From NEW REPUBLIC:
Conservatives frame privatization as a civil rights issue, but Trump’s extreme agenda is energizing racial justice and public education advocates.
Last September, at a rally in Roanoke, Virginia, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump made a promise to black America. “I will fight to make sure every single African-American child in this country is fully included in the American dream,” he said. “That includes the new civil rights issue of our time: school choice.” This has been a familiar refrain for Trump. “At rallies last year across the country,” The New York Times reported in March, “Trump said over and over again that he would use the nation’s schools to fix what he described as failing inner cities and a virtual education crisis that most hurts black and Hispanic children. In North Carolina, he called school choice ‘the great civil rights issue of our time.’ In Florida, he declared that ‘every disadvantaged child in this country’ should have access to school choice.”
“School choice” is conservative-speak for charter schools and vouchers, both of which represent a different degree of privatization in education. Vouchers use taxpayer dollars to fund attendance at private and religious schools, while charters are publicly funded but, in many cases, privately controlled. Trump’s education policy advocates for both, and in his controversial appointment of Betsy DeVos as education secretary, he elevated a longtime champion of the cause.
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From The Atlantic:
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos faced an unwelcome reception Wednesday as she delivered the commencement speech at Bethune-Cookman University, a historically black college in Daytona Beach, Florida. As the university’s president, Edison Jackson, began to award DeVos an honorary degree, many students in the crowd started to boo, while faculty applauded. A mere seconds after DeVos began speaking, the room erupted in shouts. A number of students turned their backs on the speaker, who attempted to elevate her voice above the crowd’s for the majority of her time on stage.
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From Alex Pareene at Salon:
Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl explained on Fox yesterday that allowing gay men and women to serve openly in the armed forces ” is not a constitutional right as was the issue of racial segregation,” and he went on to argue that repealing the policy that bars them “could disrupt unit cohesion… and cost lives.”
That’s right: Repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” could kill soldiers.
Considering that this may very well kill people, the next Congress should probably repeal the repeal, right? I mean, it’s literally a matter of life and death. We need to re-ban gay people ASAP, right, Senator Kyl?
“I don’t have any plan in place” to repeal the repeal in the next Congress, Kyl said on Fox today.
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From Eugene Robinson at The Washington Post:
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who may seek the Republican nomination for president, is trying to sell the biggest load of revisionist nonsense about race, politics and the South that I’ve ever heard. Ever.
He has the gall to try to portray Southern Republicans as having been enlightened supporters of the civil rights movement all along. I can’t decide whether this exercise in rewriting history should be described as cynical or sinister. Whichever it is, the record has to be set straight.
Hey, Haley, the Barbour of Incivility, if you’re going to make up fairy tales, you should dress the part…
From the New York DAILY NEWS:
WASHINGTON – Kentucky GOP Senate nominee Rand Paul got slapped down yesterday over his remarks on civil rights – by his own party’s leaders.
“I believe … his philosophy is misplaced in these times,” Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, told “Fox News Sunday.”
“I don’t think it’s where the country is right now,” Steele said.
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From the Los Angeles Times:
Reporting from Washington – President Obama on Sunday dismissed the uproar over Rep. Joe Wilson’s heckling during the president’s speech Wednesday to a joint session of Congress, suggesting it was only a distraction — even as some members of Obama’s party threatened to punish the South Carolina Republican.
“This is part of what happens. I mean, it becomes a big circus instead of us focusing on healthcare,” Obama said in an interview on the CBS news program “60 Minutes.”
Obama noted that Wilson later apologized, which “I appreciated.”
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and other senior Democrats in the chamber indicated last week that unless Wilson went to the House floor to apologize, they would advance a resolution admonishing Wilson for shouting “You lie” during Obama’s address.
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