Opinion | Don’t Call It Busing. It’s Desegregation.

A historian explains how the term “busing” was used by opponents of desegregation in Boston and elsewhere. Also: Meat alternatives and the climate; compensating separated border families.

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To the Editor:

Re “Menaced by White Mob as a Girl, She Is Now Boston’s Mayor” (news article, March 24):

The historian Matthew Delmont writes that before desegregation, 85 percent of high school students in Boston were bused to school without any objections from white parents. It was only when busing became attached to desegregation that these same white parents began to oppose it.

In my own research, I show that even during desegregation, white parents clamored to have their students bused to the city’s elite public schools: Boston Latin and Boston Latin Academy. In short, white parents in Boston — and elsewhere — strategically framed their opposition to desegregation by calling it busing.

Please stop calling it busing. It’s desegregation.

Kimberly Probolus
The writer is a historian.

Using Meat Alternatives to Fight Climate Change

To the Editor:

Re “Biden’s Big Infrastructure Push Puts Climate Fight at Forefront” (front page, March 24):

Kudos to President Biden for meeting the moment on climate change, but there is one glaring omission from his climate plan — food and agriculture, which are responsible for one-third of global climate change. The bulk of that climate impact comes from raising animals for food. One solution identified by Bill Gates in his new book, “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster,” is to biomimic animal meat with plants and cultivate actual animal meat directly from cells.

The federal government has a big role to play. It should fund open-access research into plant-based and cultivated meat and should incentivize private sector research. Quite simply, we’re not going to reach Mr. Biden’s laudable goal of net-zero emissions unless we deal with the methane and nitrous oxide produced by raising animals for food. Plant-based and cultivated meat do that.

There are two considerable global health benefits to this work as well: Because plant-based and cultivated meat production do not require live animals, there is no risk of zoonotic disease and no need for antibiotics in their production. As a result, the risk of meat production leading to another pandemic or antibiotic resistance falls from considerable to zero.

Bruce Friedrich
The writer is executive director of the Good Food Institute.

Reparations for Separated Families

To the Editor:

I believe that our cruel policy of separating children from their families at the Southern border was a disgrace, and that we need to make amends. The reparations may come in various forms: direct payment to the aggrieved families, or a “welcome to U.S.A.” citizenship as an intact family, or college tuition or some combination thereof.

As a good and benevolent nation we need to live up to our ideals and face our failures. We should reunite the families and pay them reparations.

Ira Jacobson

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