More and more the woke pandemic afflicting our elites and causing them to mask their racism is reminding me of forced busing back in the late 1960s and early 1970s—a project to which liberals (and compliant federal judges) were fiercely dedicated (even as rich liberals sent their own kids to private schools), and which was hugely unpopular.
Then, as now, many Republicans spoke in subdued tones about their opposition to busing for fear of being called “racist,” and the most vocal and direct critics of busing were Democrats like Washington Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson. That kind of Democrat is long gone, of course, though you hear faint echoes from time to time, such as James Carville’s recent comments reported here that “wokeness is a problem, and everybody knows it.”
As long as federal judges were imposing forced busing by judicial fiat, it was largely immune from the ballot box. But local school board elections often turned on opposition to busing, and it was not unusual in the early 1970s for there to be slates of anti-busing school board candidates who would sweep out compliant liberal school boards in landslides, often in Democrat-friendly jurisdictions. It was from these efforts that alternatives such a magnet schools, and later charter schools, were born, as an alternative to busing. Eventually the federal judiciary relented on forced busing, but not until after the damage to the Democratic Party had been done, from this and related issues such as rising crime and urban unrest. (Hmmm, that sounds oddly familiar now too.)
Hence it is interesting to see the results of elections for school board and local government in Southlake, Texas, a Dallas suburb, over the weekend. NBC News reports it this way:
SOUTHLAKE, Texas — Nine months after officials in the affluent Carroll Independent School District introduced a proposal to combat racial and cultural intolerance in schools, voters delivered a resounding victory Saturday to a slate of school board and City Council candidates who opposed the plan.
In an unusually bitter campaign that echoed a growing national divide over how to address issues of race, gender and sexuality in schools, candidates in the city of Southlake were split between two camps: those who supported new diversity and inclusion training requirements for Carroll students and teachers and those backed by a political action committee that was formed last year to defeat the plan.
The result wasn’t even close: the anti-woke candidates beat the incumbent school board members by a 70-30 margin on heavier than normal turnout. That used to be called a landslide:
Candidates backed by the conservative Southlake Families PAC, which has raised more than $200,000 since last summer, won every race by about 70 percent to 30 percent, including those for two school board positions, two City Council seats and mayor. More than 9,000 voters cast ballots, three times as many as in similar contests in the past.
Here’s how NBC News tweeted the story, with suitable corrections:
Chaser: Voters in Austin, Texas, voted to repeal the permissive city ordinance allowing “urban camping,” i.e., runaway homelessness. The vote was not close: 58 to 42 percent. More here.
I expect a lot more of this over the next two election cycles—if conservatives and Republican candidates don’t flinch from from direct confrontation.