Betsy “Devoid” (of good
sense), also known as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, is an
aberration, an abomination, an abscess on the complexion of
educational policy and equity. She has been so egregious that at
least two members of Congress, Katherine Clark (D-Ma) and Mark Pocan
(D_WI) have called for her resignation because of her abject
indifference to young people, especially those who are Black, Brown
Ronald. J. Mason, President of the University of the District of
Columbia, has written an open letter to DeVoid, challenging her
interpretation of meritocracy. The letter, published in a recent
issue of Diverse Issues of Higher Education, suggests that education
can be a bridge to maximize human potential, but only if we are open
to the contributions of every human being and especially every young
person who aspires to greatness.
of supporting our young people, DeVoid has attacked them. There are
alarming statistics that the Obama administration attempted to deal
with. Black boys are three times as likely to be suspended as their
white counterparts. More disturbingly, Black girls are twelve
(TWELVE) times more likely to be suspended than white girls. Why?
Because Black girls have no girlhood, no presumption of innocence.
We are the recipients of Afro-phobia or the fear of Black people.
President Obama didn't do much for Black folks, but he did introduce
civil rights division protections for these overly suspended
students. DeVoid would roll them back.
not the only thing she'd roll back. She wants to change the rules on
campus enforcement of sexual harassment, giving the attacker the
"presumption of innocence," and more jarringly the right
for a rapist to question his (usually, could be her) attacker. And
she wants to protect for-profit colleges while President Obama said
that students should be protected against these predators.
Understand this. These for-profit colleges only exist to take
people's student loan money. They provide little in services and
even less in educational support. But DeVoid, whose family seems to
benefit from their involvement in the for-profit college space, is
protecting her own interest. That's not unusual in an administration
where the Presidential daughter has garnered patents with China,
perhaps influencing our nation's foreign policy.
ignorance was most recently exhibited when she attempted to defend
budget cuts that would affect the differently abled, including cuts
to the Special Olympics, our nation's only deaf-focused university,
Gallaudet, and to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf.
Really, DeVoid? Don't you understand that those who are differently
abled transcend political party? Don't you know that these are folks
who need special services? Ms. DeVoid's tepid response to aggressive
questioning by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) among others
exhibited her unpreparedness and unfitness. We know that the man who
lives in the house that Enslaved People Built is sufficiently
uneducated to be clueless about this, but even he had to back up and
acknowledge that cuts to the Special Olympics sent the wrong signal.
favors charter schools over public schools and would put money into
charter schools, taking it away from public schools. DeVoid is
someplace past wrong on this, but that woman is doing the work she
was sent to do – her job is to dismantle public education in
favor of publicly supported private education. If folks want to do
private schooling, that's their business, but should public schools
suffer for elitism? And should someone whose biases are so publicly
visible be in charge of this? I think not.
knew that DeVoid was unqualified when she narrowly squeaked past
Senatorial confirmation, only earning it because Vice President Mike
Pence cast a historical tie-breaking vote for her. Even Republicans
find her out of order, out of line, unqualified, unprepared and
unfit. She has spent her time in public office attacking student
rights, ignoring students of color, and attacking young people who
have experienced sexual assault. She is entirely consistent with the
cretin who appointed her, and young people are paying for her
of Congress can request the DeVoid resignation, but she is fully
supported by the man who has enabled her to wreak havoc on our
educational system. The blessing in her presence is that she can,
perhaps, motivate our activism at the local level. More progressive
activists must run for school boards. More progressive activists
must reject the ways this administration is attacking education. And
we must be clear that it did not start with this administration, but
it is amplified and exacerbated by this administration. If we
believe that education is a human right, we must resist this
DeVoid is the tip of the iceberg that began melting when Black
activists attacked school segregation in a series of lawsuits that
culminated in Brown v. Board of Education. DeVoid is on the
frontline of a cultural war designed to sideline folks who don't look
or spend like her. Are we ready to fight back, resisting a woman who
is unfit, unprepared, and unworthy of educational policy leadership?