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The Koch Brothers and Public School Segregation

Posted on Aug 17, 2011
Youtube / bravenewfoundation

In its latest attack on the billionaire Koch brothers, Robert Greenwald’s Brave New Films shows how the fearsome libertarian duo used their wealth and power to elect four segregationists to North Carolina’s Wake County school board in 2009.

The candidates and their backers opposed the district’s desegregation policy of mixing students from poor and rich neighborhoods by busing them to the same schools. They did not advertise their intentions so plainly, however. Instead, they mouthed terms like “forced busing” and “neighborhood schools”—phrases that hark back to the campaign of former Alabama Gov. George Wallace, who during his 1963 inaugural speech famously said: “In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”

The four Koch-backed candidates won election to the school board and have since begun to dismantle the busing program despite local protest. —ARK

Mother Jones:

... There are deep connections between the Kochs and Wake County, and it’s all about the money. The latest installment in the left-leaning Brave New Foundation’s “Koch Brothers Exposed” video series reveals how a Koch-founded and funded outfit, Americans for Prosperity, fueled a campaign to “resegregate” the schools of Wake County, a prosperous area in central North Carolina that’s home to the cities of Raleigh and Cary, among others.


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The story starts back in 2009, when elections were held for four of Wake County’s nine school board seats—enough seats to dictate the public school district’s agenda if all four board members wanted the same reforms. That’s where Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political advocacy group, came into play. AFP swooped in to fund and organize on behalf of four candidates who sought to kill the district’s policy of busing to ensure diverse, desegregated public schools. The AFP-backed candidates ran against what they called “forced busing”—a phrase, the film points out, that dates back to George Wallace in the 1970s—and instead stressed that schools should educate only those who lived in the surrounding neighborhood.

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By Sadiku, August 20, 2011 at 3:41 am Link to this comment
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All I can say is, “Damn!”  Who’d think that this would be happening today?  If you look at the way the community in South Carolina had moved toward racial harmony, prosperity, with coordinated efforts to better their communities and diversify their educational system, and then to have some outsiders come in with an agenda and “money” to tear down years of hardwork and progress is unimaginable.

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By diana brooks, August 18, 2011 at 4:29 pm Link to this comment
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rerun of french revolution on a global scale is eminent lafayette. the chillin
getting us motivated with their flash mobs…thinga are heating

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By Lafayette, August 17, 2011 at 10:08 pm Link to this comment


Troglodytes, both of them.

It is amazing that the world has moved way, way beyond this kind of ideology - and yet America churns out such ideologues like popcorn.

Why is it that such rich think they can use their money to pursue policies that are anti-democratic and socially disharmonious? This sort of activity harks back to the monarchism of ages past. Civilizations have changed since then.

Tax the piss outta them, they don’t deserve their accumulated wealth - since they don’t know how to use it for the betterment of mankind. Which is a lesson, at least, that Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have learned.

The world, and particularly America, do not need such creatures. They are misfits.

And if we got our taxation of both earned and unearned income right, we would not have so very many of them.

We adulate the rich in America and look at the way they treat us - poor fools that we are.

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By aacme88, August 17, 2011 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment

So now we’re going back to the early 60s. How far backward IS the right going to push us before it’s over, and how long will it take us to get back to where we were before 1980?

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