“Get to the Back of the Bus”?

By Rinku Sen Aug 24, 2006

Check out this crazy story in the Shreveport Times about a school bus driver in Coushatta, Louisiana who “reserved” seats at the front of the bus for white children and made 9 Black children get to the back of the bus. The nine Black kids, ranging in age from five to 15, then had to share two seats at the back of the bus, meaning the older kids were holding the younger ones on their laps. The NAACP is considering filing charges with the Justice Department on behalf of the childrens’ parents and guardians. So far the district’s best solution has been to assign a Black bus driver to go across town to get the Black kids (Giving "busing" a whole new meaning). The NAACP will be searching for more insidious patterns of institutional racism that might be underlying this kind of blatant individual behavior: “If the smoke is there, then there’s probably fire somewhere else,” said NAACP district Vice President James Panell.