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Thread: It Never Was About Busing, by Nikole Hannah-Jones

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    It Never Was About Busing, by Nikole Hannah-Jones

    The New York Times, July 12, 2019

    When Senator Kamala Harris confronted former Vice President Joe Biden at the second Democratic presidential debate about his support of bills to ban busing for school desegregation during the 1970s and early 1980s...

    there was little discussion about busing's efficacy, at least not with facts, or about whether or not busing served its purpose of breaking apart the educational caste system...

    we have come to be largely silent and accepting of the fact that 65 years after the Supreme Court struck down school segregation in Brown v. Board of Education, black children are as segregated from white students as they were in the mid-1970s when Mr. Biden was working with Southern white supremacist legislators to curtail court-ordered busing...

    When the Supreme Court handed down its radical ruling for racial justice, the white South began a systematic anti-integration campaign known as Massive Resistance...

    Many white Northerners initially applauded the Brown ruling, believing it was about time the South behaved when it came to its black citizens. But that support hinged largely on the belief that Brown v. Board of Education did not apply to them and their communities. When black activists in cities such as Chicago, Detroit and Dayton, Ohio, pushed to dismantle the de jure segregation that existed in their cities, white support for the integration mandate of Brown faded.

    It Was Never About Busing - The New York Times

    -----------

    The truth I received from this very long essay is that the vast majority of white parents do not want their children to attend schools dominated by blacks. This was true when the Brown vs Board of Education Supreme Court Decision was made in 1954. It remains true, despite the fact that blacks have had over two generations to demonstrate that black majority schools are safe learning environments for whites and Asians. Frequently they are unsafe for blacks who want to learn. These are ostracized and beaten up for "acting white." That explains why responsible black parents usually want their children to attend white majority public schools. It also explains why white parents and white students shrink from the influx of black students.

    I have never in my life talked to or read about a white person who had a positive experienced with forced school busing. Invariably the experiences were negative, often very negative.

    Even white liberal parents move to white school districts or send their children to private schools if the alternative is to send them to public schools where black students are in the majority. The problem is not that the toilets do not flush. The problem is that whites who use the restrooms are sometimes beaten up by blacks. I actually read about that happening in a black majority high school in the black majority city where I live. When the whites complained to the black principal he suggested they use the rest room in the nurse's office.

    The durability of white opposition to forced school busing should matter in a democratic country. Instead of wilting before Kamala Harris, Joe Biden should have said, "I opposed forced school busing in 1973. I still do. Here's why..."
    Last edited by SmartCat; 07-12-19 at 11:32 AM.

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    Re: It Never Was About Busing, by Nikole Hannah-Jones

    No one was positively impacted by the busing programs of the 70s. I grew up in Jacksonville and was part of the first busing program. 100 white bused into a majority black American school downtown. 100 young black kids sent to majority white schools named after civil war heroes...Schools like Jefferson Dave...Jeb Stuart...and Nathaniel Bedford Forrest. I cant imagine what the young black kids experience was. For me, it was my first time held at gunpoint...they kept tabs on where we were at all times, and at least once a month they would run a drill where the coaches ran through the school, gathered up all the white students, and locked us in the gym for 3-4 hours to keep us safe. It wasnt a picnic for anyone. The irony is that they took me from a neighborhood that was majority black and the people that I ran with, played sports with, even dated went to their 'normal' majority white schools, and did just fine.

    Busing was a bunch of adults trying to work out their own racial issues using kids.

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    Re: It Never Was About Busing, by Nikole Hannah-Jones

    Quote Originally Posted by VanceMack View Post
    No one was positively impacted by the busing programs of the 70s. I grew up in Jacksonville and was part of the first busing program. 100 white bused into a majority black American school downtown. 100 young black kids sent to majority white schools named after civil war heroes...Schools like Jefferson Dave...Jeb Stuart...and Nathaniel Bedford Forrest. I cant imagine what the young black kids experience was. For me, it was my first time held at gunpoint...they kept tabs on where we were at all times, and at least once a month they would run a drill where the coaches ran through the school, gathered up all the white students, and locked us in the gym for 3-4 hours to keep us safe. It wasnt a picnic for anyone. The irony is that they took me from a neighborhood that was majority black and the people that I ran with, played sports with, even dated went to their 'normal' majority white schools, and did just fine.

    Busing was a bunch of adults trying to work out their own racial issues using kids.
    @VanceMack,

    Thank you for your honesty. I was a child in a southern state that resisted the Brown vs Board of Education Supreme Court Decision of 1954. My parents were northern liberals who taught me not to dislike blacks. I told my friends and classmates that I wanted our elementary school to be integrated. Back then it was not safe to advocate that.

    I have never in my life attended a school where blacks made up more than five percent of the student body. That gave me an impression of the Negro race that I now believe was unrealistically benign.

    During my life I have experienced downward social and economic mobility. Consequently I have lived and worked in and near black neighborhoods. I have also been mugged, robbed at gunpoint, and nearly murdered by blacks.

    Most white liberals live and work in white neighborhoods. They know few blacks. Those few are exceptional, or they occupy subordinate positions without resentment. I know. That is the environment from which I have descended.

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    Re: It Never Was About Busing, by Nikole Hannah-Jones

    The issue of forced school busing to better integrate public schools has been dead for several decades now and it was only a cudgel for Harris to chop some percentage points off the Biden lead. That is all it ever was and anyone who think otherwise has been deceived.
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    Re: It Never Was About Busing, by Nikole Hannah-Jones

    Quote Originally Posted by SmartCat View Post
    @VanceMack,

    Thank you for your honesty. I was a child in a southern state that resisted the Brown vs Board of Education Supreme Court Decision of 1954. My parents were northern liberals who taught me not to dislike blacks. I told my friends and classmates that I wanted our elementary school to be integrated. Back then it was not safe to advocate that.

