Judge W. Arthur Garrity Jr. once warned the Boston School district to desegregate their schools, or he would do it for them and no one would like it. They didn’t and no one was happy with the court ordered bussing in Boston of the 70s.
The Clinton Administration on December 21, 1993, put forward a directive that later became known as the Don’t ask Don’t tell policy.Civil and gay rights leaders saw it as a step forward. The pentagon Military leaders saw it as something they could live with.
Today we are at war on two fronts, the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy is viewed by most as restrictive to gay people rather than a means of allowing the m to serve. The policy has out lived it’s usefulness. Our military is more accepting and (dare I say it?) diverse. We need to move away from don’t ask don’t tell to a more tolorant policy. To do this, we need to consider that we are at war, and that the men and women that serve work and fight in very close quarters, and deconstructing traditions might take a little tweaking. Instead we have Judges issuing injunctions and demanding the end of the ban. I hope this court order works out better than the court ordered school busing.
There were a number of protest incidents that turned severely violent, even resulting in deaths. In one case, a black attorney named Theodore Landsmark was attacked by a group of white teenagers as he exited Boston City Hall. One of the youths, Joseph Rakes, attacked Landsmark with an American flag, using the flagpole as a lance. A photograph of the attack on Landsmark, The Soiling of Old Glory taken by Stanley Forman for the Boston Herald American, won the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography (now the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography) in 1977. In a retaliatory incident the next day, black teenagers in Roxbury threw rocks at a white man’s car and caused him to crash. The youths dragged him out and crushed his skull with nearby paving stones; when police arrived, the man was surrounded by a crowd of 100 chanting “Let him die” while lying in a coma from which he never recovered.
In another instance, a white teenager was stabbed nearly to death by a black teenager at South Boston High School. The community’s white residents mobbed the school, trapping the black students inside. There were dozens of other racial incidents at South Boston High that year. The school was forced to close for a month after the stabbing. When it opened again, it was one of the first high schools to install metal detectors; with 400 students attending, it was guarded by 500 police officers every day. In December 1975, Garrity turned out the principal of South Boston High and took control himself.
Garrity increased the plan down to first grade for the following school year. In October 1975, 6,000 marched against the busing in South Boston.
By the time the experiment with busing ended in 1988, the Boston school district had shrunk from 100,000 students to 57,000, only 15% of whom were white. Today the Boston Public Schools are 76% black and Hispanic, and 14% White. According to the 2000 census, Boston’s white (non-Hispanic) population is 54.48%, whereas Boston’s black and Hispanic populations together total 39.77%. Newcomer professional families in the city have comparatively fewer children, and some of those parents, both white and black, prefer to send their children to private and parochial schools rather than have their children attend public school. In South Boston, a neighborhood found by U.S. News and World Report (October 1994) to have had the highest concentration of white poverty in the country, dropout rates soared, its poorer census tracts’ dropout rates superseding rates based on race and ethnicity citywide. South Boston, along with other poor and working class white census tracts of Charlestown and parts of Dorchester, saw an increase in control by organized crime and young deaths due to murder, overdose, and criminal involvement. Boston’s South Boston High School (now the South Boston High complex) was declared “dysfunctional” by the State Board of Education.
Politically its interesting to see Obama trying to defend the Don’t ask Don’t Tell policy, and taking the heat from the political Left .. Elections sure are fun!
But what damnable luck for the Democrats to have this thrown at them 2 weeks before the election! It’s such a bad issue for Obama. He hasn’t done what he promised, and he’s fought against constitutional rights that he ought to be actively pursuing, whether he’d made promises or not. He’s going to have to rest on the argument that he was always all about Congress making the change. But why hasn’t his Congress gone his way? And do Democrats in Congress want this issue forefronted now? They’ve only made everyone unhappy — people who want DADT repealed and people who don’t. And then there’s the additional issue of “activist” judges…. (Phillips was appointed by President Clinton, who, of course, signed the original Don’t Ask Don’t Tell statute.)