Race

Harris-Biden Busing Spat Shows Democrats Can't Have an Honest Conversation About Racial Issues

Biden misrepresented his own views, while Harris implied that opposition to busing is inherently racist.

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It may be hard to believe that race-based busing has suddenly become a major issue in the 2020 presidential campaign, more than three decades after it was the focus of acrimonious debate in Northern cities such as Boston and 12 years after the U.S. Supreme Court deemed it unconstitutional. But during last night's Democratic debate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) used busing as an effective weapon against Joe Biden, portraying his views on the subject as outmoded and unenlightened, evidence that the 76-year-old former vice president, who served in the Senate from 1973 to 2009, is past his sell-by date and should yield to a younger, woker generation of Democrats such as herself. The clash revealed dishonesty on both sides, pointing to the same troubling reality: There is no room in the modern Democratic Party for a nuanced discussion of anything related to race.

"I did not oppose busing in America," Biden insisted. "What I opposed is busing ordered by the Department of Education." As many journalists pointed out, that is simply not true. Yes, Biden as a senator opposed busing when it was mandated by federal courts, but he also criticized the very concept as a response to de facto segregation.

"I oppose busing," Biden told a Delaware newspaper in 1975. "It's an asinine concept, the utility of which has never been proven to me. I've gotten to the point where I think our only recourse to eliminate busing may be a constitutional amendment."

Biden argued that busing is inherently racist. "The new integration plans being offered are really just quota systems to assure a certain number of blacks, Chicanos, or whatever in each school," he said in the same interview. "That, to me, is the most racist concept you can come up with. What it says is, 'In order for your child with curly black hair, brown eyes, and dark skin to be able to learn anything, he needs to sit next to my blond-haired, blue-eyed son.' That's racist! Who the hell do we think we are, that the only way a black man or woman can learn is if they rub shoulders with my white child?"

At the same time, Biden recognized the problem he is now facing: His opposition to busing made him an ally of segregationists. "The unsavory part about this is when I come out against busing, as I have all along, I don't want to be mixed up with a George Wallace," he said. "The real problem with busing," he said, was that "you take people who aren't racist, people who are good citizens, who believe in equal education and opportunity, and you stunt their children's intellectual growth by busing them to an inferior school…and you're going to fill them with hatred."

Three decades later, in his 2007 memoir Promises to Keep, Biden described a 1978 forum at a high school near Wilmington where "my voters—working-class Democrats" were outraged by court-ordered busing:

Once I got up to the podium, everybody in the room wanted to know where I really stood on busing. I tried to explain what I'd been doing in the Senate and the difference between de facto (or unintentional) segregation and de jure (or government-intended) segregation. But the audience kept pushing me. What they wanted was a full-out mea culpa and a hard statement that I despised busing. And I got hot. I wanted them to be clear where I stood. Look, I told them, I was against busing to remedy de facto segregation owing to housing patterns and community comfort, but if it was intentional segregation, I'd personally pay for helicopters to move the children. There were howls in the crowd.

I stand by the statement…

"He never thought busing was the best way to integrate schools in Delaware—a position which most people now agree with," Biden's spokesman told The Washington Post in March. "As he said during those many years of debate, busing would not achieve equal opportunity. And it didn't."

Yet last night, when Harris noted that she was "bused to school every day" as "part of the second class to integrate, Berkeley, California, public schools almost two decades after Brown v. Board of Education," Biden said: "You would've been able to go to school the same exact way because it was a local decision made by your city council. That's fine. That's one of the things I argued for that we should not be—we should be breaking down these lines." Given Biden's fundamental disagreement with busing not only as a federal mandate but as policy, that response was more than a little misleading.

Harris, for her part, implied that there was never any legitimate, non-bigoted reason to oppose busing. "I do not believe you are a racist," she told Biden, even while faulting him for allying himself with segregationists such as Sens. James Eastland (D–Miss.), Herman Talmadge (D–Ga.), and Jesse Helms (R–N.C.) on the issue of busing. Biden's obfuscation essentially ceded this point to her, since he seemed to think he could not honestly describe his views without coming across as racist.

