By Eric Zuesse
The New York Times Sunday Magazine on July 5th headlined its cover-story “America’s Enduring Caste System” and presented Isabel Wilkerson’s masterful, even profound, 12,000-word history of America’s racial caste system. She also presented it in the broader historical context. She said: “Throughout human history, three caste systems have stood out. The lingering, millenniums-long caste system of India. The tragically accelerated, chilling and officially vanquished caste system of Nazi Germany. And the shape-shifting, unspoken, race-based caste pyramid in the United States.”
In 1977, Delaware’s two U.S. Senators together helped to lead what has since been the extension of America’s race-based caste system into the post-1954, post Brown-v.-Board-of-Education, era. Here is how that “shape-shifting” was done:
On Friday, July 22nd of 1977, a bill was being considered in the U.S. Senate regarding how the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 civil-rights (anti-racist) ruling, Brown v. Board of Education, would finally become embodied and carried out in specific U.S. legislation. This bill was being proposed by all three of Delaware’s members of Congress, and was the most vociferously advocated by the then-young-and-rising Senator Joe Biden. The bill was actually written by Senator Biden’s own staff, though he was only the state’s junior Senator, not its senior one, and the name of the state’s senior Senator was therefore mentioned the first among the bill’s two introducing co-sponsors.
It was one of Biden’s earliest prominent initiatives in the U.S. Senate. He was introducing it with the other Delaware U.S. Senator, who was the Republican William Roth. This bill, the “Roth” bill, S.1651, would have allowed unconstitutional segregation of public schools to continue in any cases where the courts attribute it to the workings of the free market instead of to a law that had been passed by the particular state. In other words: to the extent that racial segregation in the U.S. is ‘natural’, it must be allowed to continue, at least as regards taxpayer-funded K-12 education is concerned. Biden advocated this. The goal of Biden and the other white racists in the U.S. Congress at that time was to take the racial-equality issue away from the courts, and into the laws, so as to, essentially, nullify Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark ruling in favor of racial equality of rights. Biden was a leader in that movement — against racial equality, for continuation of White-supremacy.
At the opening of Biden’s presentation, he asserted:
“The average citizen, and finally his representatives in Congress, have come to the conclusion that the courts have gone too far in education cases. A consensus is emerging in the Nation in my opinion and in the Congress, I hope, that the courts have stretched the 14th amendment beyond its intended limits in requiring busing of schoolchildren to achieve racial balance.” He made clear that the problem here was “interpreting the ‘equal protection’ clause of the 14th amendment, especially in the field of education.” Equal protection of the laws regarding all races was the issue at stake.
The 1954 Supreme Court had left to the nation’s legislators the determination of how their ruling, which was against continuation of White-supremacy, would be carried out.
Delaware (as Biden’s staff wrote this bill) tried to introduce into American law the idea of unconstitutionally allowing unequal opportunity to persist so long as it is only ‘natural’, because Delaware was the only state in the entire nation that had a large percentage black population but that had not been in the southern confederacy — not been a slave state, in which anti-Black discrimination wasn’t merely cultural but also legally enforced. In other words: the Roth-Biden bill was specifically designed so as to allow Delaware to continue being racially segregated even while U.S. courts would be enforcing desegregation orders against the states of Old Dixie, the former slave-states. (This would also be a way to free Delaware from any court decisions that might be forthcoming against Old Dixie states that had de jure and not only de facto segregation. It could make Delaware the libertarian haven for bigots, just as it already had become the libertarian haven for corporations and for investors. Delaware’s controlling family, the DuPonts, had been leaders in the libertarian movement going all the way back to their origin in France as having been the first libertarian publisher for the earliest pro-laissez-faire economists, the physiocrats, starting in the 1760s, supporting the French King against the increasing movement to end the monarchy and establish rule by the public, democracy — which they despised. Physiocrats also opposed increasing tariffs and all other ‘artificial’ measures, which interfered with the ‘natural order.’ Delaware’s three members of Congress, as was customary, were libertarians — supporters of unlimited freedom for the wealthiest citizens.)
Joe Biden and William Roth co-invented the system of racism that now exists in America, but they were hardly unique, at the time. They were leaders, but not unique, in any way.
