I’m back from our trip to Memphis where we spent Tuesday honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and joining with young southern Black Lives Matter activists, college students, those fighting for $15 and religious leaders like Reverend William Barber in reminding folks that The Movement is now and not a video display in a museum.
Driving the nine hours back north to Chicago I read that Trump had met with business leaders and attacked Chicago again. And New York. And Los Angeles.
This time for the state of our public schools.
Easy target, Donald. Just like Chicago’s violence.
He even attacked Common Core. It s almost enough to make me support Common Core.
I once heard Reverend Barber say about Trump that people get all upset when he talks about poverty and poor people. We go, “Oh, don’t talk about poor people because it helps Trump.” But, said Rev. Barber, we have to talk about the intersection of race and poverty.
I get it that Trump going after Chicago, New York and L.A. schools is a carefully crafted racist message – we know who lives in our cities, who we are and who our neighbors are – and that it is part and parcel of the DeVos DOE plans to privatize public education.
The Mayor may be outraged. Yet our Mayor’s outrage over Trump’s attack on public education is as real as an episode of Chicago Med.
And coming from the Public-School-Closer-in-Chief, it reeks of hypocrisy.
Almost at the same moment as Rahm was feigning outrage at Trump, he was talking about closing more Chicago high schools and announcing the most stupid plan for Chicago high school graduation requirements.
Emanuel’s proposal would add one more big item to the graduation checklist for high school seniors: proof they’ve been accepted into college or the military, or a trade or a “gap-year” program. The requirement would also be satisfied if the student has a job or a job offer.
Ah, yes. A job offer.
The share of 20- to 24-year-old black men who were neither working nor in school declined modestly between 2014 and 2015, from a dismal 47 percent to a still-dismal 43 percent, according to a report set to be presented Monday at the Chicago Urban League’s annual forum on the youth unemployment crisis.
Well there’s always the college acceptance letter.
Illinois’ public university presidents went to Springfield this month to deliver a message: We are at the end of our rope.
Well, there’s the Army.
It won’t be shutting down anytime soon.