Bernie Sanders open to new busing policies – Washington Examiner
Sen. Bernie Sanders said he would be open to implementing busing in 2019 after the issue came up during the first Democratic primary presidential debate.
“I am really concerned about the growing segregation — once again — the resegregation of communities all over this country,” the 77-year-old Vermont independent told National Review in comments published Friday. “We’re seeing more and more schools which are being segregated. And that is something we have to deal with.”
When pressed on whether he would support federally mandating busing, Sanders replied, “Busing is one tool.”
Sanders’ view on the issue appears to have evolved over the years. Decades ago, he expressed more skepticism of the practice. “The government,” Sanders said at a 1974 event, “doesn’t give a sh** about black people.” Sanders argued that while busing policies were aimed “toward quality education,” they resulted in creating “racial hostility where it did not previously exist.”
The question of busing came up on Thursday during a contentious first Democratic presidential debate in which Sen. Kamala Harris pressed front-runner Joe Biden over his opposition to busing in the 1970s.
“I am going to now direct this at Vice President Biden, I do not believe you are a racist, and I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground,” the 54-year-old California Democrat said during the debate. “But I also believe and it’s personal and it was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country.”
“It was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose busing. There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools and she was bused to school every day. That little girl was me,” Harris added.
Biden, 76, defended himself during the debate saying he did not oppose court-ordered busing but did oppose busing by the Department of Education.
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