The 2020 presidential campaign is still in its early stages–sort of, anyway–but why should we be surprised that, even among same party colleagues, confrontation is the name of the game. Seems that, regardless of the message or the messenger, nowadays someone is sure to take offense and spout off.

This time it was during the first televised Democrat presidential debate: California’s Senator Kamala Harris vs. former Vice President Joe Biden.

The issue: school busing, and it was being taken on by “the only black person on this stage.”

Short of calling Biden a racist and at the same time approving of his willingness to reach across the aisle, she went after “those two senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country,” whom he’d reached out to many years ago.

She then recalled a little California girl who was part of the second class in America to be bused to achieve integration, ending with, “That little girl was me.”

Not only did that line, of course, go viral, a childhood pic of Harris emblazoned on a $29.99 to $32.99 black t-shirt is now available on her campaign website…

As for Biden, he reminded her—and viewers, too–that he’d favored voluntary busing—as was the case in Berkeley when Harris was a child–or when it was court ordered to remedy a school’s segregation policy.

Ultimately and at a later time, he defended himself, apologized, and finally said, “I’m going to let my record stand for itself and not be distorted or smeared.”

Meanwhile and as reported in Education Week’s July 17 issue:

  • A 2017 PDK International poll found that about 75% of parents said it was “somewhat” or “very important” to have racially diverse public schools. However, when it comes to longer commutes for their kids to achieve it, just 40% of black respondents approved—more than either whites or Hispanics.
  • A 1972 PDK poll regarding school integration in general when Biden first became a senator found that only 30% of voters said more should be done “to integrate schools throughout the nation.” At the same time 38% said less should be done, while 23% were content with the status quo.

So it was and is today…

And now comes this: On a recent campaign swing in California, Biden referred to the President as being “more George Wallace [a 20-year pro-segregation Alabama governor and failed presidential candidate, who died in 1998] than George Washington.”

In other words: What goes around comes around—over and over and over and over again…

With my thanks, Carol (