Is Aborting Black Kids' Education Stupid? Or Evil?

Dems throw DC schoolkids to the wolves.

There's a saying: never assume hostility for anything that can be explained by stupidity.  People who've coped with life for multiple decades recognize that stupidity explains a lot because there's so much of it.  There comes a point, however, when results are so bad that mere stupidity no longer suffices and we need a better explanation.

James Bond encountered this psychology when he repeatedly messed up the plans of Auric Goldfinger, the eponymous bad guy of an early 007 movie.  Goldfinger captures him and explains why he's planning to cut 007 in two with a laser beam after only three encounters:

Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time, Mr. Bond, it's enemy action.

Goldfinger didn't assume that 007 had gotten in his way on purpose at first, but there came a time when he concluded that Bond was indeed out to get him.  From his point of view, James Bond was an enemy.

Good Changes, Obama Style

Mr. Obama could heal much that ails America if he wants to.  One of his best healing acts would be to use his "bully pulpit" and oratorical skills to force the $5 billion worth of education money stuffed into the "stimulus" bill to be used improve educational results by any means known to work - be it vouchers, charter schools, home schooling or whatever.  Early in the campaign, he actually suggested something similar; but to win necessary union support in the primary, he disowned his own ideas.

Teachers unions supported Mr. Obama in the election and they expect a return on their investment in getting him elected.  But the primary was a long time ago; for the general election, he mostly raised his own support and doesn't really need the teachers unions.  Besides, whom will they support four years from now?  Republicans?

The union bosses have insisted on teachers' right to facilitate, to self-actualize, to build self-esteem - in short, to do everything but actually teach useful stuff and demand that kids master it.  The unionized DC schools have consequently become so awful that no politician puts his kids in DC public school anymore.

In response, some legislators and local politicians - Democrat and minority to a person - defied the union and set up a system so that poor black kids receive scholarships to the same private schools where rich kids went.

That's death to the union.  The official teachers union excuse for failure is to blame parents - certainly a plausible one - but vouchers strip the excuse away.

The same kids who'd been failing so miserably while trapped in union clutches performed so well in private schools that people are asking why public schools have to be so bad.  Public schools in Detroit and New York City have been taken away from union-dominated school boards and put under the mayor's control; educational performance duly improved.

Actual teaching is a lot more work than punching a time clock; in return for paying dues, the main union goal is to make sure that their members don't have to work very hard.  Over time, this eventually destroys the employer's effectiveness.

The only way not working hard can continue is if the employer can raise taxes at will.  Since General Motors and Chrysler can't force people to buy their cars, they're about to go under.  The only way auto unions can keep dues flowing in is to ask the government to raise taxes and bail out their employers.

Having supported Mr. Obama in the campaign, the Detroit unions expect him to spend tax money supporting the unionized car companies to keep failing businesses running at our expense.  Having supported Mr. Obama in the campaign, the teachers unions expect him to cancel the voucher program which, by proving that poor DC school children can be educated just as well as rich kids, shows everyone just how incompetent unionized schools have become.  The only "customers" DC public schools retain are kids whose parents don't have enough money to take them out.

A Crack In The Wall of Hagiography

We've not been the first to comment on how the mainstream media supported Mr. Obama throughout the campaign to the extent of covering up his gaffes and not attacking the weaknesses in his positions. They've continued this practice since he took office, not even questioning the ridiculous assumptions behind his speeches on the economy - every time he opens his mouth, stocks take another dive.

This issue, however, may be the wedge that starts a crack in the wall that's prevented the MSM from uttering the slightest criticism of even Mr. Obama's goofiest proposals.  The Washington Post weighed in:

Ending D.C. school vouchers would dash the best hopes of hundreds of children.

... the debate unfolding on Capitol Hill isn't about facts. It's about politics and the stranglehold the teachers unions have on the Democratic Party.

The WaPo pointed out that Mr. Obama's canceling the program would sentence two of his daughters' classmates to a lifetime of poverty by aborting their educations.  They didn't go so far as to point out how serving the teachers union's desire not to educate these children also serves the interest of other public-sector unions.

Many public school graduates are unable to earn a living and end up on welfare to the greater glory of the social workers unions.  Denying the teachers union the right to mis-educate these girls would also deny the social workers their right to lock them into a lifetime of poverty at our expense.

The New York Times didn't endorse the union's self-serving position either:

Some 90 percent of the participating students have been African-American, and an additional 9 percent Hispanic, according to the Department of Education study.

Greg Cork, president of the Washington Scholarship Fund, the nonprofit group that administers the voucher program, said, "It would be incorrect to say that the program is being killed, but it is possible that it would not be reauthorized."

Mr. Cork added, "That would be a huge shame, because the program has fundamentally changed children's lives for the better."

Michelle A. Rhee, the schools chancellor, said she did not share the negative view of vouchers held by many big-city superintendents.

This program gives 1,700 minority students a chance for a better education and a life beyond the confines of the welfare system.  The unions want Mr. Obama to kill the program because it makes them look bad.  Which will it be?

Excessive Liberalism Becomes Evil

Politics is a perpetual balancing act.  There was a time when management ruthlessly exploited workers; management and labor were engaged in a shooting war until the Treaty of Detroit established auto worker unions in 1950.  Unionization was a properly liberal response to the injustices of the day.

Liberalism, like all good ideas, can be carried too far.  In discussing threats to the West, Solzhenitsyn warned of "an atmosphere of moral mediocrity, paralyzing man's noblest impulses" and a "tilt of freedom in the direction of evil ... evidently born primarily out of a humanistic and benevolent concept according to which there is no evil inherent in human nature."  All that's needed for men to do evil is thinking that they can get away with it.

The impulse to educate children so that they can live better lives is among Solzhenitsyn's "noblest impulses" as is the impulse to help workers protect themselves and secure a just share of the fruits of their labor.  Unfortunately, union leaders are as human as you and I and quite naturally tilted their freedom to organize "in the direction of evil;" most of today's heavily unionized operations are either state supported or bankrupt.

The educational situation in Washington DC tilts education and unionization, two of the "noblest impulses," in the direction of evil.  Teachers unions, originally set up for reasonable purposes, have organized themselves to avoid making the effort of educating children, thus condemning their captives to a lifetime of poverty.

Killing a program which the Washington Post calls "the best hopes of hundreds of children" would be evil incarnate.  Let's hope that President Barack Hussein Obama doesn't kowtow to the evil which Solzhenitsyn recognized is "inherent in human nature," and refuses to let the unions kill the program.

The Democrat Congress has passed the bill to end D.C. vouchers and destroy the dreams of thousands of black children; the decision is entirely up to President Obama now.

Will Offensicht is a staff writer for and an internationally published author by a different name.  Read other articles by Will Offensicht or other articles on Society.
Reader Comments
You assume that Dems care about black kid's education. That's a bad assumpation. They care only about power. Black kids, well educated, become adults that vote for Repubs.
March 11, 2009 2:18 PM
Add Your Comment...
4000 characters remaining
Loading question...