Inside the opt-out movement is a desire that King fought against; one for a divided America. One America is white, wealthy, politically influential, and in residentially secluded schools. That America works to subjugate and subsume a critical framework of accountability for another America. One that is black, brown, and deeply desirous of making the country’s promise of upward mobility a reality. It’s also an America that decades’ worth of housing and schooling policy have consigned disproportionately to underperforming schools.
Opt-outers have a system they desire, much like some whites in the pre-civil rights era did. This system is exclusive because it’s built on housing markets that keep low-income people of color out and away. It’s largely segregated, convenient and safe. And it builds on a social framework where their children are perpetually advantaged by the professional and political relationships enjoyed by their parents.
Given these advantages, they’d rather have, as King put it, “the dam that blocks progress” because they like the view of the lake it forms. You could call this scenic, but you could never call it justice and you certainly could not call it fair.