The implication is that all those "working-class Democrats" in Delaware who demanded that Biden take a firm stand against busing were racists, and so were all the other parents across the country who objected to a policy that forced their kids, because of their skin color, to take long bus rides to unfamiliar neighborhoods in the name of racial equality. Yet according to a 1978 RAND Corporation study of the demographic shifts spurred by mandatory busing, "racism does not explain white flight." The study cited survey data indicating that most whites who opposed busing simply preferred schools in their neighborhood, mentioning "issues such as distance, loss of choice, lost time, and lost friends." And "when asked about the benefits and harms of desegregation, a large majority of white parents believed it would improve neither minority education nor race relations, while it would increase discipline problems and racial tensions." In other words, "most white parents believe they are being forced to give up something they value—the neighborhood school—in return for a policy that benefits no one and may even being harmful."

Most black parents took a different view, but that does not mean the white parents' concerns were illegitimate or covers for racism. The RAND report noted that "the vast majority of whites accept desegregated schools when brought about by voluntary methods but reject them when their children are mandatorily bused or reassigned to schools outside their neighborhoods." The study also cited data indicating that "whites with low racial prejudice scores were nearly as opposed to busing as persons with high prejudice."

The resistance to busing culminated in a 2007 Supreme Court case involving school districts in Seattle and Jefferson County, Kentucky. The Seattle district had never been legally segregated or subject to court-ordered desegregation, while the Jefferson County district had been operating under a desegregation decree that was dissolved in 2000. In both districts, busing had a "minimal effect" on the racial composition of schools. And because the policy entailed classifying students by race, it had to withstand "strict scrutiny," meaning the districts had to show it was "narrowly tailored" to achieve a "compelling government interest."

In a 5-to-4 decision pitting the Court's "conservative" and "liberal" wings against each other, the majority concluded that the busing programs failed that test. "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race," Chief Justice John Roberts famously declared.

Kamala Harris undoubtedly disagrees with that decision. Joe Biden agrees on the subject of busing, although he probably would object to the broader implications. But in the current political climate within the Democratic Party, it is impossible to have a candid conversation about those differences.

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  1. Harris noted that she was “bused to school every day” as “part of the second class to integrate

    So Harris had the chance to go to a better school because of forced busing. So she supports school choice, right?

    RIGHT???

    1. It doesn’t count if your *parents* pick a good school for you. That’s just racist.

    2. But it was uphill both ways.

    3. It wasn’t forced it was voluntary. It was also a district level effort. Thousand Oaks Elementary was like, “Yeah send us some black kids dude.” Her success is more to the fact that her parents were crazy smart high achievers. They’re professors or some shit.

      1. Oh and I hear she gives a mean blowjob.

        1. Well, there are some career perks to being Willie Brown’s chew toy.

          1. That was very nicely said.

      2. Her parents were about to get a good salary and of course Harris attended a good high school in an affluent part of Montreal. Basically Harris took a spot from a working class black girl whose parents would never be able to move to an affluent neighborhood…her parents should not be commended for their behavior and she shouldn’t be making it out to be something it’s not.

        1. I read that it was also already integrated. 1 in 20 students was a minority before she even went.

            1. Read the story closely—the superintendent wanted half and half and considered anything less to be segregation. The school was racially integrated just not to the degree that satisfied the superintendent. And the superintendent also wanted socioeconomic integration which Harris undermined because her parents just lived in that neighborhood to be close to school.

            2. “In 1963, according to data published by the school district, there were 15 “Negro” students at Thousand Oaks Elementary — just 2.5 percent of the student body.”

              So the year before she was born the school had black students.

  2. The implication is that all those “working-class Democrats” in Delaware who demanded that Biden take a firm stand against busing were racists, and so were all the other parents across the country who objected to a policy that forced their kids, because of their skin color, to take long bus rides to unfamiliar neighborhoods in the name of racial equality. Y

    Prior to 1954, were not children routinely required to attend particular schools because of skin color?

    How was forced busing based on skin color any better?

    1. Intentions.

      1. That is what segregationists said.

        1. But the Klansmen wore white after Labor Day, so what kind of credibility do they have?

        2. And they were right. The proper response to moving students around based on their race is to stop doing it, not do it in the other direction.

