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Jesse Helms on busing

In this oral history excerpt of an interview between Jack Bass and Senator Jesse Helms in 1974, Jesse Helms addresses busing and racial antagonisms.


Audio Transcript

Jack Bass
You know, your critics—some of your critics say that when you bring up anti-busing, that in effect it's arousing traditional Southern racial fears and antagonisms.
Jesse Helms
Baloney. They know they're talking through their hats. It's nothing Southern about it. They ought to see how the folks in New York feel about it, in the case they're being bossed—bused. Boss is right too.
Jack Bass
Without the Southern part, how about their charge that it does arouse racial antagonisms and fears?
Jesse Helms
Well, baloney again, because the surveys show that 80—87 percent, isn't it? 87 percent of the Negro parents polled objected to forced busing. I've not had one black to write to me saying that he wanted forced busing for his child. We have had many blacks to write to us saying, “Senator, I didn't vote for you, but you're right about this. I prefer my child to walk to school.”
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