Last night, Kamala Harris repeated her story about how, thanks to busing, she was able to be part of only the second class to integrate in the Berkeley public school system. She used this story to thrash Joe Biden, who offered anti-busing legislation as a U.S. Senator in the 1970s.
Last year, I questioned Harris’ story:
[I]s it. . .true that Harris was in only the second class to integrate at Berkeley public schools? Based on an examination of old yearbooks from Berkeley High, Freida Powers reports that classrooms at Berkeley High were already integrated in 1963, a year before Harris was born.
I wondered whether Harris meant that she was part of only the second integrated class to proceed all the way from kindergarten through high school in Berkeley. However, according to Gateway Pundit, Harris went to school in Berkeley for only two years before moving with her mother to Canada where she attended grade school and high school.
Maybe Harris means that her class (minus her) was only the second integrated class to proceed all the way from kindergarten through high school in Berkeley. This doesn’t seem likely either given the early integration of Berkeley High.
Harris presents a misleading picture of Berkeley and, implicitly, of her family’s status. A friend who graduated from college there around the time Harris depicts tells me:
Berkeley was not segregated or racist during that era. It was one of the most liberal places in the country.
I’d like to learn a lot more about [Harris’] busing. I accept that she took a bus to elementary school, but I don’t think they were busing kids to various neighborhoods for racial reasons in Berkeley in 1971. Makes no sense at all to me.
Her mom and dad were PhDs, and she went to India during summers to stay with her mom’s family (see Wikipedia). She makes it sound like they were poverty-stricken. . .or something.
Actually, Harris herself presented evidence that she did not live in a segregated neighborhood, such that she needed to be bused to attend school with whites. During the debate, she told of a would-be friend whose parents wouldn’t let her play with Harris due to race.
It’s important to remember that plenty of busing occurred, and still does, for reasons having nothing to do with race. In the 1950s, I took a bus to Harmony Hills Elementary School (yes, that was its name). No blacks attended Harmony Hills.
Has the mainstream media looked into Harris’ claim about being bused to achieve integration? I doubt it. I’ll be interested to see whether the mainstream media does so now that she has beaten up Joe Biden with the claim.