          The civil rights movement gave up on just not discriminating way too fast.

          1. The civil rights movement gave up on just not discriminating way too fast.

            You misspelled “immediately.”

    2. forced busing is the Democrat Party of modes of transportation

      1. At least until the trains start running.

    3. It was a brute force treating people as widgets solution to an immediate term problem that in many areas blacks and whites did not live near each other and that that was not going to change anytime soon.

      This was done in locations where segregation was more a matter of custom than law.

      It was not a good idea.

      1. Busing ended up decimating Denver Public Schools. And while they didn’t experience the kind of race riots that other cities did after this took place, there were still a lot of heightened racial tensions for years after it started. It was single-handedly responsible for passage of the Poundstone Amendment, which prevented Denver from annexing any more unincorporated land, as well as the founding of Lakewood and Arvada in 1969 because they didn’t want to risk having to send their kids to minority-dominated schools like West or Manual High Schools. There was a massive outflow of white families who moved to the suburbs.

        DPS has never really recovered from that, even after busing was ended in the mid-90s and Denver has seen explosive growth over the last 5-10 years. The white liberals who happen to have kids either settle in the South Denver area, where the schools feed off of the wealthier demographics of that part of town, or they send their kids to either charter or private schools.

        1. Informative comment; thanks.

      2. It was a brute force treating people as widgets solution

        So it’s perfect for Democrats.

      3. Biden was not wrong, sadly. The concept that blacks can only learn if white kids are near them is unbelievably insulting.

        1. Harris went to Howard.

  3. “There is no room in the modern Democratic Party for a nuanced discussion of anything related to race.”

    “Nuance” is the new n-word.

    1. Nuance Please!

    2. “There is no room in the modern Democratic Party for a nuanced discussion of anything”

      You can stop right there.

      1. I second the motion.

    3. In this context it means ‘anything but completely dishonest’.

  4. […] Democrats spar over busing policy from the 1970s on the debate stage, transit riders in contemporary America are seeing their bus service slashed to […]

    1. Democrats are the party of the future….assuming it’s 1958.

  5. […] Democrats spar over busing policy from the 1970s on the debate stage, transit riders in contemporary America are seeing their bus service slashed to […]

  6. What I learned from the debate: Kamala Harris actually Black! I’ve got no beef anyone’s race. It’s how they were born. But she has more Indian heritage than Black. Why did she choose a Black Identity rather than an Indian Identity? Is it just for political reasons? As the child of two academics, from India and Jamaica, she most certainly did not grow up in any sort of Black culture. Her Black-ness is an affectation to promote her Democrat credentials. Geez, at least Obama was half Black…

    Also, there was not forced desegregation in Berkeley in the 70s.

    1. “Why did she choose a Black Identity rather than an Indian Identity?”

      How did the Indian identity work out for Warren?

      1. Might have helped her get into grad school?

        1. And a post at Harvard (The world’s most over-rated institution)

    2. Kamala Harris actually Black!

      She’s Valerie Jarret black.

      1. Nah, she’s a little more black than that. Jarret could actually be mistaken for a white woman at first glance. Maybe Roseanne was telling the truth afterall, haha.

    3. Descendant of slave owners, by the way – – – – –

    4. Tupac made her do it.

    5. She’s only black in a photoshopped photo, I guess.

    6. The one drop rule is still in effect for blackness only, apparently.

      I can’t quite decide who’s claim to an authentic African American experience is more ridiculous, hers or Obama’s.

  7. Yet last night, when Harris noted that she was “bused to school every day” as “part of the second class to integrate, Berkeley, California, public schools almost two decades after Brown v. Board of Education

    ORLY? https://imgur.com/4PH9YqR

    1. That is from the high school yearbook, not from the elementary school she when to.

      1. So it’s only partly a lie.

  8. […] Democrats spar over busing policy from the 1970s on the debate stage, transit riders in contemporary America are seeing their bus service slashed to […]

  9. From a post at the now censored and quarantined r/The_Donald:

    “Kamala Harris was born in 1964: Berkeley High School was not segregated, the junior high schools were integrated, and 1 out of 20 students at Thousand Oaks Elementary were already minorities. She moved to French Canada by age 7 where she finished her public education in a 95% white society.”

