The problem Joe Biden has is his civil rights record is wonderful on matters that did not affect his constituents or his chance to hold his senate seat. When they did he showed a different face. When his white constituents spoke out in opposition to the busing of black and white kids he fell in line with what many other elected politicians did. He opposed the idea of busing.
Kamala Harris who had been bused in her home city pointed this out. From her planned sneak attack on Joe – (Biden likes to be called Joe – not because he drinks a lot of Joe – but because he thinks it is folksier so on Twitter he refers to his helpers as Team Joe) – indicating that had he had his way she would not have been bused and thus propelled on a successful career. This appealed to many as Harris’s standing rose and Joe’s fell.
As you know today the city schools are segregated more than ever. It was the result of white flight from the public schools and the changes in housing patterns. When Berkeley put Harris on the bus there were plenty of white kids in the schools so that the busing there, though opposed, was carried out fairly smoothly since all schools could be reasonably integrated. The same could be said back then of many other urban school districts throughout the nation. ince Berkeley first bused students it has changed plans which are far different from its original busing plan.
Today, though, there are little black girls in the second grade who like Kamila Harris back in the 1970s go to segregated schools. If Joe was against busing then and that was bad; what are we to make of Harris’s stance on busing today. Obviously if she is to be consistent she would want those young second graders to have the same opportunity that she had. Sadly, like Joe then, she doesn’t seem to care. She has an “I got mine” attitude so “tough for you.”
During the debate Harris said that back in the 1970s there was a: “failure of states to integrate public schools in America” and that required that “the federal government must step in.” She added after the debate: “we have certain values that are national standards, and we’re not going to let states compromise that.”
So, as noted we have a worse situation today. What does Harris propose that we should do? It seems that if busing was what Joe should have advocated back then it would be what Harris would suggest we do today.
Well, not so fast. A day or so afterward when asked her position she said: “Busing is a tool among many that should be considered.” Wasn’t that Biden’s position that she was so critical of? He suggested rather than busing other remedies be considered. Harris is saying the same thing.
If Biden is a racist because he did not want to bus children and sought other remedies does that make Harris a racist also? To be consistent one would have to say yes. For Harris does not want to suggest black students be bused to make the schools more integrated for the same reason Biden did not want to do it: it would interfere with her chances to get the Democratic nomination.
As noted here: “Some of the most segregated school districts are in large cities in 2020 swing states such as Detroit, Milwaukee and Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina.” Now that Harris has brought up the issue of busing she can be expected to be asked whether she would support busing of black and white students to desegregate those schools. The article notes: “If she says “yes” she risks alienating voters in key states. If Harris says “no,” she will look like she is running away from her record, just like Biden did in the debate.”
Actually it is worse than that: for one, she will look like a hypocrite if she says no; but worse of all now that the issue is thrown back on the table all the Democratic candidates will be required to confront an issue that the great majority of white Americans oppose. In a 2004 poll 78% of Americans preferred kids be able to go to local school even if segregated. Only “10 percent said it would be better to transfer students to other schools to create more integration.” In a 1981 Gallup poll only 17% of whites favored busing to achieve racial balance while 60 percent of blacks favored it.
As someone said recently the Democrats have lined up in a circular firing squad. They are killing each other off.