The Wake County School Board's lead buffoon, Ron Margiotta, offered an non-apology for his "caged animal" remarks yesterday. Meanwhile the media has focused on complaints by parents of children having to be bused long distances to school as a result of the school diversity plan, which has been in place the the 1970s. The fact is that 95% of all school children in Wake County go to schools within five miles of their homes. This Republican-led plan is about resegregation, not busing.
The Margiotta story from the News Observer:
RALEIGH Wake County school board chairman Ron Margiotta is being criticized by supporters of the diversity policy for having complained at Tuesday’s school board meeting that some people were acting like “animals.”
Margiotta said “here come the animals out of the cages” in response to the booing that Bill Randall, a black conservative congressional candidate, received Tuesday from supporters of the diversity policy. Randall was among the speakers who had supported the resolution that received initial approval for abandoning busing for diversity in favor of neighborhood schools.
The Rev. William Barber, president of the state NAACP, has scheduled a press conference for Friday to address Margiotta’s comments. Barber supports the diversity policy and has threatened to sue Wake if the school board adopts policies that lead to segregated schools.
“Any public official referring to those with opposing viewpoints, engaged in the democratic process as animals is unacceptable," said state NAACP Executive Director Amina Turner in a press release.
Margiotta acknowledged today that his comments were “out of line.” But he said he was only responding to the lack of courtesy he felt was being shown to critics of the diversity policy. Speakers on both sides of the resolution creating community schools were booed on Tuesday but the turnout was larger by opponents of the plan to end busing for diversity.
“If I offended anyone, it was not intended,” Margiotta said. “It was said in the heat of the moment.”