$1*/ mo hosting! Get going with us!

Category: USA

news from USA

Britain’s Top Diplomat: Iran Nuclear Deal Can be Saved 

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Monday that the international deal on Iran’s nuclear program “isn’t dead yet,” and that while the opportunity to find a resolution to the current crisis surrounding the agreement is closing, it is still possible to keep it alive.

He spoke ahead of talks with other European Union foreign ministers in Brussels where they planned to discuss the Iran situation.

The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was agreed to by Iran and a group of world powers that included Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States to allay concerns Iran was working to develop a nuclear weapon.

Iran has long said its nuclear program was solely for peaceful purposes, and it won badly needed relief from sanctions in return for limiting its nuclear activity far below what would be needed to make a weapon.

Hunt said Monday that Iran was more than a year away from having the capability to build a nuclear device.

British Ambassador Kim Darroch speaks at an Afternoon Tea at The British Embassy in Washington, Jan. 18, 2017.

‘Diplomatic vandalism’

The comments came a day after the publication of cables from former British ambassador to the U.S. Kim Darroch who was critical of U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal last year.

In a May 2018 cable, Darroch wrote that the Trump administration, in abrogating the Iran deal last year, “is set upon an act of diplomatic vandalism, seemingly for ideological and personality reasons — it was Obama’s deal.”

The Mail on Sunday published Darroch’s message back to London, days after he resigned and a week after the newspaper published other leaked cables. In the earlier memos, the diplomat described the U.S. leader as “inept,” “insecure” and “incompetent” and his administration as “uniquely dysfunctional.”

Darroch resigned from his post Wednesday, saying his three-year posting in Washington had become untenable with the disclosure of his cables.

The leaked cables were meant to be seen only by senior British ministers and civil servants. British officials launched an investigation of the leaks but did not deny the accuracy of Darroch’s comments, expressing the opinion that the person likely responsible for the leak was someone inside the British government, not a foreign power.

The Sunday Times reported that investigators have identified a civil servant as the individual who leaked the cables.

Boris Johnson, a leadership candidate for Britain’s Conservative Party, and Britain’s former Brexit Minister Dominic Raab visit a pub in Oxshott.

Boris Johnson, a Conservative favorite to succeed Theresa May when she steps down as prime minister later this month, seemed to dismiss the importance of the leaked cables.

He described them as “embarrassing but it is not a threat to national security.”

“It is the duty of media organizations to bring new and interesting facts into the public domain,” said Johnson, himself a journalist and former editor.

In May 2018, Johnson, then Britain’s foreign minister, went to Washington to try to persuade Trump to not abandon the Iran pact.


President Trump’s Iran Policy Challenged video player.
Embed

WATCH: President Trump’s Iran Policy Challenged

After British and U.S. officials met, Darroch reported back to London that there were divisions within the Trump administration over Trump’s intention to quit the Iran accord. The diplomat criticized the White House for a lack of long-term strategy to deal with Iran.

“They can’t articulate any ‘day-after’ strategy; and contacts with State Department this morning suggest no sort of plan for reaching out to partners and allies, whether in Europe or the region,” he wrote.

Trump has long attacked the 2015 international Iran nuclear deal aimed at restraining Tehran’s nuclear weapons development as ineffective and repeatedly blamed Obama and former Secretary of State John Kerry for pushing for its adoption.

Trump withdrew the United States from the deal last year and reimposed economic sanctions, hobbling the Iranian economy and limiting its international oil trade.

Five other countries — China, Russia, Germany, France and Britain — along with the European Union have remained in the accord, but voiced their displeasure as Tehran has exceeded the size of the uranium stockpile and the uranium enrichment level allowed under the pact.
 

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Britain’s Top Diplomat: Iran Nuclear Deal Can be Saved 

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Monday that the international deal on Iran’s nuclear program “isn’t dead yet,” and that while the opportunity to find a resolution to the current crisis surrounding the agreement is closing, it is still possible to keep it alive.

He spoke ahead of talks with other European Union foreign ministers in Brussels where they planned to discuss the Iran situation.