    I have never in my life attended a school where blacks made up more than five percent of the student body. That gave me an impression of the Negro race that I now believe was unrealistically benign.

    During my life I have experienced downward social and economic mobility. Consequently I have lived and worked in and near black neighborhoods. I have also been mugged, robbed at gunpoint, and nearly murdered by blacks.

    Most white liberals live and work in white neighborhoods. They know few blacks. Those few are exceptional, or they occupy subordinate positions without resentment. I know. That is the environment from which I have descended.
    I did a lot of my growing up years during segregation in eastern New Mexico. The little oil patch town was pretty typical of west Texas style southerners with a lot of old west and old south culture forming the basic values of the community. All the black kids in town were bussed to the 'black schools' in the larger town about 20 minutes or so away. Long before the government made desegregation mandatory, the town leaders got together and noted that we had plenty of room in our local schools and it was silly to bus those kids to the next town. Why shouldn't they go to school at home? So we integrated and while we were at it did away with all the other silly rules like separate drinking fountains, the black folks had to sit in the balcony at the movie theater etc. (I was always so jealous of the black kids getting to sit up there.)

    The white kids, including a smattering of Hispanics immediately befriended the black kids and started bringing them home to play, for lunch or dinner, etc. Our parents, entrenched in old south segregated culture, swallowed hard but came through as troopers. And it was no time that they thought no more about it than we kids did. And I got to sit in the balcony at the movie theater.

    Result: a small town that integrated voluntarily based on common sense considerations with no resulting resentment or defensiveness or anybody feeling they had to walk on eggs with anybody. Were there racists in that community? Sure. White ones and black ones. But most just merged seamlessly and life went on and it was good. That is how it should be. That is how systemic racism is defanged and rendered harmless.

    And I've never looked to verify it, but I'm pretty sure those black kids in our schools went on to college, etc. at pretty much the same rate as the white kids.
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    Re: It Never Was About Busing, by Nikole Hannah-Jones

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    The issue of forced school busing to better integrate public schools has been dead for several decades now and it was only a cudgel for Harris to chop some percentage points off the Biden lead. That is all it ever was and anyone who think otherwise has been deceived.
    I intend to vote for Joe Biden, but I was disappointed with his response to Kamala Harris. If he had stood up to her and calmly explained his opposition to busing he would have gained the support of many whites who have become disenchanted with Donald Trump.

    The Democratic Party needs to win back much of the South and most of the white working class. The Democrats will not achieve this by pandering to race hustlers.

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    Re: It Never Was About Busing, by Nikole Hannah-Jones

    Quote Originally Posted by SmartCat View Post
    @VanceMack,

    Thank you for your honesty. I was a child in a southern state that resisted the Brown vs Board of Education Supreme Court Decision of 1954. My parents were northern liberals who taught me not to dislike blacks. I told my friends and classmates that I wanted our elementary school to be integrated. Back then it was not safe to advocate that.

    I have never in my life attended a school where blacks made up more than five percent of the student body. That gave me an impression of the Negro race that I now believe was unrealistically benign.

    During my life I have experienced downward social and economic mobility. Consequently I have lived and worked in and near black neighborhoods. I have also been mugged, robbed at gunpoint, and nearly murdered by blacks.

    Most white liberals live and work in white neighborhoods. They know few blacks. Those few are exceptional, or they occupy subordinate positions without resentment. I know. That is the environment from which I have descended.
    I understand life and the real world and the development of racial hatreds...but I can tell you that as kids...adolescents...young teens...none of us gave the first **** about race until adults decided they had to impose it on us.

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    Re: It Never Was About Busing, by Nikole Hannah-Jones

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    The issue of forced school busing to better integrate public schools has been dead for several decades now and it was only a cudgel for Harris to chop some percentage points off the Biden lead. That is all it ever was and anyone who think otherwise has been deceived.
    It is important to remember that Harris promised to re-institute forced busing should she become the Democratic Party's nominee. Every parent needs to figure how to come up with 2+ hours a day 5 days a week extra to take their kid to and from their new school miles away - or buy winter clothing and stress "stranger danger" for their kid standing waiting for a bus - plus probably martial arts classes to deal with harassment on the long bus ride twice a day.

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    Re: It Never Was About Busing, by Nikole Hannah-Jones

    Quote Originally Posted by SmartCat View Post
    @VanceMack,

    Thank you for your honesty. I was a child in a southern state that resisted the Brown vs Board of Education Supreme Court Decision of 1954. My parents were northern liberals who taught me not to dislike blacks. I told my friends and classmates that I wanted our elementary school to be integrated. Back then it was not safe to advocate that.

    I have never in my life attended a school where blacks made up more than five percent of the student body. That gave me an impression of the Negro race that I now believe was unrealistically benign.

    During my life I have experienced downward social and economic mobility. Consequently I have lived and worked in and near black neighborhoods. I have also been mugged, robbed at gunpoint, and nearly murdered by blacks.

    Most white liberals live and work in white neighborhoods. They know few blacks. Those few are exceptional, or they occupy subordinate positions without resentment. I know. That is the environment from which I have descended.
    I think this is true in most cases.

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    Re: It Never Was About Busing, by Nikole Hannah-Jones

    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post
    It is important to remember that Harris promised to re-institute forced busing should she become the Democratic Party's nominee. Every parent needs to figure how to come up with 2+ hours a day 5 days a week extra to take their kid to and from their new school miles away - or buy winter clothing and stress "stranger danger" for their kid standing waiting for a bus - plus probably martial arts classes to deal with harassment on the long bus ride twice a day.
    The real harassment for white students will begin once they get to school.

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