    1. She also listened to Tupac and biggie while smoking NJ 4 years before either of their first CDs came out. She time travels, stop being a bigot.

      1. God damn goo-back. I bet she came here from the future just to take all ur jerbs.

    2. Her busing comment was about elementary school not high school. Why can’t the conversation stay on the issues instead of these sort of made-up controversies?

      https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/28/politics/fact-check-kamala-harris-busing-in-berkeley/index.html

      In fact, it’s really annoying to see this sort of thing in an article complaining the Democrats can’t have an honest discussion about race. Well, can anyone here?

      1. I’ll just quote what Sebastian commented to you up above:

        Read the story closely—the superintendent wanted half and half and considered anything less to be segregation. The school was racially integrated just not to the degree that satisfied the superintendent. And the superintendent also wanted socioeconomic integration which Harris undermined because her parents just lived in that neighborhood to be close to school.

        Stop crying about having an “honest conversation” when you can’t even clear that low hurdle.

    1. Ole’ Uncle Joe is just a big tickle monster!

  10. that was before all internal combustion engines were found to be evil incarnate.
    Joe was just ahead of the times.

  11. At least I think we can all agree that school busing is one of the top issues facing the nation today.

  12. They look like PEZ dispensers. Does PEZ come in bullshit flavor?

    1. A Bernie Sanders Pez dispenser? Nobody needs more than 1 flavor.

  13. Why are we even talking about this?

    And ya know what else Andy? It’s just not right that Otis can let himself into the jail cell anytime he wants day or night. It’s just not right.

  14. “The study cited survey data indicating that most whites who opposed busing simply preferred schools in their neighborhood, mentioning “issues such as distance, loss of choice, lost time, and lost friends.”

    Yes this what they were telling the RAND people. I remember that time and that is not what the people were yelling in the streets. The street talk was a bit coarser. And no racism did not drive white flight to the suburbs, but racist techniques like red lining resulted divided communities.
    Even today techniques like school choice, started with a promise to get poor and under privileged kids into better schools have morphed into a tool to allow middleclass parents to get their kids into schools with predominately white student bodies. I have talked to the parents and they emphasize the desire to avoid schools with “those kids”. For whatever “those kids” means?
    Having a discussion of race is still along way off. It will not start until we, white folks like myself, can sit, listen, and absorb what is said. Joe Biden, a good man, did the wrong thing. When he should have listened, he tried to explain.

    1. I remember nearly being bussed into Detroit from Warren, before the Supreme court saved me from riding a bus several hours a day despite the school literally being across the street. But the reason we moved away wasn’t that. It was the riots stopping a couple blocks from our front door.

      Really, why assume you’d have to be racist to object to your kids spending hours on a bus to go to a worse school?

      1. Leftists believe that Harrison Bergeron is a how-to guide, not a cautionary tale.

    2. Even today techniques like school choice, started with a promise to get poor and under privileged kids into better schools have morphed into a tool to allow middleclass parents to get their kids into schools with predominately white student bodies.

      Two of the best schools in Denver are charters–KIPP Collegiate and DSST Stapleton–that have populations of 96% and 60% minority students, respectively.

      1. Segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever!

        1. I hear this, “It’s just white people not wanting to go to school with brown people” stuff all the time from leftists. Yeah, a lot of middle class white liberals end up sending their kids to charters, but these people are already deliberately staying out of “diverse” neighborhoods to begin with if they have kids. Even they know that minority-dominated public schools tend to be garbage, and they won’t send their precious children to a school where they’re liable to get the shit kicked out of them for being white.

          Like a lot of things with the left, it’s mostly projection.

    3. “Having a discussion of race is still along way off. It will not start until we, white folks like myself, can sit, listen, and absorb what is said.”

      How white of you…

      1. How white of you…

        It is a burden we Whites must share.

        1. Square = Circle
          June.28.2019 at 10:12 pm
          “How white of you…
          It is a burden we Whites must share.”

