Busing: A Racist Fake Herring. Kamala Harris’ Disingenuous Berkeley Jeremiad

Preaching the Good Lord, to better practice being a Devil, what’s more human?

Kamala Harris, US Senator and the youngest of the top four presidential candidates, demolished ex-Vice President, and leading candidate, Joe Biden, in a pulverizing exchange, in her first democratic debate. A baffled Biden is now history, I reckon (or hope). 

Now I don’t like Biden, mostly because he is a “moderate” whose business model used to be right of Reagan, thus empowering plutocracy ever more… But I despise Kamala’s “busing” bandwagon.  Warren presents really new ideas, whereas Harris takes the same old bus to Political Correctness. It’s precisely because the unjust stupidity of busing was so passionately promoted by pseudo-progressives, at the detriment of real solutions, that lethal inequality was allowed to grow, unnoticed.  That was so insane, it promoted insanity some more.

Clearly Harris has a very high probability to be US president someday; she has presidential presence, and the killer instinct of the prosecutor she was. Had I been her, I would have made the same point on busing, just to demolish Biden (philosophers on the edge of human understanding have to be the most cynical creatures). But, eschewing Harris’ excellent (for herself) tactics, busing is not a good thing. Busing was, and is, mostly a red herring, it has very bad consequences today. Not just per se, but as an example of diabolical diversionary tactic impelling the exact opposite of what it claims to fight (more on this in another essay). Such diversions have replaced the desired ends: see the destruction of murals proclaiming precisely the horror, and error, of real history.

Let me explain busing, for those readers not from the USA who can’t conceive of that peculiar madness. “Busing” consists into driving children to schools far away, in the misguided hope it will drive down segregation and racism. All what busing achieved was a mad drive towards wealthy, tax reduced, distant, segregated suburbs, so-called “Gated Communities”… And thus “busing” made worse what it was pretending to cure, segregation in the USA… thus busing ended up building worse problems than what it was fighting (see below). 

And, importantly enough, Berkeley, where Harris grew up, is a perfect example that the problems got worse. [1] 

Busing in the USA. Instead of going to school, you shall go to bus, to make sure you stay stupid. The children are removed from their neighborhood, to be brought to a school in another distant neighborhood supposedly with a different “race”. Kamala Harris, who was not from US parents, spent more than an hour and a half in and around buses, each day, instead of going to a school next to her home. Guess what? In Berkeley, everybody left, in the end. Especially the “blacks” busing was supposed to help. The likes of me are now living there, and doing everything there, including having lots of anti-racial and anti-racist thoughts, and sentiment… And not liking polluting buses, and pseudo-progressives whose true calling is colossal hypocrisy.

Some progressive friends (who, overall, are against busing) advised me not to vocalize against busing because, as the time, they say, it helped to fight segregation. The funny thing is that there is colossal and increasing segregation in the San Francisco Bay Area, but it’s all about money, not skin color. Besides, Kamala Harris is not an African American, she just masquerades as one…

Busing helped with what? It was pretty obvious that the madness of putting kids up to two hours a day in buses would have the opposite effect, long term. Busing helped towards accepting to be ruled by a mood of irrationality. And deciding that make-belief was best. What busing provoked, the flight towards the suburbs, and supergiant gated communities, was entirely predictable. Actually, Palo Alto (30 miles south of Berkeley), outright split itself in two. The servants were made to live in the newly created “East Palo Alto”, on the other side of the giant 101 freeway. In the SF Bay Area, a plutocrat who just died, made his billions by building entire gated cities along the I 680 corridor… As a reaction to busing, wealthy folks fled there. [2].

***

I know the geography of the area very well, and the school where Kamala was “bused”, at the foot of the hills. I also criss cross, on foot and car, West Berkeley all the time, where I live, shop, and my child goes to school. I lived there longer than Harris, I saw the evolution, and view many powers that be in Berkeley, as perfect hypocrites, preaching the Good Lord, while practicing the Devil. 

There are huge problems in Berkeley now, arguably even greater than during the few years when Harris lived here.  There are much fewer African-Americans, but the non-“white” minorities are a majority. 

The main problem of Berkeley, the Bay Area and California, is housing. Berkeley NIMBYs have systematically refused the construction of high density living, using absolutely any argument they could possibly imagine. That NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) attitude is generalized in the San Francisco Bay Area. It has prevented high density living, electrification and improvement of metro and train lines (it would ameliorate commuting, reduce pollution, and that matters in people who, as I do, live in West Berkeley: a busy train track sees 100 carriages fracked oil trains going to the Richmond refinery, and giant merchandise trains going to the East Coast all the time).

