Interview with Robert Kiley

How rational was the city discourse on race, and busing and school desegregation.


I don't think it was very rational at all, and as time went on, and it became increasingly clear that the, that the, what the judge would do, ah there was a kind of, ah, delusion going on within the city itself. I think a lot of people were ignoring the issue. I think it's not unfair to say that the business community, the financial community, and I would say the religious community took a walk, in the early 1970s. Leaving, really, only the politicians and the parents as the people who cared about the issue; and in a certain sense the parents got pitted against each other: White neighborhoods against Black neighborhoods, in a way that no one had ever bargained for**. Little planning went on so that when the Judge finally came down with a decision in June of 1974, there was quite literally no mechanism, no instrument by which school desegregation was going to be accomplished just three months after he released his decision.