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The Busing Issue.....

It is amazingly disappointing to see the numerous threads on how Kamala Harris position on Busing (a U.S. Supreme Court Decision that has been DECIDED in April 20, 1971) is festering the lines of Racial Divisions here at DU (YES, WE SAID IT).

First, things first -- let's correct the Busing Issue as there as been at least two (if not more) U.S. Supreme Court Decisions on this -- both of whom occurred during the 1970's.

The First Decision was Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg v Board of Education in 1971, as noted below:

Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, case in which, on April 20, 1971, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously upheld busing programs that aimed to speed up the racial integration of public schools in the United States.

In 1954 the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. However, because of racially segregated housing patterns and resistance by local leaders, many schools remained as segregated in the late 1960s as they were at the time of the Brown decision.

In Charlotte, North Carolina, for example, in the mid-1960s less than 5 percent of African American children attended integrated schools. Indeed, busing was used by white officials to maintain segregation. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), on behalf of Vera and Darius Swann, the parents of a six-year-old child, sued the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district to allow their son to attend Seversville Elementary School, the school closest to their home and then one of Charlotte’s few integrated schools. James McMillan, the federal district judge in the case, ruled in favour of the Swanns and oversaw the implementation of a busing strategy that integrated the district’s schools. McMillan’s decision was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld it. The busing strategy was adopted elsewhere in the United States and played an instrumental role in integrating U.S. public schools.

In later decades, court-ordered busing plans were criticized not only by whites but also by African Americans, who often charged that busing harmed African American students by requiring them to endure long commutes to and from school. Busing continued in most major cities until the late 1990s.


This is the Second Decision ultimately decided by the U.S. Supreme Court - on a Similar Subject in 1974 was Milliken v. Bradley:

Milliken v. Bradley began in 1970, when the NAACP sued the state of Michigan to desegregate Detroit’s schools. In particular, they wanted a solution that would involve both the city and the suburbs since, by that point, the vast majority of Detroit’s residents were black, and meaningful de-segregation within city limits had become almost impossible.

After hours of testimony on redlining, exclusionary zoning, police-sanctioned violence, and other sordid tales of American housing discrimination, the federal judge on the case, Stephen Roth, agreed with the plaintiffs that government “at all levels” bore responsibility for residential segregation. As a result, Roth concluded, the government could not legitimately enforce the school boundaries that residential segregation was designed to exploit.

If the school districts’ boundary lines were drawn today, he wrote, they would be struck down as unconstitutional.

Roth’s proposal, instead of redrawing the Detroit area’s school districts, was simply to make them irrelevant: he ruled that some black students from Detroit would have to enroll in schools out in the suburbs, and lots of white kids in the suburbs would have to enroll in schools in Detroit.

The plan was not without its problems. But it was the first time a judge had recognized the crucial role city-suburb borders played in maintaining segregated schools, and ordered a major metropolitan area to do something about it.

Unfortunately, in July 1974, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to overturn Roth. The majority found no evidence that governments had encouraged segregation in the Detroit metro area – despite, for example, the fact that the mayor of suburban Dearborn had been quoted just a few years before in the New York Times saying, “I favor segregation.” Before that, he told a newspaper: “Every time we hear of a Negro moving…in, we respond quicker than you do to a fire.

Among Dearborn’s 90,000 residents, there were fewer than 100 black people.

In other realms, Roth’s logic – that political boundaries must be subservient to larger questions of justice, including segregation – is taken for granted. Think, for example, about Congressional districts. To start with, they’re redrawn every ten years to adjust to shifting populations. Not only that, but there are lots of rules designed to make sure the new districts aren’t unfair in ways that violate anyone’s civil rights. If they are, they can be thrown out by a judge, and ordered to be redrawn.

We go through all of this because we understand that unfair Congressional districts can be devastating for minority communities, denying them political power and, along with it, the ability to fight for policies that improve their lives.

School districts, of course, play just as large a role in determining their residents’ life chances, but share basically none of these rules. In general, school districts don’t have to be redrawn at any regular interval, and many haven’t changed for decades, if not generations.

No one is reviewing the districts that already exist, to make sure that they’ve been drawn in ways that don’t unfairly disadvantage anyone. And they’re certainly not throwing out school districts, and ordering them to be redrawn to, say, reduce segregation.

In fact, more recently the Supreme Court has voted to curtail attempts to desegregate even within school districts, to the extent it’s possible.

Predictably, the result of all this is that many American school districts are moving towards pre-Civil Rights Movement levels of racial separation.
In the last few years, reports from ProPublica and UCLA’s Civil Rights Project, among others, have found that school segregation has been getting worse for decades.

Sometimes, we’re tempted to justify our separate schools by arguing that they’re equal. Or, more accurately, that they could be equal: we tell the stories of racially and economically segregated schools that have “beaten the odds” by performing as well academically as their wealthier, more integrated peers. But entire school districts shouldn’t have to “beat the odds” to get a decent education. Moreover, as the phrase implies, the vast majority don’t. In his book Fives Miles Away, A World Apart, law professor James Ryan cites a study that found that high-poverty, high-minority schools have a one-in-300 chance of being “high-performing,” or scoring in the top third of schools on at least two subjects in two grades over two years. Mostly white, middle-class schools have a one-in-four shot.

Nor is more money enough, even where it’s needed. Studies have shown that low-income students learn more in economically integrated schools than they do in mostly poor ones – even when the poor schools have more funding.

Piercing school district borders – the walls that prevent enrollment or, in many cases, funds from being spread more evenly between white or relatively more affluent districts and ones populated by black, brown, or poorer families nearby – isn’t a simple task, politically or logistically.

But the five justices who wrote Milliken 40 years ago wanted us to believe something else: that it wasn’t a necessary task, morally.

They were wrong.


Jumping back into the present day, children except in urbanized communities where a parents ability to commute their child to a school of their choice if public transportation is NOT PROVIDED by the CHARTER or PUBLIC SCHOOL, travel on school buses daily (with the exception of summer unless the school practices a year round schedule) to either a local school or a school of their parents choice. This is the reality that did not exist in the 1970's #FACT.

The only reason this changed in the 1970's is solely due to Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education decision, period.

Which makes a logical question on why those who children largely attend (still) schools were other children share their race in Non-Minority Communities due to continued Redlining Factors and of course --- not desiring to LIVE near Minorities in General for the most part -- have an issue with Kamala Harris talking about HER STORY and ASKING Joe Biden in a DEBATE regarding if he had changed his Anti-Desegregation position on busing and for that matter on Minority Children attending schools with Non-Minority Children in THEIR DISTRICTS if the Minority Children Parents so choose and a Schools of Choice option allows for such?

What positions like Biden (still) and others seen by the many, many, many, many threads STILL defending Biden's position which to be frank is a 1970's way of thinking -- does is allow an huge opening for Charter Schools to continue to grow and take children out of Public Schools along with the dollars that follow them. #FACT 2

Lastly, Biden has slipped in the polls since his non-answer his position on Busing Desegregation - which it appears he still opposes. Yet, it is funny and awakening at the same time to see the various threads tapping oh so close to the Race and Privilege position of those continuing to add these threads here -- and reveal so much (hopefully no offense taken) on how we have a Racist POTUS named Donald J. Trump in the White House right now.

Hopefully, this post will stand as this post speaks this poster Truth in what in seen in some of the noted threads described above.

Thank you.
Posted by LovingA2andMI | Tue Jul 2, 2019, 11:39 AM (4 replies)
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