Democrat Alabama governor George Wallace blocked “schoolhouse” doors in 1963 to protest the entry of two black students. Now Democrats are again blocking schoolhouse doors, this time in a different location and driven by a different prejudice.
When Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visited Jefferson Middle School Academy in southwest Washington, D.C., Friday morning, she found herself obstructed by leftist protesters. Ironically, one of the protesters, perhaps not having compared notes with the door-blocking phalanx, held a sign reading, “Welcome to Our Public School — It’s Open to Everyone!”
One male protester was arrested for assaulting a police officer, and authorities are investigating an allegation that DeVos was pushed by another.
The secretary did eventually gain access to the school, and some education officials did make clear that she shouldn’t have been impeded in the first place. As CNN reported, “Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, tweeted: ‘Just heard a protester blocked & almost knocked Secy @BetsyDeVos down at Jefferson. We don’t condone such acts. We want her to go to pub schls.’”
“Arne Duncan, who served as education secretary in the Obama administration, tweeted: ‘Agree or disagree w @BetsyDeVos on any issue, but let’s all agree she really needs to be in public schools. Please let her in,’” CNN continued.
Yet this tolerance — not to be confused with support — may not be the leftist norm. As CNN also informed, “WJLA reported the Washington Teachers’ Union organized a protest but that union members were not among the people blocking her entry. [Moreover,] BlackLivesMatter DC, the Black Youth Project and other groups had sent social media messages urging people to protest at the school.”
This is no surprise. As a 2016 Project Veritas sting operation revealed, much if not most of the violent protests attending Trump’s rise are “Astroturf”: events that, while appearing as grassroots efforts, are actually orchestrated by powerful forces behind the scenes. Far left-wing billionaire George Soros is a major funder of such planned disruption.
The education secretary is viewed as one of President Trump’s most controversial appointments and was confirmed to her post only after Vice President Mike Pence broke a 50-50 tie in the Senate on February 7, a partisan vote in which every single Democrat opposed DeVos.
Why is the secretary anathema to leftists? Aside from their reflexive opposition to any political opponent and the fact that she’s described as a “devout Christian conservative,” Cosmopolitan tells us:
In her 2013 interview with Philanthropy, DeVos expressed support for vouchers, private schools, charter schools, homeschooling, and “digital learning” as viable options under educational choice, but did not name public schools. DeVos wrote in an op-ed for the Detroit News in 2016 that the Detroit public schools system should be replaced entirely with a free-market system. ([Husband] Dick DeVos, who served on the State Board of Education in Michigan in 1990, said in 2002 that public schools should be called “government schools.”)
In other words, with school choice being DeVos’ main focus and passion, she threatens the government-school monopoly. Follow the money.
Cosmopolitan also reports that critics “of voucher programs say they ‘exacerbate existing inequalities’ and in the U.S. amount to an attempt to bring segregation back to the school system.” Yet this is somewhat hypocritical.
It’s not just that the Left has long segregated people racially and ethnically on government forms and in programs (when offering “set-asides” for certain groups). It’s not just that they segregate groups from each other ideologically, preaching, for example, that mythical “white privilege” creates in Caucasians a mindset precluding them from understanding the black experience, as if we don’t share a common humanity.
It’s also that in recent times liberals have actually advocated racial segregation, examples being “black-only zones” at some colleges, which can include “safe spaces” excluding whites and segregated black-only housing; and separating elementary school students into racial groups to discuss race.
The real segregation the Left fears is the one DeVos does advocate: the separation of conventional government school and cash. This isn’t to say liberals have to fear federal disengagement from education. All indications are that the secretary advocates a federal government role in schooling — she just wants it to advance a conservative agenda.
And with money and power prime motivators, the Astroturf has been kicked into high gear. As the New York Times writes, quoting a professional agitator:
“We will unleash our activists in a way that I don’t think any secretary of education has ever experienced,” said Heidi Hess, a campaign manager for Credo, a mobile phone company with a liberal activist arm. “If she holds field hearings, we will make sure we pack them with activists. If she travels for meetings or if she visits schools, we will confront her with protesters and have people lined up to ask her questions.”
Do these sound like the words of someone who wants to make America great again? It’s yet another example of how leftists seek to make it impossible for the Trump administration to govern, of how they engage in “destabilization”; this, perhaps not coincidentally, is the second stage of the communist process of subversion, coming after demoralization and before insurgency and “normalization.”
Another rap against DeVos is that she has no experience in government schools. You mean, just as how Donald Trump had no experience in government? That’s the point.
This is an anti-Establishment movement.
“Experience” is one of those buzzwords; as with “diversity” and “equality,” it’s a marketing term. People are generally swayed by this label and don’t check the ingredients.
Experience in what? Mass-murderer Joseph Stalin had decades of experience in government in 1950, and Nazi death-camp doctor Josef Mengele had great experience in medicine by 1945. Just as Trump has no experience raising taxes, stripping freedom by signing onerous laws, and creating bloated state bureaucracies, DeVos has no experience brainwashing children with left-wing ideology, punishing little boys for pointing their fingers like a gun, or teaching students how to put a condom on a banana.
Speaking of which, DeVos’ opponents also don’t like that she has, as Politico wrote, “compared her work in education reform to a biblical battleground where she wants to ‘advance God's Kingdom.’” But this concern speaks volumes. Is it preferable to maintain the status quo, in which government schools are advancing the Devil’s?
Photo of protesters outside Jefferson Middle School Academy in Washington, D.C: AP Images