The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was agreed to by Iran and a group of world powers that included Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States to allay concerns Iran was working to develop a nuclear weapon.

Iran has long said its nuclear program was solely for peaceful purposes, and it won badly needed relief from sanctions in return for limiting its nuclear activity far below what would be needed to make a weapon.

Hunt said Monday that Iran was more than a year away from having the capability to build a nuclear device.

British Ambassador Kim Darroch speaks at an Afternoon Tea at The British Embassy in Washington, Jan. 18, 2017.

‘Diplomatic vandalism’

The comments came a day after the publication of cables from former British ambassador to the U.S. Kim Darroch who was critical of U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal last year.

In a May 2018 cable, Darroch wrote that the Trump administration, in abrogating the Iran deal last year, “is set upon an act of diplomatic vandalism, seemingly for ideological and personality reasons — it was Obama’s deal.”

The Mail on Sunday published Darroch’s message back to London, days after he resigned and a week after the newspaper published other leaked cables. In the earlier memos, the diplomat described the U.S. leader as “inept,” “insecure” and “incompetent” and his administration as “uniquely dysfunctional.”

Darroch resigned from his post Wednesday, saying his three-year posting in Washington had become untenable with the disclosure of his cables.

The leaked cables were meant to be seen only by senior British ministers and civil servants. British officials launched an investigation of the leaks but did not deny the accuracy of Darroch’s comments, expressing the opinion that the person likely responsible for the leak was someone inside the British government, not a foreign power.

The Sunday Times reported that investigators have identified a civil servant as the individual who leaked the cables.

Boris Johnson, a leadership candidate for Britain’s Conservative Party, and Britain’s former Brexit Minister Dominic Raab visit a pub in Oxshott.

Boris Johnson, a Conservative favorite to succeed Theresa May when she steps down as prime minister later this month, seemed to dismiss the importance of the leaked cables.

He described them as “embarrassing but it is not a threat to national security.”

“It is the duty of media organizations to bring new and interesting facts into the public domain,” said Johnson, himself a journalist and former editor.

In May 2018, Johnson, then Britain’s foreign minister, went to Washington to try to persuade Trump to not abandon the Iran pact.


President Trump’s Iran Policy Challenged video player.
Embed

WATCH: President Trump’s Iran Policy Challenged

After British and U.S. officials met, Darroch reported back to London that there were divisions within the Trump administration over Trump’s intention to quit the Iran accord. The diplomat criticized the White House for a lack of long-term strategy to deal with Iran.

“They can’t articulate any ‘day-after’ strategy; and contacts with State Department this morning suggest no sort of plan for reaching out to partners and allies, whether in Europe or the region,” he wrote.

Trump has long attacked the 2015 international Iran nuclear deal aimed at restraining Tehran’s nuclear weapons development as ineffective and repeatedly blamed Obama and former Secretary of State John Kerry for pushing for its adoption.

Trump withdrew the United States from the deal last year and reimposed economic sanctions, hobbling the Iranian economy and limiting its international oil trade.

Five other countries — China, Russia, Germany, France and Britain — along with the European Union have remained in the accord, but voiced their displeasure as Tehran has exceeded the size of the uranium stockpile and the uranium enrichment level allowed under the pact.
 

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Protesters Back at Washington Immigration Jail After Attack

Demonstrators returned to an immigration jail in Washington state a day after an armed man threw incendiary devices at the detention center and later died.

Willem Van Spronsen, 69, was found dead Saturday after four police officers arrived and opened fire.

Demonstrators returned Sunday to the privately run Tacoma Northwest Detention Center, KOMO-TV reported. The demonstrators were protesting the facility and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement roundups that were supposed to begin Sunday.

The facility holds migrants pending deportation proceedings. The detention center has also held immigration-seeking parents separated from their children under President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, an effort meant to deter illegal immigration.

The center’s operator, GEO Group, said in a statement it was aware of a “community gathering” Sunday. “We respect every individual’s right to use their voice and express their opinions,” the center said.

