Now, new research has been uncovered regarding the presumptive Democratic nominee’s vote to protect the tax-exempt status of segregated private schools.
The Washington Free Beacon has the story:
Joe Biden voted to allow racially segregated private schools to keep their tax-exempt status in the late ’70s, a stance that put him at odds with the Carter administration and drew criticism from civil rights groups at the time.
Biden was among 54 senators who voted in 1979 to keep the “Dornan rider”—a provision that barred the IRS from revoking the tax-exempt status of segregated private schools, sometimes called “white flight academies,” that had appeared in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 1954 ruling integrating public schools.
Biden’s vote is one of multiple instances in which the then-senator actively opposed federal school desegregation efforts in the 1970s and 1980s, a position that has raised problems for him at a time when the Democratic Party is grappling with unrest over historical racial inequalities.
Biden’s vote to allow segregated private schools tax-exempt status put him at odds with the American Civil Liberties Union, the Urban League, and the Department of the Treasury at the time.
“Maintaining the Dornan amendments in the Treasury Appropriations bill would be a major blow to civil rights,” the ACLU said in a statement at the time.
The Urban League said the Dornan rider “would stymie the first serious attempts by the IRS to enforce the law precluding tax exemptions for private schools which practice racial discrimination.”
It’s also important to note Biden’s opposition to the federal busing policy to desegregate public schools while he was a senator.
In 1975, Biden backed an amendment sponsored by Sen. Jesse Helms (R., N.C.) to prevent the Department of Health, Education and Welfare from collecting data about the racial makeup of schools. When this proposal failed, Biden introduced a similar amendment. He went on to sponsor and vote for multiple bills to restrict the Department of Justice from enforcing desegregation through busing, which Biden often referred to as an “asinine” policy.
“There are those of we social planners who think somehow that if we just subrogate [sic] man’s individual characteristics and traits by making sure that a presently heterogeneous society becomes a totally homogeneous society, that somehow we’re going to solve our social ills,” Biden said in a 1975 NPR interview about his objections to busing. “And quite to the contrary.”
“I think the concept of busing … that we are going to integrate people so that they all have the same access and they learn to grow up with one another and all the rest, is a rejection of the whole movement of black pride,” he added.