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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Jesse Helms, March 8, 1974. Interview A-0124. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Denies that opposition to busing is racist

Helms denies that his opposition to busing is based on racism, arguing that white northerners and blacks opposed the practice as well.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Jesse Helms, March 8, 1974. Interview A-0124. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JACK BASS:
You know, your critics . . . some of your critics say that when you bring up anti-bussing, 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 . . . bussed. 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%, isn't it? 87% of the Negro parents polled objected to forced bussing. I've not had one black to write to me saying that he wanted forced bussing 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."