Red Tide #23, Jan. 15-Feb. 15, 1976
THE FIGHT FOR BUSING
By Merry Busch and Michael Long [Michael Letwin]
[1.] IT BEGAN WITH SEGREGATION
Segregation is a major part of racism. And racism is the biggest cancer that exists. Lots of white people think that blacks, Latinos, Asians or Indians are the “real problem” in this country. If you are white, you aren’t a victim of racism like everyone else. But racism screws over all of us in another way. It holds us back and keeps us from uniting and making changes. There are important divisions among us. But not along racial lines.
The Real Dividing Line
What does matter is you are a worker or unemployed person, or whether you are part of the rich class that rules our lives. Racism lets us believe that it’s your color that is the crucial question. People that believe that are the ones who the government is happiest with. If white poor people are fighting with black people because they believe they are the problem, then the government and the rich who run it can continue their money making.
Bosses Love Racism
Racism keeps the working class divided among itself. And people that are divided are ruled, as the saying goes.
What could be better for a Rockefeller? If you were him[,] you’d be sitting there rubbing your hands together in glee with the prospect of poor people fighting each other instead of their bosses. That’s why racism is a cancer.
If we are fighting among ourselves, there is no way we can unite against the people who are really responsible for the state of the world. That’s why racism is the fool’s game.
But it’s not only that the government is happy with racism that already exists. The government itself leads the racists. While [President Gerald] Ford mutters things about “all people being equal,” and the like, he tells white racists fighting busing in Boston that he too is against it. These weren’t just people “making their views known” either. They were and are physically attacking black students trying to attend school.
The military is one of the most racist organizations around. During the war in Vietnam[,] it was black and Latino soldiers who were sent to the front far behind their percentage in the services. This wasn’t volunteer work, either. And it’s also the case that when black people fought for equal rights throughout American history, the government either through its support of the KKK in the South or its use of police in the North tried to terrorize black people.
It’s now open knowledge that the FBI planned and carried out assassinations of leaders of the black liberation movement[,] such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Fred Hampton of the Chicago Black Panther Party.
But whether the government is doing the work or having it done for them by white racists the effect is the same: people divided don’t fight their oppression. For people who are in control of their senses, there is no sense in racism. That’s why racism is the fools’ game and why people who aren’t fools don’t play it.
Unfortunately[,] there are a lot of foolish people around today. The racist movement among white people is growing stronger than it’s been in decades. The KKK is bigger than it’s been since the 1920’s and racist groups of all kinds have been formed all over. Racism is growing and it will be nothing but disaster for all of us if it’s not stopped. Those of us who aren’t crazy have a job to do. We have to do something. RACISM MUST BE SMASHED!
[2.] RACISM ON THE RISE
Segregation of the races in this country is nothing new at all. Black and white people have lived in this country about 400 years.
However[,] for all of that time, most black people have lived separately from white people. Segregation doesn’t exist today because black and white people just can’t “get along.” Neither is it the case that we live in a “separate but equal” society.
Segregation exists in this country on the basis of white neighborhoods and schools being better than black ones. That’s what it’s all about. And that is why for as long as segregation has existed, especially in this century, have many black and white people fought against it. They didn’t fight because they just didn’t like the idea that different races are separated. They fought and are still fighting because segregation means unequal standards of life.
The fact is that segregation is still a reality. Black neighborhoods are still mostly all black and white are white. Most importantly, schools remain totally or mostly segregated in most every city.
As along ago as 1954[,] the Supreme Court ordered that schools be integrated, but the order was never really put into effect. That’s 22 years ago already!
The reason nothing changed was simple. The government was not at all interested in doing away with segregated schools. While local government refused time and again to change their school’s systems, the [federal] government did nothing about it at all.
The first time that the government did anything was a couple of years ago in Boston[,] where halfhearted orders to integrate schools were put into effect. Today, Boston schools are mostly still segregated, with white schools in much better financial shape than black schools. There are more teachers, supplies and funds in general for white schools.
And that’s what the fight about segregation comes down to. Because we live in a racist society, with the government tolerating and often encouraging racism, segregation guarantees that white will have better, though not good[,] neighborhoods and education[,] while black people won’t.