The housing crisis has created squalor. The homeless live in incredible filth, greater than anything seen in the 1960s. The other day, in Oakland, one of the squalid tent cities caught fire below the 14 lane freeway. Enormous black smoke was pouring out both sides of the humongous freeway. Such fires of the filthy homeless camps happen all the time. Berkeley is very good at just one thing: keeping the homeless completely away from the wealthy parts of town.

The solution to bad schools is good schools with well paid teachers… not hitting the road in a bus, with the preconceived attitude that it’s better among the “whites”.

Harris should call for better schools and decent housing. Equality, not yesterday’s racism, and busing around clapping children.

Patrice Ayme

***

***

[1] Here is the NYT about the Harris-Biden story: 

Kamala Harris and Classmates Were Bused Across Berkeley. The Experience Changed Them

“BERKELEY, Calif. — In 1967, the superintendent of the Berkeley, Calif., school district had resolved to desegregate the city schools. “We will set an example for all the cities of America,” he wrote in a report called “Integration: A Plan for Berkeley,” which he presented to the Berkeley Board of Education. “The children of Berkeley will grow in a community where justice is part of their pattern of life,” the report stated.

Several years later, a young girl named Kamala Harris, the daughter of an Indian mother and a Jamaican father, boarded a school bus — part of that school integration program that would change her, the city and the country’s conversation about racial politics.

“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, and that little girl was me,” Ms. Harris, now a senator and candidate for president, said on Thursday evening onstage at the Democratic debate. She was directly addressing former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., and what she described as his history of opposition to mandatory busing.

In that moment, Ms. Harris invoked a complex part of American history, and the way cities tried to address how segregated the country’s classrooms remained…”

Complex, and ineffectual, not to say decerebrating… Little girl Kamala spent forty (40) minutes, each way, twice a day, in that polluted, polluting bus. NOT getting instructed. Instead… My own daughter has gone to school in West berkeley, and only in West Berkeley, all her life. Does that make her racially inferior? Less bused?

Burning Housing Projects of high density living is a San Francisco Bay Area NIMBY occupation, a new form of racism… Santa Clara, SF Bay Area, June 28, 2019….

New York Times going lyrical on (not so) poor Kamala motoring around town: 

She and her peers played hand-clapping games to pass the time, one classmate remembered, aware that their bus ride took them to a neighborhood different from theirs, but not that it was something a superintendent had to fight for.

Students who attended Berkeley public schools during the early years of the integration effort recall the experience as a defining one for them.

“Racism didn’t go away because we were bused,” said Doris Alkebulan, 58, who was part of the initial group of black students in Berkeley to be bused to a majority white school. “What about play dates? Were you going to be invited to the birthday party? Would you be chosen for the team?””

***

[2] “Ms. Harris onstage at the debate reflected on a time in Berkeley history when moderate politics were falling apart. Though the city was a microcosm of seismic political changes in the country as a whole, including antiwar sentiment and free speech activism, one major catalyst for transformation was school busing. As white families who opposed busing left town for the suburbs in 1967, they gave way to an insurgent new left.

“Busing was really when Berkeley split and became leftist because a lot of people who couldn’t handle that change, they left,” said Jef Findley, a librarian at the Berkeley Public Library specializing in city history, who helped make an oral history of the city’s busing and desegregation. “The moderate, pro-business rightist town became a leftist town.”

Except, as I pointed out in my essay above, not really: Most powers that be in Berkeley talk as if they were leftists, but most act as what they are, property owners living in multimillion dollar homes. Plus actually, maximum Berkeley activism was in 1968, when busing had just started, and the wealthy had not moved out yet… And, it turns out, never really did… 

New York Times again: 

“Carole Porter, 55, who now works in information technology, lived around the corner from Ms. Harris. The two girls took the bus up the hill from the middle-class Berkeley flats where they lived to Thousand Oaks, a school in the white, more affluent Berkeley hills. Ms. Porter recalled that the ride took about 40 minutes.

Ms. Harris attended a Montessori school for kindergarten and joined Ms. Porter at Thousand Oaks in first grade.”

Patrice reality check: Montessori schools are private schools. Harris was going to a private school. Their cost is typically around $20,000 (2019 dollars). So Kamala Harris was far from destitute. “More affluent” relative to what? Private school children?

The New York Times produced specious statistics on “race” in Berkeley (let alone that Harris who is half-Indian, half-Jamaican, is viewed as “black”). According to those, when “Ms. Harris joined the class in 1970, her first grade year, which was the third year of integration. The school had been 2.5 percent black in 1963. In 1969, it was 40.2 percent black as a result of integration.”

