Ignorant, insulting, and underhanded are words that best describe Betsy DeVos’s press release about historically black colleges and universities on February 27, 2017. You really have to read the whole thing to get the full impact:
“It sure was nice black folks had the option of attending schools for black people because schools for white people wouldn’t open their doors back in the day.”
A quick wikipedia search would have been a good idea for Betsy before she put her white, privileged, tone deaf shoe in her mouth. Here, let me Google that for you, honey.
Only a school choice pimp like Betsy DeVos could deconstruct the reason why HBCUs exist in the first place and call it school choice. No, it had nothing to do with options for children and parents, Betsy, it was the ONLY option for black people to receive a higher education. Schools in the south, and in many cases in the north (like Kalamazoo, Michigan in the 1970’s), simply refused to open their doors to black people, and this was a problem not only with colleges and universities, but with the whole system starting with the primary grades.
What many Americans don’t know yet about Betsy because they haven’t had the privilege of being exposed to her not-so-subtle racism, is the term civil rights has been hijacked by the school choice agenda as a way to get black people on board and promote re-segregating public schools with “options” like charter schools and vouchers.
DeVos’s Michigan school choice organizations have a track record of using the phrase civil rights as a way to get minorities on board to help them push their agenda and shame anyone who gets in her way. DeVos’s Great Lakes Education Project tweeted this image of Michigan’s then State Superintendent Michael Flanagan back in 2014 when he tried to make charter school authorizers more accountable to the abysmal track record they have in the state compared to real public schools.
Gary Naeyaert, the DeVos-funded yes man who runs GLEP for Betsy tried to explain with more tweets that no he wasn’t really calling Michael Flanagan a racist before deleting the offensive tweet completely. What the tweet did do was expose the school choice agenda: Shame those who get in their way by declaring school choice the “civil rights issue of our time.” The bullying tactic didn’t work, and Gary Naeyaert, GLEP, or Betsy DeVos to this day never apologized to Flanagan for their blatant attack on him doing his job.
Hopefully now that Betsy DeVos continues to make the same mistakes with using the civil rights struggle to push her personal agenda to segregate the nations’ schools, people will have a better idea of what she’s really trying to accomplish. It was never about more options, it’s about forcing people into the only school option she allows. It’s the burden of every white privileged rich dominion theology prosperity gospel authoritarian in America to tell you what your choices are, not let you decide for yourself. This press release about HBCUs is just a taste of what’s to come for real education opportunity in the United States.