I remember this date, all right. I was scheduled to do a three hour CLE legal ethics seminar in Rhode Island on the 13th, and all the flights were cancelled. The bar association assumed I would cancel too, but I’m a “The show must go on” guy, and I said, “I’ll be there if I have to drive all night.” And I drove all night.
1. This date also had significance in the history of misguided utilitarian solutions to the problem of racial disparities. In his June 1974 ruling in Morgan v. Hennigan, U.S. District Judge Arthur Garrity held that Boston’s geographically segregated public schools created de facto school segregation that discriminated against black children. He ordered the busing of African American students to predominantly white schools and, punishing innocents for “the greater good,” white students to black schools. Forced busing began on September 12, and was met with massive protests, particularly in South Boston, the city’s main Irish-Catholic neighborhood. Protests continued unabated for months, and many parents, white and black, kept their children at home. In October, the National Guard was mobilized to enforce the federal desegregation order.
The rest of the story: Boston’s draconian and unfair busing plan lasted for fourteen years, and (those who fail to learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them) didn’t work. Racial divisions were exacerbated, parents pulled their children out of public schools, and many families moved to the suburbs. Continue reading