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GOP candidate: Desegregation was the downfall of public education

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No matter what side of the political aisle you stand on, racism shouldn't be tolerated or accepted. One Republican candidate, however, might think otherwise.

Speaking to the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, Wayne Coleman, the Republican candidate for the Virginia state Senate, stated that the desegregation of public schools was the start of the downfall of public education.

“I’m old enough to have lived during the desegregation of the schools here locally...And busing children, in my opinion, around the different districts, getting them out of their local neighborhoods, really was the beginning of the decline in some of the school districts.”

Since the 1954 Supreme Court ruling, Brown v. Board of Education, schools began integrating and the state of Virginia battled for many years to keep segregation alive. Following the backlash from the interview, Coleman walked back his statements, claiming they were “misconstrue and mischaracterize.”

"For that, I take full responsibility and apologize. My point was, and remains that schools that are closest to the families they serve are schools that have the greatest level of accountability."

The issue of race has been a negative for many within the Republican party, being highlighted even more following the election of President Obama in 2008. Republicans continue to try to "re-brand" themselves on issues of race, but always get pulled back by the likes of Coleman and other who use similar rhetoric. Coleman is running for the state’s 6th District against Democrat Lynwood Lewis where a special election will be held on January 7th. More information on Wayne Coleman can be found at his official website ColemanforVirgina.com.

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