There were also many other white-racist bills in Congress at that time (the 95th Congress, in 1977&78). One of the earliest of these bills was by Republican Rep. Jack Kemp from N.Y., on 24 March 1977, “A bill to transfer from Federal to State courts jurisdiction to enter decrees requiring the transportation of students or teachers to carry out a plan of racial desegregation.” Then came S.1651, which was introduced on 9 June 1977 and was titled “A bill to insure equal protection of the laws as guaranteed by the fifth or 14th amendments to the Constitution of the United States.” Then came the House version of S.1651, which was H.R.8644 and also H.R. 8645, both of which used almost exactly the same title as the Senate version and were introduced on 29 July 1977, by Delaware’s lone member of the U.S. House, the Republican Thomas B. Evans, who was trying to appeal to the white majority of his state, as were both of the state’s U.S. Senators, Biden and Roth. Then, on 4 August 1977 came from South Carolina Republican Senator Jesse Helms S.2017, “The Freedom of Choice in Education Act.” On the same day, the Maryland Republican Marjorie Holt introduced in the House H.R.932, “The Neighborhood School Act.” There also were dozens of other bills and Joint Resolutions that were proposed, having titles such as “A bill to amend title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit federally ordered assignment of teachers or students on racial and other similar grounds,” and “Joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to freedom from forced assignment to schools or jobs because of race, creed, or color” and “Joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to prohibit compelling attendance in schools other than the one nearest the residence” and “Student Transportation Moratorium Act” and “A bill to extinguish Federal court jurisdiction over school attendance.” None were titled honestly, such as “A Bill to Preserve White Supremacy.” But Delaware was unsurpassed in pushing for that general objective — continued White-supremacy (so long as it remains ‘natural’).
This was a widespread objective because investors found it to be profitable. It was a very libertarian thing to do. (Libertarianism is one-dollar-one-vote, not one-person-one-vote. Those congress-members supported that — not democracy.)
For example, Donald Trump’s father was a major NYC real-estate investor, and he had been caught marching with the KKK because as a real estate tycoon in NYC he was able to charge higher prices for his properties if they were in neighborhoods that still had no Blacks — he was profiting from the pervasive bigotry of at least middle and upper income Whites (such as himself and his friends), who would generally pay a premium in order not to have Blacks living in their neighborhoods. Donald Trump revered his father and inherited his business and continued his practices and viewpoints. So, after the overtly bigoted Party switched gradually away from being the Democrats before 1930, to being the Republicans after 1970, Donald Trump himself increasingly became a Republican, so that he wouldn’t need to hide his racism as much as politicians such as Joe Biden did and still do. Trump as a Republican could be more direct and public, freer, in his White bigotry. In other words: Joe Biden is Donald Trump in blackface — he is Democratic Party billionaires’ candidate (not Republican billionaires’ candidate) to win the votes of black voters, keep Blacks down. Here is evidence of this:
At page 256 of the pdf, which is page 252 of the printed document, in the Senate testimony regarding S.1651, Biden speaks against busing as being the proposed solution to the problem of segregated schools:
Sen. Biden: “You say I am throwing the brick. I am not as good at analogies and homilies as all of you [proponents of nationally mandated busing of students in order to advance equal opportunities for Blacks and Whites] are, but I think pushing busing in a way in which it goes beyond the constitutional mandates is like throwing a bus through the civil rights window. I think it has repercussions that are extensive in terms of the ultimate objective of seeing that we get integrated neighborhoods, of seeing that we eventually eliminate job discrimination, of seeing that we change housing patterns, of seeing alteration of the tax structure.”
Mr. Jack Greenberg, Director-Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund: “Clearly, the purpose of the [Roth-Biden co-sponsored S. 1651] bill must be something else. I believe it is to enact an unconstitutional set of technical obstacles whose sole purpose is to interfere with and delay the courts in their work in school segregation cases, and school desegregation cases alone.”
Greenberg continues: “I conclude that S. 1651 has as its intended purpose and effect to dishearten those who have had to go to court as a last resort to vindicate their right to equal justice under law denied them in the public schools of their communities.”
Arthur S. Flemming, Chair, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (testifying against S. 1651), cites in order to attack:
“Section 1 of S. 1651 provides:
‘Section 1 … No court of the United States shall order … the transportation of any student … unless the court determines that a discriminatory purpose in education was a principal motivating factor in the constitutional violation for which such transportation is proposed as a remedy.’”
Although Roth was the senior Senator and therefore was the lead of the two who were named as its initial two sponsors, Biden actually wrote the bill himself (actually, his staff did), and he also led the advocacy for it, not only in the Senate but in the Senate Judiciary Committee, to which he successfully led it to be approved; and he opened there by saying:
“The Committee on the Judiciary, to which the bill (S.1651) to insure equal protection of the laws as guaranteed by the fifth or fourteenth amendments to the Constitution of the United States, having been considered the same [which is meaningless: he actually meant “having considered the same,” not “having been considered the same,” but, since he’s too stupid to understand a lengthy sentence that had been drafted for him, he goofed, and added “been”; he was always actually “sleepy Joe,” much as Trump has actually always been a “clown,” though both have been brothers under the skin], reports favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend the bill do pass.”