‘I think this was a suicide’

Bullet holes riddled the scene Sunday, The News-Tribune reported. Police searched Van Spronsen’s Vashon Island home, the Tacoma newspaper reported.

Van Spronsen’s friend, Deb Bartley, told The Seattle Times she thinks he wanted to provoke a fatal conflict. She described him as an anarchist and anti-fascist.

“He was ready to end it,” Bartley said. “I think this was a suicide. But then he was able to kind of do it in a way that spoke to his political beliefs. I know he went down there knowing he was going to die.”

Prior scuffle with police

Van Spronsen was accused of assaulting a police officer during a protest outside the detention center in 2018, The News-Tribune reported. According to court documents, he lunged at the officer and wrapped his arms around the officer’s neck and shoulders, as the officer was trying to detain a 17-year-old protester June 26, 2018, the newspaper reported.

According to court documents, police handcuffed Van Spronsen and found that he had a collapsible baton and a folding knife in his pocket. Van Spronsen pleaded guilty to the charge of obstructing police, and he was given a deferred sentence in October, The News-Tribune reported.

Van Spronsen had worked as a self-employed carpenter and contractor, according to court documents. He was also a folk singer, playing shows on Vashon Island and around the Seattle area, The Times reported.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Protesters Back at Washington Immigration Jail After Attack

Demonstrators returned to an immigration jail in Washington state a day after an armed man threw incendiary devices at the detention center and later died.

Willem Van Spronsen, 69, was found dead Saturday after four police officers arrived and opened fire.

Demonstrators returned Sunday to the privately run Tacoma Northwest Detention Center, KOMO-TV reported. The demonstrators were protesting the facility and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement roundups that were supposed to begin Sunday.

The facility holds migrants pending deportation proceedings. The detention center has also held immigration-seeking parents separated from their children under President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, an effort meant to deter illegal immigration.

The center’s operator, GEO Group, said in a statement it was aware of a “community gathering” Sunday. “We respect every individual’s right to use their voice and express their opinions,” the center said.

‘I think this was a suicide’

Bullet holes riddled the scene Sunday, The News-Tribune reported. Police searched Van Spronsen’s Vashon Island home, the Tacoma newspaper reported.

Van Spronsen’s friend, Deb Bartley, told The Seattle Times she thinks he wanted to provoke a fatal conflict. She described him as an anarchist and anti-fascist.

“He was ready to end it,” Bartley said. “I think this was a suicide. But then he was able to kind of do it in a way that spoke to his political beliefs. I know he went down there knowing he was going to die.”

Prior scuffle with police

Van Spronsen was accused of assaulting a police officer during a protest outside the detention center in 2018, The News-Tribune reported. According to court documents, he lunged at the officer and wrapped his arms around the officer’s neck and shoulders, as the officer was trying to detain a 17-year-old protester June 26, 2018, the newspaper reported.

According to court documents, police handcuffed Van Spronsen and found that he had a collapsible baton and a folding knife in his pocket. Van Spronsen pleaded guilty to the charge of obstructing police, and he was given a deferred sentence in October, The News-Tribune reported.

Van Spronsen had worked as a self-employed carpenter and contractor, according to court documents. He was also a folk singer, playing shows on Vashon Island and around the Seattle area, The Times reported.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Hawaii Telescope Construction Expected to Draw Protesters, Police

Police and protesters are gearing up for a fight in Hawaii as construction is set to begin on a massive telescope on Mauna Kea, the islands’ highest peak, considered sacred by some native Hawaiians.

State officials said the road to the top of Mauna Kea mountain on the Big Island will be closed starting Monday as equipment is delivered to the construction site.

Scientists chose Mauna Kea in 2009 after a five-year, worldwide search for the ideal site for the largest telescope in the Northern Hemisphere. Construction was supposed to begin in 2014 but was halted by protests.

Opponents of the $1.4 billion telescope will desecrate sacred land. According to the University of Hawaii, ancient Hawaiians considered the location kapu, or forbidden. Only the highest-ranking chiefs and priests were allowed to make the long trek to Mauna Kea’s summit above the clouds.