          Sarc, I’m hoping.

    4. Even today techniques like school choice, started with a promise to get poor and under privileged kids into better schools have morphed into a tool to allow middleclass parents to get their kids into schools with predominately white student bodies.

      That’s just . . . not true. Study after study has shown that charters attract primarily minorities who are looking to get away from the terrible schools in the minority-dominated poorer districts. I can certainly attest that that’s the case with the charters in the SF Bay Area.

      I have talked to the parents and they emphasize the desire to avoid schools with “those kids”.

      I don’t believe for one minute that this is a true statement. No one talks like this outside of Progressive propaganda.

      Having a discussion of race is still along way off.

      No, it isn’t. It’s been going on for a long time. Welcome to it.

    5. Moderation….I too, remember that time. And you are correct in your observation on what a number of people were yelling in the streets. In particular, I vividly recall the problems in Boston, MA. It was pretty rough.

      Can’t really agree with the remainder of your post, though. We have a bunch of charter schools in NJ and I have to tell you, they are not full of predominantly white kids. I think the jury is still out on the utility of charter schools. My observation is where you have a critical mass of parents actively engaged, charter schools work.

      As for the ‘conversation’ on race, I am an agnostic. There is a part of me that just says, “Enough already, get on with it” and another part that says, “Put yourself in their shoes and see things as they see them; then act with this knowledge”. It is an interesting dichotomy.

      What was missing from this entire debate exchange: Any discussion on whether busing actually achieved the goals that legislators intended.

    6. “Having a discussion of race is still along way off. It will not start until we, white folks like myself, can sit, listen, and absorb what is said.”

      That is not what a conversation is, dumbass. Speak for yourself …

    7. Having a discussion of race is still along way off. It will not start until we, white folks like myself, can sit, listen, and absorb what is said.

      Sorry, not interested in participating some racial grievance struggle session.

      If only white liberals would kill themselves for their race’s perceived sins, things would get so much better.

    8. Having a discussion of race is still along way off. It will not start until we, white folks like myself, can sit, listen, and absorb what is said.

      I’m “white folk”. I am under no obligation to “sit down, listen, and absorb” the gripes and complaints other people have about how they are unhappy with life. I never enslaved anybody, I never oppressed anybody, I never took anything from anybody. The only obligation I have is to treat people fairly and live a decent life, and from a libertarian point of view that is only a moral obligation, not a legal one.

      FWIW, I’m an immigrant who fled oppression, and you are under no obligation to listen to my gripes either.

  15. It’s a rare image when Bernie looks like the sane one.

  16. Racebaiteyjoe was the charming fellow who said “They gonna put y’all back in chains”.

    Seeing him bending over on live tv for some sweet racebaiting in turn, good and hard, was the sweetest spectacle of Justice I’ve seen in a long time.

    They that sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind.

  17. “The implication is that all those “working-class Democrats” in Delaware who demanded that Biden take a firm stand against busing were racists,”

    Get with the Wokeness, daddy-o.

    All Whites, by being born white, perpetuate White Supremacy through their White Privilege.

    Whiteness is Orignal Sin.

  18. Joe Biden: decent guy, well past his expiration date; would beat Trump, likely won’t be given the chance by woke Dems.
    Kamala Harris: the queen of identity politics in this race; if nominated, we would have the nastiest and most divisive general election imaginable.
    America: greatest days well behind us now, regardless of what happens in November 2020. Red and blue states are so light years apart on what kind of nation this should be … time to start thinking about how to have a peaceful divorce.

    1. More like a peaceful exodus of the progressives. They have to abandon their beliefs or abandon this country. Also, your analysis of Biden is ridiculous. Not a decent thing about the piece of shit. He’s incredibly corrupt, and rapey.

      He better pray Barr doesn’t start a serious investigation into his activities regarding influence peddling for his son. With both China and Russia. Which I’m sure is the tip of the iceberg.

      1. racebaiteyjoe has been using identitarian politics just like the rest of the Left, and now the bell tolls for he.

        Beautiful.

