Orfield Comments on Biden’s 1975 Argument Against School Desegregation

Distinguished Research Professor of Education, Law, Political Science and Urban Planning at UCLA Gary Orfield was recently quoted in a Washington Examiner  report on former vice president and possible 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden. Biden, a lifelong liberal, self-proclaimed product of the civil rights movement and former lawyer for the Black Panther Party, was quoted in a resurfaced NPR interview from 1975 as saying that he opposed the desegregation of American schools through the policy of busing. Biden stated that it was a matter of black Americans preserving their collective identity. Criticizing Biden’s past arguments, Orfield commented: “This is one of the traditional conservative ways to oppose integration. … All of the surveys of African Americans show virtually no preference for segregation. … They favor integration.”


 

Orfield Highlights Irony in Trump’s MLK Day Message

Gary Orfield, distinguished research professor of urban planning, told the ThinkProgress news site that President Donald Trump’s attempt to honor Martin Luther King Jr. was ironic because he “was elected in a racist campaign.” Trump posted a tweet praising the civil rights leader and made a quick trip to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. “Trump often tries to spin reality, but his tweet suggesting he affirms the ideals of Martin Luther King is truly incredible,” said Orfield, who co-directs the Civil Rights Project at UCLA. “[Trump’s] administration has attacked civil rights in appointments, in regulation changes, in attacking affirmative action, in creating unspeakable conditions for refugee families, and turning the Supreme Court to the hard right.” Orfield concluded, “Those who believe in Dr. King’s vision of the ‘beloved community’ should be marching now because this administration is the most hostile we’ve experienced in a century.”


Gary Orfield

Gary Orfield is Distinguished Research Professor of Education, Law, Political Science and Urban Planning at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research interests are in the study of civil rights, education policy, urban policy, and minority opportunity.

He was co-founder and director of the Harvard Civil Rights Project, and now serves as co-director of the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA.

His central interest has been the development and implementation of social policy, particularly the impact of policy on equal opportunity for success in American society.

Orfield is a member of the National Academy of Education and has received numerous awards, including the Teachers College Medal, Social Justice Award of the AERA, the American Political Science Association Charles Merriam Award for his “contribution to the art of government through the application of social science research,” and honorary PhDs.

Orfield’s research includes 12 co-authored or co-edited books since 2004 and scores of articles and reports. In addition to scholarly work, he has served as expert witness or special master in more than three dozen class action civil rights cases, on school desegregation, housing discrimination and other issues, and as consultant to many school districts, federal, state and local governments, civil rights and teachers organizations. He and various collaborators have organized amicus briefs to the Supreme Court on all the major school and affirmative action decisions over the last two decades.

Forthcoming books:

  • Accountability and Opportunity in Higher Education: The Civil Rights Dimension (with Nicholas Hillman), Harvard Education Press (2018)
  • Discrimination in Elite Public Schools: Investigating Buffalo (with Jennifer Ayscue), Teachers College Press (2018)

Orfield also edited the 2017 Educational Testing Service report, Alternative Paths to Diversity: Exploring and Implementing Effective College Admissions Policies.

“A Life in Civil Rights” appeared in the October 2010 issue of PS: Political Science & Politics.

Other books he co-wrote or co-edited:

  • Educational Delusions? Why Choice can Deepen Inequality and How to Make Schools Fair (with E. Frankenberg), Berkeley: University of California Press (2013)
  • The Resegregation of Suburban Schools: A Hidden Crisis in American Education (with E. Frankenberg), Cambridge: Harvard Education Press (2012)
  • Lessons In Integration: Realizing the Promise of Racial Diversity in America’s Public Schools (with E. Frankenberg), Charlottesville: UVA Press (2008)
  • Twenty-First Century Color Lines (with Andrew Grant-Thomas), Philadelphia: Temple University Press (2009)
  • Expanding Opportunity in Higher Education (with P. Gandara and C. Horn), Albany: SUNY Press (2006)
  • Latino Educational Opportunity: New Directions for Community Colleges, 133 (2) (with C. Horn and S. Flores), San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Wiley (2006)
  • School Resegregation: Must the South Turn Back?(with John Boger), Chapel Hill: UNC Press (2005)
  • Higher Education and the Color Line (with Patricia Marin and Catherine Horn), Cambridge: Harvard Education Press (2005)
  • Dropouts in America: Confronting the Graduation Rate Crisis, Cambridge: Harvard Education Press (2004)