Supporters of telescope say it will not only make important scientific discoveries but bring educational and economic opportunities to Hawaii.

The company behind the telescope is made up of a group of universities in California and Canada, with partners from China, India and Japan.  

Astronomers hope the telescope will help them look back 13 billion years to the time just after the Big Bang and answer fundamental questions about the universe.

It is not clear what the opponents of the project have planned for Monday but Gov. David Ige said unarmed National Guard units will be on hand to help enforce road closures and transport workers and supplies.

 

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Hawaii Telescope Construction Expected to Draw Protesters, Police

Police and protesters are gearing up for a fight in Hawaii as construction is set to begin on a massive telescope on Mauna Kea, the islands’ highest peak, considered sacred by some native Hawaiians.

State officials said the road to the top of Mauna Kea mountain on the Big Island will be closed starting Monday as equipment is delivered to the construction site.

Scientists chose Mauna Kea in 2009 after a five-year, worldwide search for the ideal site for the largest telescope in the Northern Hemisphere. Construction was supposed to begin in 2014 but was halted by protests.

Opponents of the $1.4 billion telescope will desecrate sacred land. According to the University of Hawaii, ancient Hawaiians considered the location kapu, or forbidden. Only the highest-ranking chiefs and priests were allowed to make the long trek to Mauna Kea’s summit above the clouds.

Supporters of telescope say it will not only make important scientific discoveries but bring educational and economic opportunities to Hawaii.

The company behind the telescope is made up of a group of universities in California and Canada, with partners from China, India and Japan.  

Astronomers hope the telescope will help them look back 13 billion years to the time just after the Big Bang and answer fundamental questions about the universe.

It is not clear what the opponents of the project have planned for Monday but Gov. David Ige said unarmed National Guard units will be on hand to help enforce road closures and transport workers and supplies.

 

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Barry’s Rains Move Onshore

Meteorologists say rainbands from Tropical Storm Barry began to move onshore Saturday.

The National Hurricane Center warns that Barry is likely to bring dangerous storm surges, plus heavy wind and rain conditions.  

Maximum sustained winds are 100 kilometers per hour and the storm is moving toward the coastline at seven kilometers per hour.

Residents in New Orleans are fortifying their homes and stocking up on supplies as Barry begins to roll in from the Gulf of Mexico.
 
City officials have advised residents to shelter in their homes, with the exception of two coastal parishes south of the city, where mandatory evacuations have been ordered.
 
Tourists had largely left the city Friday. Some airlines canceled outbound flights on Saturday.
 

The National Hurricane Center expects Barry to strengthen before landfall and hit the coast as a Category 1 storm. It would be the first Atlantic hurricane of the season.
 
The main threat from the storm is expected to be its flood potential rather than its high winds. The storm is widely seen as a test of the city’s weather defenses put in place following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which left about 1,800 people dead.
 
U.S. President Donald Trump declared a State of Emergency in Louisiana Thursday night, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate federal funds and resources to help the state cope with the storm and its aftermath.

Barry’s maximum sustained winds Friday night were clocked at 100 kilometers per hour and the storm is expected to drop as much as 60 centimeters of rain in some places, leading to severe flooding.

New Orleans, which is already dealing with floods from Wednesday’s fierce rainstorms, is likely to see more flash flooding. The city of Baton Rouge is also facing threats of flash flooding.

As of Friday evening, Barry was on a path toward Morgan City, which is surrounded by water and nearly 140 kilometers southwest of New Orleans.

Forecasters predict the city can expect as much as 51 centimeters of additional rain from Barry, pushing the Mississippi River’s crest close to the top of the 6-meter-high levees protecting New Orleans.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has already declared a state of emergency and deployed the National Guard.

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for about 10,000 people living near the stretch of the Mississippi closest to the Gulf. A storm surge warning is in effect for southern and southeastern Louisiana.

Along with heavy rain and strong winds, Barry could bring tornadoes before it moves inland and weakens.