    2. Joe Biden is not a “decent guy”. He’d take your money, destroy your life, and murder to obtain the power to rule over you. The fact that he fools himself and you into believing that he is doing this for “decent” reasons doesn’t change that that he is as evil as the rest of the jerks on that stage.

  19. With all due respect, the author pretty substantially misrepresented the findings and argument of the Rand corporation study cited in this article. It seems to argue that racism was a major reason why so many whites fled neighborhoods that were subject to busing.

    “This study offers a demographic projection method for estimating the size and duration of white flight and applies the method to school districts experiencing court-ordered mandatory desegregation. In most cases the size of the effect is both large and long-term, accounting for 30 to 60 percent of all white losses over extended periods following desegregation. The white losses are such that, in many cases, the amount of desegregation — defined as minority exposure to whites — is declining, and for some districts has fallen below the pre-desegregation level. “

    1. Here’s the thing–a lot of black families at the time didn’t want to implement busing, either. The main reason they supported it was because they thought it would bring about equality of outcomes, but if they believed that could have been brought about without busing, they would have been fine with that scenario. But yeah, most white people didn’t want their kids to go to school with a lot of minorities. They still don’t.

      Of course, when white people do take it upon themselves to move into minority-dominated neighborhoods, it’s called “gentrification” and it’s still their fault that the world isn’t wine and roses for everyone.

      1. It’s not that they thought it would bring about equality of outcomes, but that they thought their kids would go to better funded schools.

        Brown v. Board ended de jure segregation, but it didn’t end discrimination in school funding.

        1. It’s not that they thought it would bring about equality of outcomes

          That’s pretty much what Rachel Noel was expecting, though–that putting black kids in white schools would result in better educational outcomes.

          The DPS Supreme Court case didn’t have anything to do with funding, it was because DPS was accused of manipulating neighborhood attendance boundaries to maintain de facto segregation.

      2. “Of course, when white people do take it upon themselves to move into minority-dominated neighborhoods, it’s called “gentrification” and it’s still their fault ”

        It’s *always* Whitey’s fault.

    2. It could have been classism.

    3. You’re overlooking a pertinent fact. Many people move to certain neighborhoods because of the schools, and it’s an important component of home costs (good schools => higher home costs due to demand for good schools; it’s not necessarily that better schools are in more expensive neighborhoods). Forced busing throws that variable out the window, and removes a choice (the ability to choose a neighborhood with a good school residents will go to) from people. It’s no surprise many would leave such a situation for one in which they have more choice. That has nothing to do with racism.

      1. If you read about Berkeley it was already racially integrated. It appears the superintendent was engaging in socioeconomic integration at the elementary level. I think even Berkeley has gone back to elementary schools at the neighborhood level like most other places. So even in a really bad urban school district generally university faculty and administration can live around each other and produce a quality elementary school and then as the kids get older they either get into a magnet school or pay for a private school.

    4. And by “racism” you mean the fact that whites were concerned about the future of their neighborhoods? About crime, housing values, and school quality? Racism is irrational beliefs. Were their concerns irrational?

  20. Idiot Biden could have shut her up easily:

    “Sometimes you have to work with people you don’t always agree with or admire to get things done. Apparently you were asleep in history class when our WW2 alliance with Joseph Stalin – one of the greatest murderers in history – was covered.

    A person who can’t work with a wide range of characters, some disreputable, will be a complete failure in Washington. Back to Berkeley, bitch”

    1. No one can shut up “Kamala yak, yak, yak, yak, yak, yak….Harris.”

  21. Now that the Dems believe that they’ve sufficiently rigged the game to have power for the foreseeable future they’ve gone back to the issues that led to them being rejected by the American people then as if to say, “see we were right all along, and you will do as we say.”

    You’ve got to have a certain grudging respect for them, they never abandon a cause (though they may hide their support temporarily). Let’s see how it works for them this time.

