Why the Trump Administration Doesn’t Give a Damn About Educating Poor People

Jul 9, 2018 12:00:00 AM


I’ll refrain from talking about how the White House has morphed into a reality show for the world to see, thanks to the United States population electing a former reality show host as president. But it is evident in President Donald Trump’s choice for education secretary that he really couldn’t care less about the nation’s learning system. Education Secretary [pullquote position="right"]Betsy DeVos is more than a joke. She’s downright shameful.[/pullquote] From her inability to articulate a full sentence while facing Congress during budget hearings to her very questionable “visit” to the survivors of the Parkland school shooting, she has shown time and again why she needs to resign. Yet, I’m not mad at Betsy DeVos. I’m angry at the fact that our 45th Commander-in-Chief is simply a selfish, pompous being, especially when it comes to poor people and education. Trump can create a budget to aggressively build a wall to keep “illegals” out and to ramp up ICE efforts, but can’t seem to invest a fourth of that energy into securing a just education system for all. He takes to Twitter to talk about anyone who disagrees with him (from Oprah Winfrey to John Kerry to whomever he’s fired lately), but not prioritize one public school visit to show a child in need that he actually cares.

It’s About Biases

I am not a parent. I don’t have to be one to give a damn about our youth, especially the ones in this country who are forced to experience subpar educational conditions due to their race and class. Unfortunately, too many people who actually work in schools don’t give a damn about our youth. The 1979 court case of Larry P. v. Riles (upheld in 1984), showed us that school districts—correction, White-dominated  institutions—are quick to dump Black and Brown children in special education courses. Those who are placed in special education classes due to educators simply not believing in them are robbed of a fair chance at academic success.  And each child being educated in a system that is less than stellar grows up to be an adult that simply doesn’t have an equal chance at success. And you know what else? [pullquote position="left"]This is far from accidental.[/pullquote] Racial stereotypes and assumptions that poor people are unintelligent and powerful stereotypes that have wealthy people literally clutching their pearls in elevators. They fear that they’ll be robbed are to thank for the disproportionate amount of poor folks who remain poor and uneducated. And if we are being honest, impoverished Black and Brown inner city youth are the victims of such ridiculousness. Now back to Trump. While Trump may be a lot of things, he's no phony. And that’s how I know he doesn’t give a damn about equal educational resources for poor people.

Shantell E. Jamison

Shantell E. Jamison is the former senior editor of love, relationships and lifestyle for EBONY, as well as a Master’s of Psychology and certified life coaching candidate. She moderates various events centered on love, relationships, emotional health and wellness and has appeared on panels throughout the country. Her book, “Drive Yourself in the Right Direction,” is available now. Keep up with Shantell via her website, Facebook, Twitter @Shantell_em and Instagram @Shantell_em.

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