Friday, June 28, 2019

Really Time To Pass the Torch, Joe

What happened?  This happened:

Finally, Haake was able to ask a question on whether Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) misrepresented Biden’s position on segregation.

“Yes, she did,” Biden replied. “Yes, she did.”

“She mischaracterized it how?” Haake asked.

“I don’t think she intended to, she mischaracterized it because I supported busing to eliminate de jure segregation,” Biden claimed, as he tried to ignore the reporter.
I remember the explosion of anger and violence in Boston when busing finally reached some neighborhoods of that city.  I remember being surprised because it was years after my East Texas (read:  Southern) town had closed the separate black schools and integrated the schools.  That was de jure segregation.  I know there was de facto segregation in many places, including northern cities:  it meant the schools were segregated because of neighborhoods (and redlining, and other racist tactics going back decades).  De jure segregation, but so removed from the actions of statutes or even laws (except where laws looked the other way) it as in fact, but not in law.  The distinction is and always was a spurious one; a way of denying responsibility while insisting "the way things are" shouldn't be disturbed because white people didn't want it disturbed.  And I'm not really surprised to find out Joe Biden thought thing as they are was just fine for his part of the country, since de jure segregation was much more associated with the South than the industrial North.

But why would you resurrect the all but forgotten distinction between de jure and de facto segregation? And worse, still insist that one should be corrected, while the other shouldn't?  This is not getting a lot of attention yet, but this is what Biden meant during the debate when he said he opposed busing ordered by the Department of Education.

If this gets any more attention, I don't think even being Obama's Grandpa (thanks, SNL!  Eternally!) is going to save him.  Because, frankly, this is indefensible; and yet he's trying to defend it.

ADDING:  ABC already has video of Joe denouncing forced busing, back when a lot of white people were tired of it.  He's making the argument he tried to defend last night:  that busing is good for schools where there is an "intent" to segregate.  That's not an argument he wants to be defending today.

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