Historian and author Tim Tyson lit into Wake County school board member John Tedesco and conservative businessmen Art Pope and Bob Luddy at Monday night's NAACP rally.
Tyson argued throughout his talk that the move toward neighborhood schools in Wake can be traced to efforts to resist school integration. He repeatedly belittled Tedesco in his comments.
"How did I get on there," Tyson said about first mentioning Tedesco. "I was thinking of idiotic bureaucrats. God bless him. He doesn’t know what he thinks until they give them his talking points.
Tyson moved on to Luddy and Pope, who he called "money bags" for their donations during the school elections, He said they used the terms neighborhood schools and forced busing to win the election.
Despite the talk about ending "forced busing," Tyson said the school board will still have to run buses and assign students to schools they don't want to attend.
“It’s only forced busing if the school you get to at the end of the line is a diverse school," Tyson said.
Tyson said you can trace the term neighborhood schools to a 1964 speech by Alabama Governor George Wallace. Tyson said the speech was written by white supremacist Asa Carter.
"Do I think John Tedesco is like Asa Carter or George Wallace?" Tyson said. "No, no. I think Mr. Tedesco is perfectly nice."
"I have no animus to him," Tyson added. "He just sticks to his line. The problem is his lines stick to him."
Tyson mocked Tedesco and the new school board majority's "secret plan,” which he called "a magical plan that segregates while it integrates and integrates while it segregates."
Tyson again complained about how Tedesco has brought up the Brown v. Board decision to criticize the old diversity policy.
"We have to congratulate Mr. Luddy and Mr. Pope," Tyson said. "They are really getting their money’s worth."
The rest of Tyson's talk was a history lesson about the integration of Raleigh schools.