Why Are Blacks Disappointed With The Ruling On Busing?
The Supreme Court has issued an historic decision in which the forced desegregation orders of the 1950’s have been put to rest, for now. Was busing a necessary evil? I think so, although ultimately it appears to have been a failed social experiment. If school districts had properly funded all schools equally to begin with, then busing and desegregation would have been unnecessary from the start. However, that was not the case and so busing was a cure to an ill.
The system was skewed against Black Americans from the start, the Black community was given the bulk of the busing load to carry. So why aren’t more Blacks happy that busing has effectively been put down?
Not long ago (By Supreme Court Standards) in a school district, which happened to be Black, became frustrated by an integration plan which seemed to do little in the service of their community. So they fought it and won. Central High School in Louisville KY. was returned to a ‘neighborhood school’ by the slam of a gavel in Federal Court. The NAACP and every other organization that could get their picture in the paper applauded the effort and success. The only dissenter was the judge who saw the action as a “step backward”, but was compelled by legal maneuvering from the Black community(AKA the law suit brought against the Jefferson County School Board) to rule in their favor.
Fast forward to June 29, 2007 and another court has made a similar ruling, only this time the plaintiff was white and the court in question was the Supreme Court. Why did this case even go that far? Blacks were able to receive justice at the Federal Court level. The plaintiffs race seems to be the only distinguishable factor, both cases revolved around the school boards use of race in school assignment, both were tried by the same attorney, something seems a little strange. Anyway, now that the ruling has finally come down and people are upset?
I am confused, and worse yet I find myself in agreement with Louis Coleman. (Having typed that I may have to cut off my finger tips at a later date.) Coleman is the only person, who regularly speaks for the Black community locally, who has said it like it is. He feels, as do I, that the system has failed to produce any results more significant than a diverse classroom. The original goal was to improve education for ALL children within a district.
This original goal was doomed as soon as school’s began to institute “special” schools. You know them, they go by fancy titles like “Traditional Schools” or “Magnet Schools.” These schools allowed any white person with either enough money or enough political pull to vacate the busing scenario all together leaving behind poor whites and poor blacks to take hour long bus rides to schools.
Meanwhile the wealthy were sending their children to secretly segregated schools within the district, but they did have to provide their own transportation, at first. So the money which was supposed to flow into integrated schools and level the education received by all children, flowed instead to “special” schools, stunning isn’t it. Is it any wonder why the education system in America has been laying a big fat goose egg for the past thirty years?
The best part is that this program was designed to help Black students and so they where the ones required to be bussed for the majority of their school years. So who was even less interested in being at school? You guessed it, the kids who had to ride for an hour a day to get somewhere they didn’t want to go. A school far away from family, friends and community. The parents of these students where even worse off, if there was a meeting or school activity which required their attendance, they had to travel across town to attend. Do you think they stood in line to become PTA members of a school which required an expedition on their behalf to get to? Not very often, I’m willing willing to bet.
I really am stunned that the Black community is upset with the most recent court ruling regarding race and school assignment. The really stunning remarks are the ones that seem to have a sense of “surprise” to them.
This is the same ruling the Black community heard years ago and sang its praises.