  22. Sullum gets the theme right: Democrats Can’t Have an Honest Conversation About Racial Issues. Biden lies, and Harris is an angry black woman who likes busing kids around (but doesn’t believe in school choice) even if in her neighborhood has parents like her cancer researcher mother and Stanford professor father, in expensive and ultra-liberal Santa Barbara where they had to bus the students because of racism (aren’t the liberals supposed to be the non-racists?). Even Harris’ Wikipedia article says “According to Harris, hers was only the second year when children of Indian and Jamaican graduate students at University of California, Berkeley like herself were allowed to study along with white students.” This is also a lie, as minority students “were allowed to study along with white students” prior to busing being implemented, it’s just that they weren’t forced to get on a long bus ride prior to forced busing.

    They can’t be honest, just like “You can keep your plan”, so why should anyone believe anything they say?

    1. Harris is an angry black woman

      Harris is a light skinned half-Indian half-Jamaican woman from an ultra-privileged background and spent much of her life in Canada. She is not “black” in the “African American” sense.

  23. They gonna put you back in the bus!

    1. +1
      But it should have been “put y’all”

      1. You are correct.

        As an aside, “y’all” is ironically a very progressive way to reference a group of people. I realized it many years ago when I showed up to hang out with a group of a few guys and one girl. Up to that point I had always resisted using “y’all” but when I said “what have you guys been up to?” I immediately felt like I was excluding the girl. From that day forward I have used the word “y’all” to refer to any group regardless of the gender of the individuals in the group. I guess I was forward thinking but it really made me uncomfortable to say guys.

        *the irony is people associate y’all with the South which is why Biden used it in a cringe inducing manner.

  24. I was disappointed that Biden didn’t give a vigorous defense to his stance on busing. I lived in L.A. during the 1970’s and can attest to how acrimonious the opposition was to it. Busing probably drove more moderate Democrats to the GOP and paved the way for Reagan.

  25. The study cited survey data indicating that most whites who opposed busing simply preferred schools in their neighborhood, mentioning “issues such as distance, loss of choice, lost time, and lost friends.

    That just proves that distance, choice, time, and friends are inherently racist.

  26. There’s no doubt the Democratic Party and the country as a whole have a problem having an honest discussion of race. But this article makes it pretty clear that the author doesn’t understand what that problem is.

    The fact is that large groups of African Americans don’t trust whites when they say they’re not racist. And the study from the 70s that surveys opponents of busing and purports to show that they didn’t make their decisions based on racism gives an example of why. One of the reasons cited for opposing busing for purposes of integration is that it would “increase discipline problems and racial tensions.” The obvious question in response to this is why would these folks think that integration with black students would increase discipline problems unless they generally think that black children are more likely to be discipline problems? And the concern about racial tension is really a clear statement that yes, race is part of their reasoning.

    Human beings are quite capable of rejecting in principle the notion of racism while still holding very prejudiced ideas about a group of people — ideas that then can have impacts on how laws are enforced, who gets jobs, who gets educational opportunities, what policies are supported and on and on.

    I don’t think Harris’ discussion wasn’t about busing. I suspect it was about the question in the mind of black voters about how Biden will represent their concerns on issues of race. Is he going to compromise too much on those issues because he just doesn’t quite get the concerns or doesn’t feel their importance the way black voters do? That could be true even if in general he supports the cause of civil rights.

    These are difficult issues, but to my mind the Democrats are the ONLY people actually discussing them at all even if that discussion is imperfect or even, at times, hyperbolic.

    1. Some blame the Illuminati, some blame the Jews, some blame secret white racists. Whoever’s to blame, it’s conspiracy!

      1. …and are you actually willing to defend busing on its merits – by which I mean, show with evidence why it’s better than school choice or neighborhood schools – or are you going to admit defeat in advance by simply calling people racists?

    2. Blah, blah, blah. The whole concept of bussing people to schools they don’t want to go to represents only one of the innumerable traps of public education in general. It’s totally absurd. Why can’t we just go to whatever school we want to? Oh, right, that’s only a private school thing. Public schools are ran by the dysfunctional policies of pandering politicians.

      1. What’s hilarious is that the Denver metro area has had open enrollment for over 20 years now–you can go to any school you want as long as you can find transportation to get there in time. Except now, people whine about it because athletes take advantage of the rule to transfer to school with top programs so they have better exposure or chance to win a state championship.

