Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

The New Voice

Boston Busing: Phase Two Phases Out Education

First Published: The New Voice, Vol. IV, No. 20, October 6, 1975.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The capitalists’ racist tactic of forced busing, racial balancing or court-ordered desegregation, no matter what it is called, has done nothing to improve education for working-class families, minority or white. In Boston, schools opened September 8 with over 2,000 city and state police in attendance and the National Guard waiting in the wings. Racial balancing pushed by liberal racists, such as Federal Judge Garrity, has brought the closing down of 25 schools, the end of 600 teaching jobs, great slashes in funds for books and supplies and the elimination of special education and bilingual education programs.

While these cutbacks are going on, the school administration is spending an estimated 23 million dollars this year on the diversionary racial balancing scheme, including at least $7.6 million on forced busing alone. This is over 30 million dollars that could be used to upgrade ghetto schools and improve the education of all working-class children in Boston.

The racial conflict between black and white workers intensified by forced busing is enabling the ruling class to implement “Phase Two”–a general cutback in educational funds to the Boston working class. This racist weapon of the bourgeoisie is being used to divide the Boston working class and weaken its overall struggle for higher wages, better working conditions, more social services and greater political rights. The goal of racism is to maximize profits for the monopolies. Phase Two is a clear demonstration of this strategy.

“Racial Balancing” Is No Attack on Racism

The absurdity of Garrity’s Phase Two “desegregation” is the manipulation of “correct” racial percentages within each Boston school while ignoring the obvious lack of resources to the worse-off black schools and the general lack of resources for all of Boston’s working-class schools. Racial balancing forces every school to reflect the racial percentages in the whole of Boston. Racial balance is primary, taking precedence over all else. In the name of civil rights, the liberal racists have reduced the struggle of blacks for a better education to racial percentages. “In the 1960’s, thousands of blacks and whites marched and demonstrated to end segregation in schools. What they were demanding was the opportunity for decent education for all children, and an end to discrimination. For example, in 1963 the Boston NAACP put forward 14 demands about the school system. Eight called for upgrading all schools, three responded to discrimination; and only three directly’ involved integration.” (TNV, Vol. 3, No. 24)

In 1975, the liberal racists like Garrity and the present-day NAACP have removed the heart from the original demands. What gains have forced busing brought in education? Racial balancing has caused overcrowding in some schools and hundreds of empty seats in others. Black working-class schools have not been upgraded through more resources. The liberal racists have not lifted a hand to fight the superexploitation of blacks. And what about white working-class schools? Nothing has been done to increase resources to these schools which are also inadequate.

The liberal racist plan can never solve the problem of the special oppression of black workers. It intentionally avoids the material basis of racism–the difference in wages which the ruling class maintains between white and minority workers to support an entire system of economic and social discrimination. For a genuine fight against the super-exploitation of blacks, all workers should demand that black schools be upgraded to the levels of other schools. In the broad struggle for better education for all workers, the schools most in need should receive first attention.

The goal of the liberal racists is to create racial conflict. The demands for new schools, more teachers, increased funds for supplies and special programs cannot be achieved if left to the Garritys and the NAACP.

Corporations Benefit

Another aspect of Boston’s Phase Two is pairing up corporations with high schools to improve so-called career education. What this means to students is that big business now has a more direct base to recruit them as future workers.

As Robert Lamphere, vice president of policy holders and senior analyst at John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company, put it: “Schools are a vital resource to businesses in the city. Many students come to work for us after graduation. We need them and they need us. What we are attempting to do is work together to improve the long-term quality of education in the city, which will be beneficial to both partners.” (Boston Globe, March 30, 1975)

The quality of education has been sabotaged in the interest of big business. Corporations such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Gillette Company Safety Razor Division, Massport Authority, Stop and Shop Companies, Inc., have seen fit to participate in the program only because it is profitable.

The Boston “education” plan is designed to create racial tension, lower resources to all schools and tie the schools closer to big business. Forced busing and racial balancing are schemes to defeat the working-class struggle against the growing economic crisis of capitalism. Genuine communists do not stand against integration in schools. However, we cannot support a phony integration plan which pushes forced racial balancing in order to cover up the shabby Boston school system and create racial conflict. The working class will forge its own integration based on a united struggle against the superexploitation of black workers and for better conditions for all workers.