It was never about busing

July 15, 2019 | The New York Times

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 ’80s, he gave a sort of denial. “I did not oppose busing in America,” he said. “What I opposed is busing ordered by the Department of Education. That’s what I opposed.”

This quickly became one of the most talked-about moments of the debate. Many pundits suggested it was unwise for Ms. Harris to dredge up the racial hurts of a decades-old “failed” policy at a time when the Trump administration is caging children along the border and when Democrats are seeking to retake the White House.

But tellingly, 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.

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