why the guilt about attending AHS? I live across the street from an AHS teacher, and I know it has it’s own set of problems, but show me a school in Dallas or the suburbs that doesn’t have issues.

  13. Don in Austin says:

    When we lived in NTX, we chose rural (ex-urb? ruburb?) (Celina, Prosper). The diversity I preferred for raising and educating a child was economic and racial. But there are positives (sense of community) and negatives (highly skewed emphasis on boys football) to that choice also. The bottom line is to try to match the child’s strengths with a compatible system but mostly go where parents give a damn. Graduation came from an Austin area working class suburb and even that worked out well…but the football team really sucked….heh.

  14. Daniel says:

    Suburbs vs. City is as pointless a subject as the endlessly iterated debate between omnivores and vegans. Both start out with a presumption of smug superiority on the part of the other. Both are aggrieved before a word is even spoken. Both, it would seem, have much they’re eager to justify.

    If you don’t require lots of little surprises, unscripted moments and odd chance encounters — some delightful, some sordid, many simply annoying — the suburbs have much to recommend them. There are those among us to whom it would be like death. It’s not so much that we’re superior as that we probably have undiagnosed ADD. Being in the suburbs after dark is like falling into a time tunnel or something, to me. Admittedly, that’s a nice, safe, cozy place to raise a kid.

    But where’s the freakin’ siren and then a guy passes in front of your house, so weird, in a homemade unicycle! and goddamn that band is practicing again you can only really hear it from the porch though Hell no! (shouldn’t have given him a buck that first time) Damn that smells good! (mmm, check out a littla that) Oh hey John artcar’s coming along quite nicely There he is again, just weld it together did you? Christ it must be 7 feet high. Just walking down to the corner, be back in a few.

    Thirty miles south through traffic, that’s where it is. To each his own.

  15. nmlhats says:

    Trey did not have to move to Plano to be in PISD. He could have still lived in that little far-north- spit of land near Frankford and the tollway, which is still Dallas but kids go to Plano schools, unless that has changed. he could have also lived in Lake Highlands or parts of NE Dallas and have kids in Richardson schools–recently praised for good achievement with a higher-than-other-burbs diversity when it comes to ethnicity and poverty.

    He also could have chosen from many good elementary schools in DISD, and at least some decent middle and high schools. It’s the parents, not just the school.

  16. LakeWWWooder says:

    Since Trey singles out our beloved Woodrow, let me ask, has he visited the campus as many times as Rod Dreher? That number would be zero.

    He implies that if you go to Woodrow you can’t make a living (as if free-lance writing is a remunerative pursuit). Well, lawyers make a much better living and our mock trial team finished second in state this year.

    Being a local writer you would think he might know the of the many famous business leaders and successful entrepreneurs who are alums of our school. Here you go, Trey: A remarkably accurate if incomplete list. Trey might also check out rankings of Woodrow by the the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Newsweek and — D Magazine. Even your Lakewood People had an article about last year’s senior class having 132 students score a ‘3’ or higher on AP exams.

    Plano may have some racial diversity but there is very little economic diversity. A Plano high school is the polar opposite of Woodrow. 1300 vs. 225 senior class. A place where you are a number, not a place where you can shine. A place where people don’t go to reunions because they ‘won’t know anyone’ vs. lifelong friendships.

    We have seen in the history of Woodrow that the rich being exposed to the poor has made the rich appreciate what they have and realize that they don’t want to be poor. In other words, they are not spoiled – a common criticism of suburban kids. Similarly, some of the most successful entrepreneurs have come from the other side of the tracks as they have seen what the rich have..

    I see Trey only wants his kid to do homework. It’s easier for him just to move to Plano.

    Maybe he doesn’t understand much about business either – compare home price appreciation in Plano vs. Lakewood.

    Maybe he will have to keep writing in his dotage. I’m sure there’s a newspaper up there which will run his musings.

  17. Peterk says:

    boy Trey sure stirred up the anthill with that piece. all the usual east dallas/lakewood suspects have come rushing out of the mound to protect the nest and attack the interloper.

    Yeeee haaaa! way to go Trey. you hit ever hot button on the list. The only problem is how you are going to top it in the next piece? Keep’em coming

  18. East Dallas Eccentric says:

    Actually Trey misses the obvious. East Dallas/Lakewood is a place people love with schools people have loved for four generations. Diversity is a bonus.

    Read the above post from “the difference”. Trey’s kids will be wanting to move to East Dallas as soon as they are able.

  19. dazzling urbanite says:

    The irony about the piece: Trey hates diversity but they still won’t accept him in the Park Cities because he lives in Plano.

  20. Rico Suave says:

    Trey, we’ve just completed our secret voting session, and on behalf of the Park Cities, I’d like to extend you an invitation to visit or move here any time you want.

    Hates diversity, DU? Sounds like he hates it when others try to impose their definition of diversity. That’s hard to disagree with.

  21. dazzling urbanite says:

    RS looks as if Tim wrote the headline, not I.

    Are you inviting Trey to live in your home? Because I seriously doubt anyone from Plano is ‘prepared for living in a such professional, high-paying world’.

    BTW what is the Park Cities version of diversity? Fiesta Day or Thug Day?

  22. Speaking of diversity (re: conformity) in East Dallas, someone should ask the owner of the dive bar Slip Inn about his strict new dress code that includes the following: no white t-shirts, no shorts below the knee, no gold chains, no sideways baseball caps, no jerseys, no jumpsuits (?) and about twenty other items that are, interestingly enough, synonymous with hip-hop culture.

    White sheets with pointed hoods are still OK, I suppose.

  23. Rawlins says:

    There was, as is always (well almost) a lot of logic in Trey’s ‘leave no concealed handgun un-cocked’ piece. But there was also plenty of room for my Op-Ed DMN bookend to it. I didn’t write it to conflict with Trey’s column, but rather to shall we say offer some alternative consideration. Sure to get the over-30-on-Dreher’s ‘Are You Autistic’ test to swarm like roaches in a rent house. Tal vez.

  24. SB says:

    @ Who Stole the Soul –

    So the Slip Inn is trying to keep out thugs. Sounds like a good business move to me.

  25. Thuggy Bear says:

    @ SB

    By thugs I’m guessing that you mean black people… especially in light of the fact that white people who are in violation of the dress code are still being allowed inside the club.

    So it’s a “good business move” to suddenly alienate and discriminate against more than half of your established clientele? I see. Makes perfect sense. That should work out great for everybody.

    Humor us, SB. Tell us the difference between a thug and somebody who just happens to be wearing a plain white t-shirt.

  26. SB says:

    If you don’t want to be considered a thug, then don’t dress like a gangbanger. You can’t go out of your way to convey one message and then claim racism when your message gets across.

    It’s obviously a problem or the owner wouldn’t have implemented the rule.

  27. Thumbelina Low says:

    trey garrison/diversity
    george bush/intelligent
    tim rogers/modest
    amy winehouse/sober
    karl rove/personality
    abu ghraib/good times
    dr phil/therapist

  28. david look says:

    Live where you wish but your bread does get its butter from “D”. Is Wick going to start a new magazine “P”?
    Why not invest your time and energies in helping “D”isd versus “P”isd.
    Have you investigated a school or cluster in “D”isd? I have now had TWO go through “D”isd and received over 38 hours in AP credits with an A.
    All these arguments make no difference, apparently some children cannot learn alongside “THOSE CHILDREN”
    I hope your child will learn much in “P”, meanwhile look in the mirror, what is she learning from you?