The Brian Lehrer Show

Newsmakers meet New Yorkers as host Brian Lehrer and his guests take on the issues dominating conversation in New York and around the world. This daily program from WNYC Studios cuts through the usual talk radio punditry and brings a smart, humane approach to the day's events and what matters most in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts including Radiolab, On the Media, Snap Judgment, Death, Sex & Money, Nancy, Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin and many others. © WNYC Studios

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Why Busing Failed to Desegregate Our Schools


Matthew Delmont, associate professor of history at Arizona State University and the author of Why Busing Failed: Race, Media, and the National Resistance to School Desegregation (University of California Press, 2016), digs into the history of busing as a means to achieve school desegregation, why it ultimately didn't work and how the effects of its failure still linger in our schools today.

Delmont said there are three myths around desegregation:

  • The idea of de facto segregation: There's a perception that segregation in the North was somehow less serious than it was in the South. That's just not true.
  • News media played a positive role in leading the nation in a better direction for civil rights: While television and newspapers did a good job of forcing people to confront the issues of civil rights in the South, the national media was much more timid with the North.
  • Busing started in Boston in the 1970s: the idea of busing actually began in New York.


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 2016-04-01  18m