Remember busing, that brilliant social experiment that was to usher in a new era of racial utopia in America? Undaunted by the failed socialist experiments of the 1980s, the Obama administration has recently implemented a new Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rule designed to “desegregate” housing by withholding funds from communities that fail to demonstrate their projects “affirmatively further” fair housing.
To place this in context, it’s useful to look back at the failure of school busing. After Brown v. Board of Education effectively ended de jure discrimination in public accommodations from schools to housing, many whites in the South continued to flout Brown and did everything they could to keep blacks out of all-white high schools.
In response, various municipalities mandated busing as a means of forcibly integrating public education and — by fiat — ensuring that educational funding was not unequally distributed based on race. The rationale was that if white parents had to send their children to black schools, they would help to ensure that those schools were better equipped.
But by almost every objective, the experiment failed. Not only was there no real statistical improvement in school integration (the percentage of blacks attending majority black schools from 1972 to 1980 moved from 63.6 percent to 63.3 percent), but the program was unpopular among both blacks and whites.