But integration isn’t just a better deal for black people. For white people who support segregation, the joke is on them. For after all, things aren’t good for anyone today except the rich. The depression is here and it’s not getting any better. Anyone who thinks that keeping black and white people separated is good is missing the fact that we’ll all sink cause we’re poor[,] no matter what our color.
When blacks and whites unite to fight against a society that pampers a select few and starves the rest of us, that’s when we’ll all have better lives. This fight starts with stopping forced segregation.
[3.] WHY WE SUPPORT BUSING
Racists Run It
This is a thoroughly racist society that we live in. It’s no accident that a racist government gives less money and attention to black schools. All-black schools will continue to be crummier than all-white schools until we get rid of the racist government that controls them. But black students can’t continue to get the short end of the stick until we overthrow the government!
So what can we do to make sure that blacks get the best education possible in a racist society?
When there are white kids in what used to be all-black school[,] it means that the racist government will send in more money and better supplies. After all, if there are white kids in there, they can’t let the school go to hell as if it were still an all-black one.
Some people try to make the stupid argument the blacks will learn better sitting next to whites. That’s racism too. Blacks will get a better education in an integrated school only because the racist government will be looking out for the education of white students there more.
No matter what the rotten reason behind it is, as long as black people can have a better quality of education in an integrated school, then they have the right to it. Busing is a way to get that.
Which Side Are You On?
Notice how the most vicious, disgusting racists are against busing? Busing is an attack on segregation – that’s why the racists are against it. Is that the side you want to be o
Racism on the Rise
The conflict over busing is bringing out the racists. The issue of busing has become the question of racism.
We’ve got to support busing to smash racism. Some people are still confused about which side to take on busing. But the racist opposition to it has made the choice all the more clear. WE HAVE TO CONTAIN THE RACIST UPSURGE RIGHT NOW.
Even if some of us think that busing ain’t that hot, the racist opposition to it means we have to fight all the harder to win. A victory for the racists is a defeat for all of us. AND WE WON’T TAKE ANY DEFEATS ON THE FIGHT AGAINST RACISM!
[4.] ARE THERE GOOD SCHOOLS?
We are for busing and will fight for it. We aim to stop the racist movement. At the same time[,] we know that busing alone won’t make the needed changes in this country’s schools, even if it is carried out totally. There’s a simple reason for this. It’s because the schools are still run by the government owned by the rich.
Rich people aren’t interested in teaching you how they run the world through their armies, secret organizations of terror, and support of fascist governments. They don’t want to say to you that the reason that rich people are rich is because they steal the wealth that we produce. They don’t each us that schools tell us the lies they do, so that we will believe in this system. Because we believe in it, which wouldn’t be if the truth were taught!
Most importantly[,] they don’t teach that if people only organized themselves we could end capitalism – the rule of the rich – in about two hours. All it would take would be a coordinated movement on the part of millions of people.
What schools do teach is that you should obey orders without question[,] so that when you drop out or graduate and go to work, you do as you’re told there as well.
They tell you that most people are just selfish and greedy and that things can never change. And they teach you that even though money buys elections, a guy like Rockefeller “still has just one vote like everybody else.” In other words[,] schools lie from top to bottom in order to fit us into perfect robot workers to make the rich richer.
But there’s even more than that to all of this. Even in the few schools that are somewhat integrated, segregation is set up by the school within one school. That’s why there are what they call “tracks.” Tracks are different levels of classes and education.
If you are a black person in an integrated school[,] you will probably be in the low tracks learning little or nothing, and having a lot of shop classes. If you are white[,] you will probably have somewhat better classes at least[,] if not college preparation.
None of this is an accident[;] all is planned and on purpose. Schools belong to the rich, and the rich needs people trained to obey them, to believe in them, work for them, and die for them. There is only one way that this could be different. That’s if the students, teachers and people in the communities decided that things were going to be different and ran the schools themselves. Democratically making the rules, deciding on the curriculums, hiring and firing the teachers. We should do these things, not them. Running our own schools is part of a different kind of society. A society where those who do the work have the say on how things are done.
[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/]