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What we’ve learned 70 years after Brown v. Board of Ed.: Don’t listen to liberals

Busing didn’t work? OK, let’s double down …

Seventy years ago the landmark Brown v. Board of Education U.S. Supreme Court decision came down forever changing American education by ruling that separate is indeed unequal.

But, alas, like they often do, progressives turned the ruling into something it was not, and ended up doubling down on failure.

Whereas before Brown the law kept the races in separate schools (de jure segregation), soon after the law was used to force children of different races attend the same schools to make up for de facto segregation — even if this meant busing students to a school far away from their homes.

Brown only concerned itself the de jure, as that is all with which government should concern itself. Our now-president said as much (when he was lucid) around the 20th anniversary of Brown in his criticism of forced busing:

The new integration plans being offered are really just quota systems to assure a certain number of blacks, Chicanos, or whatever in each school. That, to me, is the most racist concept you can come up with. What it says is, ‘In order for your child with curly black hair, brown eyes, and dark skin to be able to learn anything, he needs to sit next to my blond-haired, blue-eyed son.’ That’s racist! Who the hell do we think we are, that the only way a black man or woman can learn is if they rub shoulders with my white child?

MORE: Public school desegregation is great, liberals say — as long as they don’t have to participate

Biden also said racial quotas “insure mediocrity” and called forced busing an “asinine concept.”

The then-fledgling senator knew what was coming in his state: Just three years later, its northernmost county enacted the most “draconian” busing policy in the nation — thanks to a single liberal judge.

The result: Neighborhood schools were wrecked, kids were bused for tens of miles to schools they never knew existed, minority academic achievement remained stagnant, and Delaware ended up with one of the highest per capita private/parochial school attendance rates in the country.

Like other left-wing brainchilds of the last 60 years (merely look at our big cities today), the failure of forced busing didn’t effect a re-examination and reflection. Instead, progressives doubled down, saying the dream of Brown remains unrealized: Segregation has gotten worse (just don’t inquire about the need for racial “safe spaces” and racially separate events like commencements!), and just about conceivable racial disparity, whether academic or behavioral, is due to persistent/systemic racism.

Adequate funding and resources, as Sharif El-Mekki brings up, remains a legitimate point; however, going beyond what the mainstream media and teachers unions say is imperative.

Keep in mind the Kansas City Experiment in particular, and the fact that popular “equity” leaders automatically refuse to address certain topics right out of the gate.

MORE: Ibram Kendi likens CRT opposition to backlash against Brown v. Board of Education desegregation case

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.