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Edward KocheEdward Koche
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Session:         Page of 617

then: I have been in Washington Square Park on a Sunday afternoon late, like 4 o'clock, when suddenly the complexion of the park has changed. Maybe on an ordinary Sunday when you get an enormous amount of tourists coming down, and the park will be maybe 75% white. I haven't counted it, but say that would be it. And suddenly in the afternoon, maybe as it gets closer to dark and people are leaving, the complexion changes; and it may be more than 50% black. It becomes frightening. Maybe I'm using the word “frightening” too loosely. But there is a different kind of air about the place. It's got to be dealt with.

While I'm on this subject, which undoubtedly has a bigoted nature but I think there's so much truth to it, I think the worst thing that the Supreme Court's ever done (and I didn't think that years ago but I do now) was to require in effect racial balance in the school system. I don't believe in racial balance imposed by law. If it happens in a natural way, fine.

Why don't I believe in racial balance in the schools? Because it doesn't work, because it destroys the public school system. People who were sending their kids to the public school -- white middle class people -- take them out if they can afford it. And the only people who are left there are the poor, Boston being the best illustrations but I haven't been in Boston so I can just talk about it like an outsider. But I can see the City of New York.

In the City of New York, the school population, which had been white by way of majority, is now black by way of majority in the elementary and high school situations. Why?

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