Most of the anti-government arguments made Tuesday against Wichita’s participation in a $1.5 million federal grant for regional sustainable planning had been heard during the Sedgwick County Commission meeting earlier this month. But one person addressing the City Council and mayor crossed a new line. After claiming that during his 55 years in Wichita “our freedoms have been whittled away to where we have practically nothing in the way of freedom and liberty,” state Rep. Benny Boman, R-Wichita, said he had fought forced busing for integration of Wichita schools and cited such busing as an example of federal meddling: “The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the federal government has the right to regulate that which it subsidizes. So there you have it. If you take the money, you get control.” It was shocking to hear such a comment from an elected official in 2012, in a nation and community that have made such progress against racism and segregation.
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