1975.06.01: Keep the Buses Rolling (Red Tide)

[Historical Note: The Red Tide was a revolutionary high school underground newspaper and youth organization that existed from 1971-1981. See: http://theredtide.wordpress.com/]

Red Tide #18
June 1975

Keep the Buses Rolling
[By Michael Letwin]

Roving bands of white people in Boston are using terror and violence to prevent the busing of black students. Gangs of white youths from 2 to 4 hundred throw rocks and bottles at passing buses, white mobs in the thousands are surrounding the buses of black students, screaming, cursing, and hurling objects. The “police protection” is a joke. Over 10% of those bused required hospital treatment.

The black students involved in the busing program are harassed and attacked daily by the white racists. Such right-wing organizations as the American Nazi Party and the KKK have been extremely active in pitting the whites against blacks in what they call the “anti-forced busing” movement.

If white mobs are able to stop the busing program in Boston, it will be a shattering defeat for the black liberation struggle. If whites are successful in defeating black gains by mass action, it could start a movement that would wipe out all the advances black have made in the past decade.

If the racists win there, it will encourage and convince others throughout the nation that their security is safe only as long as minority rights are smashed. White mobs cannot be permitted to feel that black students and the community are a target to vent their fears, angers and frustrations on without opposition. This racist assault must be met head on by an organized force to defeat it.

Police aid is not the answer. The history of the civil rights movement in this country shows that the police force in this society is used to keep blacks in their place. It is very unlikely that tear gas, night sticks, cattle prods, etc., so often used against blacks will be used to break up racist whites. Federal troops are exactly what the name says, super pigs, who are trained to shield the system of racism in which we live.

The only real way to win or make gains is by relying on our own strength. One previous march held by anti-racist forces turned out over 20,000 people, many more than the racists could mobilize. The march set the KKKers back on their heels for a while.

Demonstrations show that we are organized to fight racism and that the streets are not monopolized by the racists. Mass support for the busing program and protest against the racist mobs is essential.

The struggle for equal rights has been going on for centuries, and has heightened recently with the civil rights and black liberation movements of the 1960s. In 1954 the U.S. Supreme Court declared segregated education unconstitutional. Why is it then, that minorities are are still fighting for equal education 21 years later? Racist groups have been frantically lobbying for anti-busing legislation to be passed to make sure that minorities have no say in education.

Sending blacks to a slightly better brand of rundown white school may not be the biggest improvement, but none of us should be denied the facilities in the school of our choice. “We don’t want our kids shipped away to schools far away” is a common argument. [But] over 500,000 are already being bused to schools some miles away to exclusive private schools. The same white parents who bus their children to exclusive schools are against busing in public schools.

It is the contents of the buses they don’t like. They don’t want their schools “contaminated” by black and Latin students. Busing was used before in the South to segregate the students. The same holds true in Boston where blacks were bused across town to their “community schools,” when there was a school a couple of blocks away.

At a time when black and white workers as well as students should be fighting together for jobs and decent education, the politicians are successfully turning them against each other over issues like busing. As long as whites oppose struggles of blacks for decent lives, the standard of living of all working people will be kept down.

Oppose racism and all attacks on black students!

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