Commentary

When You Support Busing You Invite Government by Coercion

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Dear Congressman Nobus:

I am writing in regard to your support of school desegregation and your opposition to forced busing. I commend you for knowing the difference.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that the Reagan Administration's attempts to curb racial assignment to schools through Justice Department intervention will not be effective. Therefore, it will be up to you legislators to use the power granted you under Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution to curb the excessive power of the courts. In fact, it is increasingly obvious that the practice of racial assignment, if not stopped by Congress, will increase, as more and more suburban school districts are swept into the action.

Because you are against forced busing, you will be challenged to state what you are for. Of course, you are not simply for neighborhood schools, although the concept of neighborhood schools has proved through the years to be the logical and most effective way to educate children and maintain parent and citizen pride and involvement in their children's education. But more important, being against "forced busing," you are for a government without coercion and for a government under the Constitution as it is written.

Therein, of course, lies the problem we face, the twisted, upside-down interpretation of the Constitution by the courts and the twisted definition of "desegregation."

The 1964 Civil Rights Act defines "desegregation" clearly. It is the assignment to such schools without regard to race, sex, or nationality. Pro-busers defend their position by the out-and-out deceit of calling "racial balancing" "desegregation." In "desegregation" suits, judges order deliberate acts of assignment based on race, leaving any thinking person to ask how a racist practice of determining one's placement in school (or in jobs or in society) could ever serve to eliminate racism.

The frailty of the Reagan Justice Department's position is also demonstrated by its use of language. Attorney General William French Smith says he favors "other methods to racially balance schools." In other words, the department's position is still based on the premise that "desegregation" means "racial balancing," instead of simply prohibiting segregation by law. I have found, Congressman Nobus, that anyone who defines the issue by using the language of the opposing viewpoint is either not really against "forced busing" or does not understand the issue.

Forced busing, as Lino A. Graglia, constitutional-law professor at the University of Texas, has pointed out, is an attempt to achieve racially balanced schools in the absence of racially balanced neighborhoods. It is coerced integration. The issue before the Supreme Court should be whether coerced integration is a constitutional prerogative of that tribunal and whether the Court may set social policy, not whether there are other methods to racially balance schools.

Results of this social-engineering scheme are so negative that even congressmen who time after time vote to continue the practice label it as unworkable and impractical. These pro-busing lawmakers also insist that "desegregation" means racial balancing. In their twisted logic, then, a vote against "forced busing" is a vote against "desegregation."

The alternative to forced busing, Congressman Nobus, is freedom and quality education for all.

While you and I both know that the elimination of forced busing will not eliminate all the problems besetting our schools, we can easily see how forced busing has magnified existing dilemmas and created a whole parade of new problems.

Parental and community involvement in the schools has been virtually wiped out because of the distance parents must travel to get to their children's schools. Meaningful education has been replaced by special programs touted as academic improvements resulting from "desegregation," which are no improvement at all, but rather a nuisance factor for students and teachers alike. Teachers cannot discipline effectively because the discipline quota for children of a certain color may be filled for the day, or because of threats from other students or parents, or because of actual retaliation. Teachers must start lessons over and over again as buses arrive late or do not arrive at all. Students choose to be truant rather than take long bus rides to schools outside their neighborhoods. Students who might have graduated drop out of school. Money that taxpayers voted for education is misused on buses, gasoline, special administrators, security guards, and a variety of other non-educational trivia.

Gone also in a city under "forced busing" is representative government. Schoolboard members are reduced to mere puppets of the court. Clevelanders will remember the handcuffing and jailing of their school-board president (and treasurer), who was dubbed "in contempt of court" because he dared put up a struggle for the rights of the people who elected him. Even elected state legislators are told what they must do to provide funds for "forced busing."

Tax money is woefully wasted. Columbus, Ohio, faced with additional cuts in state aid, will not be able to purchase badly needed textbooks; however, 40 new school buses will arrive in June to replace 40 worn-out buses-buses that will not improve the education of the children one iota.

The powers-that-be are not content to rape only the cities ordered to bus. In the targeted state of Ohio, federal judges in Cleveland and Columbus have ordered the state to share in the busing costs. The result is almost unbelievable. Because of the budget deficit, the state has imposed a temporary income-tax surcharge of 50 percent, which was due to expire March 31, 1983. Ohioans are now faced with a 90-percent permanent income-tax increase, and a 0.5-percent, $54-million temporary utility-tax increase in order to set aside $44 million for a school-loan fund. All this expense and hassle has not produced racially balanced schools or high-quality education, but instead has been counterproductive.

Much work remains, Congressman Nobus, and we look to you for help to pass the needed legislation. We hope you will continue to sort out fact from fiction and truth from deceit.

Every citizen should strive for desegregation, but every citizen should strive to end racial balancing. Every citizen should strive to protect, preserve and, indeed, reestablish the system of government that made this nation great. But every citizen should strive for a government that is not run by the courts.

Minorities should strive for their rights of equal citizenship, equal educational opportunity, and equal job opportunity, and all of us should work for these things. But every minority should strive against being used as a device by social engineers to change society into what the social engineers deem good.

Children are the victims, Congressman Nobus. We are all victims when we fall for such deception, racism, and waste, and do not work to end it.

Vol. 02, Issue 27, Page 20

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