 

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

In Exclusive VOA Interviews, NASA Astronauts Reflect on Historic Moon Missions

As the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of the historic mission to land humans on the surface of the moon, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh presents this reflection of the monumental achievement through the eyes of the NASA astronauts themselves. In exclusive interviews Farabaugh gathered, the men of the Apollo program reflect on the path to the moon, and what lies beyond.
 

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

‘Classrooms, Not Cages’: Educators Rally Against Detention of Migrant Children

More than 200 educators and activists, along with presidential candidate Jay Inslee, rallied outside the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) office Friday to protest the Trump administration’s continued detention of children and separation of families.

Organized by the American Federation of Teachers, the second-largest teachers union in the country, protesters donned white shirts reading “CLASSROOMS NOT CAGES.”

“Whatever it takes, let’s do [immigration] right,” AFT Executive Vice President Evelyn DeJesus told VOA News.

“But, until then, these kids are dying. These kids are suffering. These kids are not getting schooling the way they should,” DeJesus added. “And the teachers are here, ready to school them, to teach them, to love them.”

People with candles attend as immigration rights activists hold a “Lights for Liberty” candlelit vigil at Cleveland Square Park in El Paso, Texas, July 12, 2019.

During President Donald Trump’s time in office, at least 24 migrants, including seven children, have died in U.S. custody. Detention centers at the border have come under fire for overcrowding, extended stays, and limited access to showers, clean clothing, hot meals, basic medical care and other provisions mandated under CBP standards.

“When detainees observed us, they banged on the cell windows, shouted, pressed notes to the window with their time in custody, and gestured to evidence of their time in custody [like beards],” a Homeland Security report released in early July said.

Days ahead of planned raids

The protest comes days before a set of raids has been announced by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Beginning Sunday, ICE will conduct mass deportations in 10 cities nationwide. Individual cities have not been identified yet.

Protesters decried the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigration enforcement.

Immigration rights activists hold a “Lights for Liberty” rally and candle light vigil in front of the White House in Washington, July 12, 2019.

Linda Lindsey, a teacher from Massachusetts, described how her mother emigrated from Italy at the age of 6, fleeing Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Lindsey’s grandfather had papers that allowed the rest of the family to join him in the United States, she said.

“I probably wouldn’t be here if these stricter [immigration] laws were in place,” she told VOA. “This issue is near and dear to my heart.”

#LightsforLiberty in Portland, Oregon.

People are truly showing up to protest ICE

pic.twitter.com/LRKGjDcv8E

— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) July 13, 2019

Lindsey recalled a student this year whose uncle was detained for weeks after entering the U.S. for a family vacation. Another student stopped talking in class after revealing he wasn’t a citizen.

Inslee, the governor of Washington state, also spoke at the protest. He told VOA the legal clampdown on undocumented migrants was “both wrong and unnecessary.”

“Prosecuting a mother who has walked across the border with a 3-year-old is not a good use of our criminal justice system,” he said. He stopped short, however, of supporting decriminalization of border crossings.

Lucia Ascencio of Venezuela, her husband and their two sons, arrive back to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, as part of the first group of migrants to be returned to Tamaulipas state as part of a program for U.S. asylum-seekers, July 9, 2019.

Remain in Mexico

Toughened policies apply to asylum-seekers, too. The Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy forces asylum-seekers to stay in Mexico while their cases are decided.

“They have a legal right to come into this country and claim asylum made by international laws,” said Jose Antonio Tijerino, president and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, a leadership nonprofit. “What’s happened is that they’ve been conflated (with criminals) — every time (Trump) talks about immigration, he immediately starts talking about (the gang) MS-13 and all of these other things.”

The Trump administration has said this prevents migrants from using asylum to stay in the country illegally. Opponents argue the policy endangers migrants and could therefore violate international law. The policy is being challenged in court.

If she were here, she would have been at the vigil tonight 💜#LightsforLibertypic.twitter.com/EGT0kyiyl5

— Renee (@paix120) July 13, 2019

Influx of migrants

Protesters called for a more robust path to residency and citizenship to manage the influx of migrants. Tijerino also pointed at foreign investment as a way to stabilize Central American economies and reduce the number of border crossings.