        LenDale White, for instance, should have gone to Aurora Central, a shitty ghetto school in north Aurora, but he went to Denver South and Chatfield, which had better athletic programs. Highlands Ranch’s girls basketball team had a kid a few years ago that went to Regis and Lakewood prior to that.

        1. Oh yeah, now we gotta have politicians out their playing referee. What are they gonna do? Stop all the tall black dudes from ganging up on the short little white guys who aren’t good enough to make the team at the big schools? Hey, it wouldn’t surprise me. Not even a little bit, because…

          FREEDOM = Bad!

    3. Harris obfuscated her history to win points with primary voters and undermine Biden’s campaign. If I were advising Harris I would tell her to base her campaign around why she chose to live in America even though she could easily qualify for citizenship in 3 other countries. So on some level she must really love America but she is dredging up part of our dirty past in a very underhanded manner to win points with America haters with victim mentalities.

    4. Human beings are quite capable of rejecting in principle the notion of racism while still holding very prejudiced ideas about a group of people — ideas that then can have impacts on how laws are enforced, who gets jobs, who gets educational opportunities, what policies are supported and on and on.

      There is always prejudice among humans; if you think you can eliminate it, in others or in yourself, you’re a fool. It’s how all humans of all identities necessarily operate. We couldn’t operate any other way: there simply isn’t enough time in a human life to make every decision objectively and rationally. If you try, you’ll perish.

      But prejudice does not explain the racial disparities we observe. Single parenthood, murder rates, etc. objectively differ greatly by “race”, and the progressive theory that this is the “legacy of slavery” or due to “systemic racism” simply does not stand up to scrutiny.

      The primary cause of persistent racial disparities is likely progressive policies; I suppose you could call those a form of “systemic racism”, but it’s a form of racism Democrats are doubling down on.

    5. The fact is that large groups of African Americans don’t trust whites when they say they’re not racist.

      The fact is that it shouldn’t matter in a free society who is and isn’t racist. The only thing that should matter is that government respect property rights and freedom of association, and that government itself treat all citizens equally.

  27. What’s really important is that both of these people firmly oppose parents sending their kids to school of their choice.

  28. Choice. It’s a word the democrats aren’t to comfortable with, unless of course it’s used in context of killing fetuses. Choice indicates something a little too close to human freedom to be considered safe for the party in the business of running every aspect of our helpless lives.

  29. Compelled association is morally evil.

    The inverse question is occurring now, as tech giants censor conservatives. Tech giants shouldn’t be forced to associate with conservatives, but tech giants don’t arise from a freemarket. It is the result of 60 years of CRA forced association and its downstream cultural norms.

    A system that arises from forced association can’t use freedom of association as a principle to justify its censorship/disassociation.

  30. […] reason.com/2019/06/28/harris-biden-busing-spat-shows-democrats-cant-have-an-honest-conversation-abou… […]

  31. “Harris-Biden Busing Spat Shows Democrats Can’t Have an Honest Conversation.”

    FTFY

  32. […] had school busing in the betting pool for poll-moving Democratic presidential debate controversies? And yet here we […]

  33. [The implication is that all those “working-class Democrats” in Delaware who demanded that Biden take a firm stand against busing were racists, and so were all the other parents across the country who objected to a policy that forced their kids, because of their skin color, to take long bus rides to unfamiliar neighborhoods in the name of racial equality. Yet according to a 1978 RAND Corporation study of the demographic shifts spurred by mandatory busing, “racism does not explain white flight.” The study cited survey data indicating that most whites who opposed busing simply preferred schools in their neighborhood, mentioning “issues such as distance, loss of choice, lost time, and lost friends.” And “when asked about the benefits and harms of desegregation, a large majority of white parents believed it would improve neither minority education nor race relations, while it would increase discipline problems and racial tensions.” In other words, “most white parents believe they are being forced to give up something they value—the neighborhood school—in return for a policy that benefits no one and may even being harmful.”]

    What this shows is that a lot of people were racist without actually THINKING of themselves as racist.

  34. […] Harris-Biden Busing Spat Shows Democrats Can’t Have an Honest Conversation About Racial Issues –…. […]

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