Har­ris right to ques­tion Bi­den

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - PERSPECTIV­E -

Eric Zorn’s “Say it was so, Joe!” col­umn brings up many memories of forced bus­ing in the decades since the Brown de­ci­sion. He de­fends Bi­den’s an­tibus­ing stance back then. But Sen. Ka­mala Har­ris was right to ques­tion him about it dur­ing the second Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial de­bate. Her ques­tion about race re­la­tions in this na­tion was one that had to be asked.

Bi­den said the ques­tion of bus­ing be­longed to the lo­cal school districts. Yet these are the very folks who dis­crim­i­nated against black school kids for decades. Here in Chicago, the first Mayor Da­ley played around for years try­ing to keep black and white school kids apart. He set up mo­bile class­rooms, Wil­lis wag­ons, to al­lay the overcrowdi­ng fears from black par­ents who boy­cotted the schools in the early ’60s.

The bus­ing plan here helped only a small num­ber of stu­dents who were willing to take the long CTA trip from the South Side to bet­ter schools on the North Side. As a high school fresh­man at Mather High School in 1967, I saw some of these kids in my classes. I could not imag­ine what time they had to get up in or­der to make it on time to my neigh­bor­hood school, a school that I walked to. The un­fair­ness of it all blew my 14-year-old mind.

Raising the ques­tion of racial in­equal­ity in ed­u­ca­tion is never wrong.

— Jan Gold­berg, River­side

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