A Bit of Honesty to the Debate

June 30, 2019 9:29 p.m.

Today Kamala Harris told reporters in San Francisco today that she supports busing today as a way to desegregate schools. “I support busing. Listen, the schools of America are as segregated, if not more segregated, today than when I was in elementary school… we need to put every effort, including busing, into play to de-segregate the schools… The federal government has a role & a responsibility to step up.” I’m glad she said this because I think it puts the entire debate on a more honest footing.

We’re now having a debate about Biden’s opposition to busing in the mid-1970s, and whether that is beyond the pale for a Democratic nominee in 2019. But the fact is that virtually no Democratic elected officials — certainly very few at the federal level — have supported the federal government using busing as a tool for desegregation for the last forty years. So I think in effect Biden’s position has been the position of the vast majority of Democratic elected officials for decades.

As Harris says, certainly in many parts of the country, schools are as segregated today as they were in the 1970s. In some areas they are more segregated. So it hardly makes sense that opposing presidential candidates can be hitting Biden for opposing busing then when they don’t support it now.

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