Busing in 1970s was a last resort
Eric Zorn’s column (“Say it was so, Joe! Biden was right to oppose busing in the ’70s,” July 3) on Joe Biden’s embrace of anti-busing politics in the 1970s misses some important context.
Federal courts issued busing decrees not because they wished to impose pain or inconvenience on school-age kids, but because school desegregation was the law of the land under Brown v. the Board of Education. Courts tried other methods short of busing, but because of other intractable social issues, they were not equal to the task of integration. Busing was a last resort and thought to be a short-term solution until fair housing and other initiatives caught up, which depressingly never happened.
The politicians who fought busing were primarily opposed — or at best, indifferent — to the entire mission of racial integration, and were trying to derail the courts. That’s why Sen. Biden throwing in with the Southern Democrats at the time was, and remains, so appalling.
— Paul W. Mollica, Chicago