“Investing in the home countries will make people have the opportunity to stay there,” he said, and give governments the resources to “make sure that people are safe in their home countries.”

Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras have some of the highest rates of homicide and gang violence, with much of the population living below the poverty line. Rule of law in the region, known as the Northern Triangle, has largely disintegrated.

Lights for Liberty, Lexington, Kentucky #Lights4Liberty#LightsforLiberty#WeAreKYpic.twitter.com/RK7e0bYeK8

— Abby L. Goodtrouble (@alias_any) July 13, 2019

Trump ordered aid cut to the countries in March. He reversed course in June, but only partially. The $432 million allocated in 2017 will be disbursed, but another $185 million will be withheld until the U.S. decides the three countries have done enough to reduce migration, according to CBS

The $370 million allocated in fiscal 2018 will not be disbursed. Aid in the future will be conditional as well.

Advocates and policymakers have argued that reducing aid will only reduce each government’s resources and worsen the poverty and violence that drives migration. The administration has used the aid as an incentive for the Northern Triangle countries to prevent citizens from fleeing to the U.S.

Immigration rights activists hold a “Lights for Liberty” rally and candle light vigil in front of the White House in Washington, July 12, 2019.

Asked about the future, DeJesus, of the American Federation of Teachers, said the group would continue its efforts.

“We’re going to look for legislation. We’re going to keep fighting. We’re going to knock on every door,” she said. “We are serious about this because this could be you. This could be me. They all look like us.”

#LightsforLiberty#CloseTheCamps Lincoln, NE pic.twitter.com/ybhRB9BWrg

— Kara Mitchell Viesca (@KaraViesca) July 13, 2019

AFT members and other advocates protest again at a larger vigil Friday evening, one of nearly 800 sister events worldwide. 

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Afghanistan Talks in Doha Show ‘Progress’

Dozens of prominent Afghan citizens are meeting with Taliban representatives in Qatar’s capital Doha on Monday for a second day of a conference seeking to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, also in Doha, U.S. and Taliban negotiators are conducting a seventh round of talks with the U.S. looking to conclude its involvement in Afghanistan’s civil war. VOA’S Zlatica Hoke reports.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Afghanistan Talks in Doha Show ‘Progress’

Dozens of prominent Afghan citizens are meeting with Taliban representatives in Qatar’s capital Doha on Monday for a second day of a conference seeking to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, also in Doha, U.S. and Taliban negotiators are conducting a seventh round of talks with the U.S. looking to conclude its involvement in Afghanistan’s civil war. VOA’S Zlatica Hoke reports.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Biden-Harris Clash Renews Controversy Over US School Busing

The first Democratic presidential debate for the 2020 elections brought a decades-old civil rights issue back into the public spotlight: whether to bus children to racially integrate schools.

One of the most defining moments of the debate came when U.S. Senator Kamala Harris challenged former Vice President Joe Biden’s record for not supporting the type of busing that she experienced as a black schoolgirl in California.

The exchange garnered headlines and brought the topic of busing, which had been a national issue in the 1970s but had largely fallen out of the public conversation, back into the spotlight.

Democratic presidential hopeful US Senator for California Kamala Harris speaks to the press in the Spin Room after the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign.

What is busing?

Busing was a tool that many U.S. communities used to overcome racial segregation in public schools.

Following the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, legal racial segregation in schools was outlawed across the United States. However, because of demographic trends and housing policies, many U.S. neighborhoods remained segregated, and as a result schools were effectively segregated because students attended schools in neighborhoods where they lived. 

In the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s, courts ruled that local jurisdictions were not doing enough to promote desegregation in schools and began mandating busing to address the problem. Federal agencies oversaw and enforced busing efforts, including collecting data about the race of students and withholding money from noncompliant schools.

Who was bused?

Both black students took buses to majority-white schools and white students to majority-black schools in court-ordered busing.

However, Brett Gadsden, the author of a book about desegregation efforts in Delaware, “Between North and South: Delaware, Desegregation, and the Myth of American Sectionalism,” said, “African American students disproportionally shouldered the burden” of efforts to desegregate schools.

