Opinion

Democrats and race, plus busing

Daily Views

Observer editorial board

Posted Aug. 18: When the Democratic convention opens in Denver, expect party chest-pounding on the history that will play out there: Democrats are all but certain to designate an African American as their candidate for the White House.

The nomination of Barack Obama will be an exciting moment for a nation with a history of deep racial inequality.

But, as an article in the Wall Street Journal points out, the Democratic party has whitewashed its own racial history.A commentary by Jeffrey Lord, creator, co-founder and CEO of a conservative video site and a Reagan White House political director and author points out the party built its success in the 19th century on a platform that supported slavery. Also, its strength in the early 20th century depended on segregation and discriminatory Jim Crow laws that make blacks second class citizens.

Lord raises a good point: Why aren't the Democrats being honest about the party's checkered past? Can that past really be overcome? – Posted by Mary Schulken

Comments:

Tom said: Anyone with a high-school education knows that the Republicans and Democrats effectively swapped positions in the mid-20th Century. You don't hear the Democrats talking about their 19th Century politics for the same reason you don't see Republicans touting Abraham Lincoln as their great icon. Like so many other issues, it's inane to blame living people for the mistakes of 150 years ago.

Rob said: Are you seriously calling the Democrats to task on things that happened over a 100 years ago? Who in the world is old enough to be responsible for those actions? No one.

Crystalbass said: Ignore history and you're bound to repeat it. Democrats have given up on the Jim Crow laws, and are enslaving the black community with welfare and handouts.

Bus-ted?

Posted Aug. 21: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials are saying they're in better shape for the start of school this year than last year because they've got no school bus driver vacancies. We're pleased to hear that. But if you think the first week of school bus rides will go smoothly, we have some underwater land we'd like to sell you.

With 111,000 students riding 135,000 miles daily, and 37,000 sub stops, there will be problems. Those “practice runs” many drivers take don't iron out all the wrinkles.

Is the bus late, or does it not have your child's stop on its list? Should you give up and drive to school? And if you call the school transportation office, will anyone answer? In previous years, parents couldn't get answers because all the bus office lines were busy . If CMS can solve its inability to get timely answers to frantic first-week-of-school parents, then the other, predictable busing snafus will be a lot easier for parents to weather. – Posted by Mary Newsom.

Comments:

Whitsmom said: For years The Observer's editorial board defended busing and denigrated those who sought to send their kids to schools close to home, even as the school system grew ever larger and more unwieldy. Now you finally admit that a busing system this big is going to have problems – “lots of problems.” Perhaps we would have fewer transportation problems today if years ago The Observer had been willing to honestly examine the future ramifications of a busing based assignment plan for such a rapidly growing school system.

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