However, my daughter has played on the playground of that exact same school many times… And the notion of “black” is, simply, not relevant. Basically all races are represented… Yet the “African-American” “race”, to speak like an American racist, is, ironically enough, the rarest, it has basically disappeared from Berkeley: the darkish colored are typically recent immigrants. It is as if “busing” bused the “blacks” out of town…

Actually the NYT recognizes that: 

“Now, Berkeley is a wealthier and whiter town than when Ms. Harris was growing up. In 1970, the city was 23 percent black; today it is only 10 percent black. The median sale price for a two-bedroom apartment is $1.2 million…” 10% is obviously an overestimate. Most “blacks” in Berkeley are recent immigrants who do not view themselves as “African-American” (rightly so). There is a large Asian and Hispanic contingent….

And the NYT also recognizes, towards the end of its own article, that busing was a dismal failure: Given alternatives like low-income housing in middle-income areas or changed school boundaries, only 9 percent of blacks said they preferred busing, and just 5 percent of whites did.” At the time. Busing is still practiced in parts of the Bay Area and viewed by its potential victims as a terrible oppression to be avoided at literally all cost… But it keeps on going because the pseudo-progressives who vote for it in city governments, typically have no children, or send their own children to extremely expensive private schools…. So busing has become an instrument of racial class subjugation: if you are poor, your child shall be submitted to the horror of the bus which never ends, and clapping games is all the education the child will get.

Meanwhile, rabid NIMBYs keep on killing as many density housing projects as they can… When not outright burning them….

Consider this from 2017: Tuesday morning’s big fire in West Oakland marked the ninth time since 2012 that a fire broke out at a housing construction site in the East Bay, leaving housing developers on edge. Many of the blazes have been intentionally set in the middle of the night, and in two cases surveillance video captured suspects, according to investigators. This keeps on happening, all the way to June 2019, massive fire housing project in Santa Clara

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4 Responses to “Busing: A Racist Fake Herring. Kamala Harris’ Disingenuous Berkeley Jeremiad”

  1. Gloucon X Says:

    A country that had slavery for 250 years fought a civil war to end it which killed 2% of its population then let the losing side enforce semi-slavery for another 100 years is not a country that knows how to solve its problems, or even wants to. All problems are left to fester for decades, even centuries. Not a single social improvement has been made since Medicare in 1965 and the EPA in 1970.

    We are not a democracy, have a constitution that created a frozen republic designed to entrench plutocracy and grow it into a state of invincibility. Nearly half the people here are quite insane, or woefully ignorant, and nearly all are encased in the amber of apathy produced by a celebrity-pop-sports culture that spews gibberish and most certainly reduces IQ.

    Political discussion is deliberately framed to leave out the whole truth. All discussion of US society ends in frustration and despair, or wild hopes that never come to pass. It’s a tough place for intelligent or compassionate people to endure. You should probably start writing about other things, for the sake of your own sanity. Much of the problem goes back to the origin point, which can never be changed.

    https://www.amazon.com/Frozen-Republic-Constitution-Paralyzing-Democracy/dp/0156004941/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8.

    “Plutocracy must be exterminated.”

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Agreed to all you said. Now Harris, who reminds me all too much of my friend Obama, is passing Warren and her detailed, progressive plans, in polls, and I don’t like it. Harris is probably even more political, sharp, relentless and cruel than Obama… For same reason as I learned bitterly with Obama, she may not implement progressivism, when president… This said, if she fails in 2020, she may have a better chance next time.

      In other words, we may be Harrisized for a long time… If I have to choose between Trump and Harris, i will chose Harris and her hypocritical jeremiads about where I precisely live and my daughter goes to school (I didn’t know I was such a low life, living in a low life area, among the dismally colored, Harris, thanks for reminding me…)

      At some point, plutocracy, like the greenhouse, is self-reinforcing: watch Duke of Sussex Harry in England having taxpayers pay 2.4 million pounds for improving their lodging… Out of rage, then, British voters accuse the EU of… whatever…

      Like

  2. Gloucon X Says:

    “For the same reason as I learned bitterly with Obama, she may not implement progressivism, when president”

    Yes, as you’ve noted, since Reagan the Dem leadership have given up progressivism and become pro-plutocracy just like the Republicans. I last year predicted Harris would be the female Obama and when I saw the corporate media’s enthusiasm for her when she started her campaign I knew she had a good chance to win and that she would be a good soldier for the corporate plutocracy. She would never call for the break up of the mega-banks or taxing Wall St like Bernie Sanders. It’s so clear that all the mass media hates and fears Bernie who is clearly the most anti-plutocracy candidate.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Yes, I remembered what you said then about Harris, and it was very astute… Just as with Biden, the Dem electorate seems fascinated by these pro-Pluto politicians…
      Sanders is indeed the most genuinely anti-Pluto candidate, and as suggested here by some honorable commenters, Warren is probably less honest about this (but her positions now move the debate towards progress… even if she doesn’t mean it as much as Sanders…)

      Like

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