Gadsden, an associate professor of history at Northwestern University, said black students were forced to travel longer distances and for many more years than white students.

In this Sept. 26, 1957, file photo, members of the 101st Airborne Division take up positions outside Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., after President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered them into the city to enforce integration at the school.

Why was it controversial?

Busing proved to be intensely controversial nationwide. Supporters argued busing was necessary to integrate schools and to give black and white students equal access to resources and opportunities.

Critics argued that busing was dangerous and costly, and many parents did not want their children to have to travel great distances to get to school. 

While much of the opposition to busing came from whites, the black community was also divided about its merits. 

Gadsden said black critics cited the burden their children had to shoulder in terms of distance traveled and time spent on buses. They also complained that historically black schools were closed, and black administrators and teachers lost their jobs as a result of busing policies, while similar demands were not made of white schools, Gadsden said. 

In Boston, anti-busing protests turned violent in 1974, with demonstrators throwing bricks and bottles at school buses.

Political analyst Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia said in a Twitter post following the Democratic debate that busing was so unpopular in the 1970s that Democrats running for office often had a choice to “be a profile in courage and lose, or oppose busing in whole or in part & win to fight another day on stronger ground.”

Biden’s stance

During the 1970s when Biden was a freshman U.S. senator representing Delaware, he worked with conservative senators to oppose federally mandated busing. 

In a 1975 interview with a Delaware newspaper that was first resurfaced by The Washington Post, Biden said, “I do not buy the concept, popular in the ’60s, which said, ‘We have suppressed the black man for 300 years and the white man is now far ahead in the race for everything our society offers. In order to even the score, we must now give the black man a head start, or even hold the white man back, to even the race.’”

During the Democratic debate, Biden defended his position against mandated busing in the 1970s, arguing that he did not oppose voluntary busing by communities, only federal mandates. “I did not oppose busing in America; what I opposed is busing ordered by the Department of Education,” he said.

Democratic presidential hopeful former US Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. speaks during the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign.

Harris responded by saying the federal government needed to be able to step in and mandate busing in some areas because “there was a failure of states to integrate public schools in America.”

Schools today

While some communities still champion voluntary busing measures, most busing efforts ended by the turn of the century. Local and national court rulings in the 1990s said many communities had succeeded in improving the integration of their schools and allowed busing programs to end. 

The Civil Rights Project at UCLA said in a May report  to mark the 65th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, that segregation in schools is again on the rise and has been growing “unchecked” for nearly three decades, “placing the promise of Brown at grave risk.”

The report said white students, on average, attend a school in which 69% of the students are white, Latino students attend schools in which 55% of the students are Latino, and black students attend schools with a combined black and Latino enrollment averaging 67%. 

Gadsden agreed there is “a lot of segregation in schools now” but said there is little political will to go back to the era of busing. “Federal courts now are not particularly sympathetic to challenges to school segregation,” he said, also noting there is no great appetite in the U.S. Congress to introduce measures to advance school desegregation.  

After the debate, Harris told reporters that “busing is a tool among many that should be considered.” however, when pressed on whether she supported federally mandated busing today, she said she would not unless society became as opposed to integration as it was in the 1970s.

Some critics say Harris’ position on busing today is not that much different from Biden’s.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Biden-Harris Clash Renews Controversy Over US School Busing

The first Democratic presidential debate for the 2020 elections brought a decades-old civil rights issue back into the public spotlight: whether to bus children to racially integrate schools.

One of the most defining moments of the debate came when U.S. Senator Kamala Harris challenged former Vice President Joe Biden’s record for not supporting the type of busing that she experienced as a black schoolgirl in California.

The exchange garnered headlines and brought the topic of busing, which had been a national issue in the 1970s but had largely fallen out of the public conversation, back into the spotlight.

Democratic presidential hopeful US Senator for California Kamala Harris speaks to the press in the Spin Room after the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign.

What is busing?

Busing was a tool that many U.S. communities used to overcome racial segregation in public schools.