However, the minority on that Committee published a dissent, which stated:
“S.1651 is entitled a bill ‘[t]o insure equal protection of the laws as guaranteed by the fifth or fourteenth amendments to the Constitution of the United States.’ Curiously, no violation of the Equal Protection Clause is made actionable by this bill. No court is provided with jurisdiction over such violations. No new remedy is created. There is literally no discriminatory act, no matter how blatant, which could be inflicted on any man, woman or child by a Federal, State, or local official which this bill prevents, deters, punishes, or redresses. The purpose of S.1651, therefore, surely cannot be to insure equal protection of the laws.”
That was signed as the lengthy “Minority Views of Messrs. Abourezk, Bayh, Culver, and Kennedy,” by those four Senators (led by Ted Kennedy), who were alleging there that Joe Biden was a fake, a fraud.
As I have previously documented extensively, Joe Biden is profoundly corrupt, and — which might be even worse — he won his Presidential nomination by the Democratic Party by means of cheating, lying about his past, and, especially, by his repeatedly lying to Black voters and citing as having been his colleagues in the sit-ins and other peaceful actions by civil rights leaders (there actually were none that he participated in), only civil rights leaders who had recently died and who thus were not available to respond by saying things such as “This man is lying about himself — I never worked with him.” Biden did this while campaigning for Black votes against Bernie Sanders, who actually had been shown in a photograph that was published in the early 1960s in the Chicago Tribune, being arrested for participating in an anti-segregation demonstration against the profoundly racist, anti-Black, Mayor of Chicago, the Democrat, Richard J. Daley. Why Sanders silently allowed Biden to get away with this has never been explained. Anyway, America’s black voters enormously preferred, and gave a crushing victory to, the bigot, Biden, and thus effectively ended the till-then-successful campaign of the anti-bigot, Sanders. A flood of billionaires’ cash into the Biden campaign right before the South Carolina primary on 29 February 2020 convinced almost all Blacks that Biden represented their interests. But Sanders was hardly alone in his silence: there were also others who knew that Biden is a psychopath and kept quiet about it.
So, Biden, who was one of the leading White-supremacists in the U.S. Senate, ended up successfully pretending to have been instead a campaigner for civil rights and won his nomination by combining the donations from 66 American billionaires (a larger number of them than donated to any of the other Democratic candidates — and Sanders was the only candidate to have received no money from any billionaire) with the votes by the overwhelming majority of black voters, who constituted the majority of Democratic voters in the states of Old Dixie, and thus handed Biden the Democratic nomination, on February 29th and Super Tuesday.
The chief difference between Donald Trump and Joe Biden might be that Trump never even tried to paint his face black. (One example of this “paint” was at 17:29 in the video that showed Biden addressing Blacks on 22 May 2020, where he told them: “If you’ve got a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”)
This is not to argue for Donald Trump. It is instead to add yet further to my description of the way American politics actually functions.
To conclude here: Kenneth L. Karst, one of America’s leading professors of Constitutional law, wrote the entry on “School Busing”, at encyclopedia dot com, in 1986, and stated there (which still remains true):
“Sadly, it is realistic to assume the continuation of urban residential segregation, which has diminished only slightly since 1940, despite nearly half a century of civil rights litigation and legislation. (Even the migration of increasing numbers of middle-class black families to the suburbs has not significantly diminished residential segregation.) Given that assumption, the nation must choose between accepting racially separate schools and using school busing to achieve integration. The first choice will seem to many citizens a betrayal of the promise of Brown. The second choice faces opposition strong enough to threaten not only the nation’s historic commitment to public education but also its commitment to obedience to law.”
The only change is that that “nearly half a century” in 1986 is now 34 years more (and still no change — despite what courts have ruled).
People such as Joe Biden and Donald Trump are the reason why the Supreme Court’s 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education is still awaiting laws that would mandate it, and enforcement that would impose it. The resistance always wins, because it comes from America’s billionaires, who fund politicians’ careers. Pumping bigotry is profitable. This is natural. But, often, what is natural is bad, not good. Government imposing those natural things is bad, not good. And this is the type of Government that both Biden and Trump represent. It is the billionaires’ Government.