Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Professional Protesters' Credibility

[Update, 8.46pm: Joining the Rev. Barber in the protest was none other than Duke's resident professional protester, Tim Tyson--the figure who humiliated himself by participating (as a teacher) in a protest outside the lacrosse captains' house as their false accuser, Crystal Mangum, was caught on videotape pole-dancing at a strip club.]

Few public policy initiatives produced such unfortunate, if unintended, consequences as mandatory school busing to achieve racial diversity.

The idea, on its face, seemed reasonable: Brown dealt only with legalized segregation, but in dozens of northeastern, Midwestern, and Border State cities, de facto racial segregation existed. Policies such as “red-lining” (as well as uglier, more overt instances of hostility in cities like Detroit) had prevented black families from obtaining mortgages in selected neighborhoods, creating overwhelmingly-white or overwhelmingly-black neighborhoods. So assigning students to public schools on the basis of their residences resulted in de facto segregated schools.

Beginning in the 1960s, civil rights groups obtained from sympathetic federal judges rulings that mandated public school busing to achieve racially balanced public schools. The most notorious of these cases occurred in Boston, where federal judge J. Arthur Garrity took control of the city’s public school system, and racist mobs in South Boston greeted the arrival of black children at South Boston High School.

However well-intention in theory, mandatory busing almost always fell short in practice. In policy terms, they precipitated “white flight,” in which most white families either moved from center cities to suburbs (Detroit is a good example of this pattern) or sent their children to private schools rather than busing them out of their neighborhoods. In political terms, these white families—disproportionately middle-class or lower-middle class Catholic ethnics—became ground zero in the backlash against the Democratic Party, opening up the way for their emergence as “Reagan Democrats.”

Busing, then, mostly left behind smaller, though not much more integrated, public school systems; and harmed the political allies of busing advocates. It’s no surprise that most cities (and courts) have abandoned mandatory “diversity” busing in favor of voluntary programs like magnet schools.

In this respect, the decision of North Carolina’s Wake County to move away from mandatory busing is a bit behind the times. But the school board meeting to implement the policy change met with a protest from four “civil rights” activists—led by none other than the Rev. William Barber. Barber and his cohort used a break in the school board’s session to place themselves in board members’ seats before being arrested. The state NAACP head claimed that Wake County’s actions would wipe away “what it took more than a century ‘of tears, sweat and blood to accomplish.’”

That’s the same Rev. Barber whose conception of “justice” in the lacrosse case consisted of abandoning decades’ worth of his organization’s principles on criminal justice matters and posting on his organization’s website a “memorandum of law” riddled with errors that made the defendants appear to be guilty.

That, after such behavior, any politician would consider Rev. Barber credible is beyond belief.


Deklan Singh said...

Barber, like so many other "civil rights activists and """scholars"""" who inserted themselves into the Duke lacrosse debacle, was quickly exposed to be something akin to a social parasite that preys on the fears and angers of the ignorant and disenfranchised. He seems to be continuing his song and dance, likely praying that nobody notices as he is, time and again, exposed as a fraud.

Anonymous said...

Also "arrested" that night: Prof. Tim ("My sister was raped, and I once knew of a black guy who was unfairly prosecuted for murder, and I made a bunch of money writing about it, so obviously the white, Duke lacrosse players must be presumed guilty") Tyson.

Anonymous said...

These people also completely ignore the fact that the system that was in place for the last ten years hasn't worked and that the majority of the school board was FINALLY replaced! They have absolutely no suggestions for improvement other than keep on keeping on. There were court cases that precluded from considering only race (and Wake County continued to ask for race on magnet school applications anyhow) so the former school board considered economic status. This created huge problems (bussing kids past several closer schools to achieve "diversity," precluding as much involvement of parents since their kids' schools were so far away, etc.) yet, if it's not race-based, they're against it.

The sense of entitlement of some people to demand attention boggles my mind!

Anonymous said...

I've got news for you. It wasn't only Catholic families who were affected by busing. It happened to Protestants as well. Furthermore, the liberal judges and politicians who favored "busing to achieve a racial balance" never exposed their own children to the wonders of integration, diversity, and multiculturalism.

Kilgore said...

Thanks KC. Interesting. Especially the historical piece about busing working against the democrats politically. I thought you were going to draw a connection between this and the next wedge which has been forming for years, the wedge based on political correctness that has hurt so many families (with the LAX case being a prime example). I think that wedge is coming and it ain't gonna be pretty for the dems.

Box said...

This is the same crew (Barber and Tyson) who were seen a couple months ago protesting offering honors classes in Chapel Hill.

Timmy Tyson works in Durham but apparently did not want his own children attending public schools in the not so acclaimed Durham schools. What's a "civil rights" author to do? Buy a $800,000 house in Chapel Hill. Wonder how he would like his children being on a bus for 40 minutes to Durham Southern High. Surely he should WANT to achieve diversity by sending his children there. Do as I say, not as I do.

Anonymous said...

I think the villains in your history lesson, Professor, are the angry mobs in Boston and other cities. If busing children moved our country closer together, then why wasn't it worth exchanging some comfort? I don't know how anyone can prove that point or disprove it, so I'll just let it hang there.

As for Barber and Tyson, they lost all credibility and are anchors to any cause they attempt to help. That is their legacy. MOO! Gregory