Following the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, legal racial segregation in schools was outlawed across the United States. However, because of demographic trends and housing policies, many U.S. neighborhoods remained segregated, and as a result schools were effectively segregated because students attended schools in neighborhoods where they lived. 

In the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s, courts ruled that local jurisdictions were not doing enough to promote desegregation in schools and began mandating busing to address the problem. Federal agencies oversaw and enforced busing efforts, including collecting data about the race of students and withholding money from noncompliant schools.

Who was bused?

Both black students took buses to majority-white schools and white students to majority-black schools in court-ordered busing.

However, Brett Gadsden, the author of a book about desegregation efforts in Delaware, “Between North and South: Delaware, Desegregation, and the Myth of American Sectionalism,” said, “African American students disproportionally shouldered the burden” of efforts to desegregate schools.

Gadsden, an associate professor of history at Northwestern University, said black students were forced to travel longer distances and for many more years than white students.

In this Sept. 26, 1957, file photo, members of the 101st Airborne Division take up positions outside Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., after President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered them into the city to enforce integration at the school.

Why was it controversial?

Busing proved to be intensely controversial nationwide. Supporters argued busing was necessary to integrate schools and to give black and white students equal access to resources and opportunities.

Critics argued that busing was dangerous and costly, and many parents did not want their children to have to travel great distances to get to school. 

While much of the opposition to busing came from whites, the black community was also divided about its merits. 

Gadsden said black critics cited the burden their children had to shoulder in terms of distance traveled and time spent on buses. They also complained that historically black schools were closed, and black administrators and teachers lost their jobs as a result of busing policies, while similar demands were not made of white schools, Gadsden said. 

In Boston, anti-busing protests turned violent in 1974, with demonstrators throwing bricks and bottles at school buses.

Political analyst Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia said in a Twitter post following the Democratic debate that busing was so unpopular in the 1970s that Democrats running for office often had a choice to “be a profile in courage and lose, or oppose busing in whole or in part & win to fight another day on stronger ground.”

Biden’s stance

During the 1970s when Biden was a freshman U.S. senator representing Delaware, he worked with conservative senators to oppose federally mandated busing. 

In a 1975 interview with a Delaware newspaper that was first resurfaced by The Washington Post, Biden said, “I do not buy the concept, popular in the ’60s, which said, ‘We have suppressed the black man for 300 years and the white man is now far ahead in the race for everything our society offers. In order to even the score, we must now give the black man a head start, or even hold the white man back, to even the race.’”

During the Democratic debate, Biden defended his position against mandated busing in the 1970s, arguing that he did not oppose voluntary busing by communities, only federal mandates. “I did not oppose busing in America; what I opposed is busing ordered by the Department of Education,” he said.

Democratic presidential hopeful former US Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. speaks during the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign.

Harris responded by saying the federal government needed to be able to step in and mandate busing in some areas because “there was a failure of states to integrate public schools in America.”

Schools today

While some communities still champion voluntary busing measures, most busing efforts ended by the turn of the century. Local and national court rulings in the 1990s said many communities had succeeded in improving the integration of their schools and allowed busing programs to end. 

The Civil Rights Project at UCLA said in a May report  to mark the 65th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, that segregation in schools is again on the rise and has been growing “unchecked” for nearly three decades, “placing the promise of Brown at grave risk.”

The report said white students, on average, attend a school in which 69% of the students are white, Latino students attend schools in which 55% of the students are Latino, and black students attend schools with a combined black and Latino enrollment averaging 67%. 

Gadsden agreed there is “a lot of segregation in schools now” but said there is little political will to go back to the era of busing. “Federal courts now are not particularly sympathetic to challenges to school segregation,” he said, also noting there is no great appetite in the U.S. Congress to introduce measures to advance school desegregation.  

After the debate, Harris told reporters that “busing is a tool among many that should be considered.” however, when pressed on whether she supported federally mandated busing today, she said she would not unless society became as opposed to integration as it was in the 1970s.

Some critics say Harris’ position on busing today is not that much different from Biden’s.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.