National Book Winner Jonathan Kozol: Biden Told “Bald-Faced Lie” On School Busing To Sen. Kamala Harris And America During Democratic Debate

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[Election News]
National Book Award-winning author Jonathan Kozol says former Vice-President Joe Biden told a "bald-faced lie" about Biden when confronted by Kamala Harris...
Photo: Facebook screenshot

Jonathan Kozol, a former educator, activist, and the National Book Award-winning author of Savage Inequalities, The Shame of the Nation, says former Vice-President Joe Biden was far less than truthful in his response to the busing question that came up at last night Democratic debate, in Florida.

In response to former Vice-President Joe Biden’s claim, to California Senator Kamala Harris, that “I did not oppose busing,” at last night’s Democratic debate, Kozol spoke out today calling that a "bald-faced lie."

Kozol has an article in The Nation magazine's July 1-8 edition that goes more fully into Biden's busing record, entitled "When Joe Biden Collaborated With Segregationists."

“Biden should not be allowed to get away with this bald-faced lie," said Kozol. "As I noted in The Nation, Biden flatly said, ‘I oppose busing’ in an interview with a Delaware paper in 1975. He continued, ‘It’s an asinine concept, the utility of which has never been proven to me. I’ve gotten to the point where I think our only recourse to eliminate busing may be a constitutional amendment.’ In the U.S. Senate, Biden didn’t merely give support to Southern segregationists, he introduced legislation of his own to prohibit busing for school integration. All of this is in the public record. And it’s a shameful record for a potential Democratic nominee. Despite his recent effort to allay concerns about that record, it cannot be expunged or easily forgiven.”

Jonathan Kozol's characterization of Biden's comments, and record on busing, deserve more scrutiny. Last night was clearly a disaster for the former vice-president--from the minute Senator Harris introduced the racially-charged issue of busing. Harris delivered a political devastating body-blow that may have disastrous consequences for Biden's presidential aspirations.

Vice-President Biden was clearly on the defensive when Senator Harris resurrected his record on busing--and collegial attitude with segregationists. Biden struggled to coherently articulate his opposition to busing. At one point, Biden said “I did not oppose busing in America. What I opposed is busing ordered by the Department of Education, that's what I opposed.” The importance of that distinction was never clearly explained by Biden. After trying feebly to defend his political record, Biden--unprompted by debate media moderators--said, “Anyway, my time is up. I’m sorry.”

Indeed, last night maybe a signal Joe Biden's political "time is up."

Jonathan Kozol’s full report, “When Joe Biden Collaborated With Segregationists,” appears in the July 1-8, 2019, edition of The Nation, which is on newsstands now. Mr. Kozol, a former elementary schoolteacher, was infamously fired, in 1965, from Boston's Gibson Elementary School for teaching Langston Hughes poems--to a predominately Black school. He was accused of "curriculum deviation."

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