Against Forced Busing for Racial Balance?

Jul 2, 2019 by

From the Tom Woods Letter:

Now you’re a racist — and probably a “white supremacist,” for good measure — for opposing school busing for racial balance.

Kevin Gutzman is a celebrated biographer of Madison and Jefferson, and whose academic works have received plaudits by the top scholars working in the field. He’s also my co-author on the 2008 book Who Killed the Constitution?

Here’s what he had to say today about Joe Biden and busing, a topic that’s been in the news:

Lost in left-wing attacks on Joe Biden for having opposed forced busing of schoolchildren for racial balance is that 79% of black parents of Boston schoolchildren in a 1982 Boston Globe poll favored an open-enrollment plan over forced busing and 42% of them said they had not even favored busing in 1974. Opposition to forced busing among white parents was higher yet.

In short, everyone hated forced busing for racial balance, the chief results of which were 1) to waste a lot of money that could have gone into instruction and training; 2) to make millions of kids waste who knows how many hours riding buses; 3) to break down traditional ties between communities and their local schools; and 4) to hasten the ongoing flight of whomever could afford it, of whatever race, from cities covered by busing orders. It also contributed to electing Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan president.

The high-water mark of forced busing was the Milliken v. Bradley (1974) case in the Supreme Court, in which four justices voted to uphold a busing plan for metropolitan Detroit covering an area larger than the state of Connecticut (thus also than Rhode Island and Delaware). The underlying theory of this trend, as Justice Clarence Thomas has pointed out, was that black kids would by definition be educated better if they were sitting next to white kids — that is, that a white kid’s presence made education better. Thomas is not a fan of this reasoning.

My “favorite” story in this line concerns a former US district court judge in Virginia, Robert R. Merhige. He’s the fellow who devised the busing plan for metropolitan Richmond. In the midst of interviewing him for a fawning profile in a famous national magazine, the reporter asked the judge how he accounted for the fact that while he was ordering tens of thousands of other people’s children to be bused for racial balance, he was sending his own daughter to a private school. He replied that when he was on the bench he was a judge, but at home he was a father.

Your federal judiciary at work.

There was nothing “racist” about Joe Biden opposing this destructive social experiment with other people’s children. In fact, he was Delaware’s US senator: he was supposed to oppose it.

That right there is a dose of truth you won’t encounter in the New York Times these days.


Kevin teaches history at, my dashboard university.

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Source: Against Forced Busing for Racial Balance? – LewRockwell

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