Interview with Evelyn Morash
QUESTION 6
JACKIE SHEARER:

Great, now, can you tell me how friends of yours, other White parents who were "anti-busing", how did they describe themselves to you in terms of why were they anti-busing?

EVELYN MORASH:

Why were they anti-busing? They didn't know where the kids were going to go. They didn't want their kids leaving neighborhood schools. They didn't want their kids going anywhere else but here. They had their right to the neighborhood school. No one was going to tell them what to do. And the frustrating part for me was when I would try to explain the years that the school committee had stalled, had taken positive actions not to desegregate the schools, how so much of it could have been done in a very easy way that had been d- denied and there was those, all the actions done to stop it. N- you'd try to explain this to people and you know, their eyes would glaze over. You know. And they didn't want to hear any of that reasoning, any of that rationale, any of the background. And it was like don't tell me that. Just tell me that my kids are not going to go on a bus. And you have to remember that in East Boston, probably a lot of neighborhoods, but I think even more so in East Boston, people don't leave East Boston for a lot of reasons. Ah. East Boston is an island. You have to make an effort. I mean, and you'll hear that. Time and time again. East Boston--we're an island. And you try to con- you know, I tried to say to people, "You know, yeah, we, we are an island but then there are people that leave it every day, get on a bus, get on a train, go to work in town. And there are people that come on to this island, millions of people a week, to go to our airport. So you know, it isn't that we're isolated. The isolation is a mental isolation." So they didn't want kids to leave. And I mean, I think a lot of our schools, a lot of the field trips that we were doing at that time in school were into town, getting kids, bringing them into museums. It was, there was a twofold purpose. It was getting them into the museums. It was getting into those outside activities. But it also showed them there was another world outside there on the other side of the, on, on the other side of the harbor. But people were afraid to leave. And y- y- you can be so self-contained here. And East Boston had a complete, total, I mean, we had elementary schools. We had a junior high school. And we had a high school. It could have been a total school system which a lot of other neighborhoods in, in the city didn't have that totality school system that we had here. So probably it was very easy to, for people to think why should we have to leave? We've got it all here.