|The Walton Family Visits a Charter School|
In what could be described as a textbook case of the right church but the wrong pew, First Lady Michelle Obama visited Chicago the other day. Yes, Chicago, the city where her husband's old friend and former Chief of Staff, Mayor Rahm Emanuel drew up a plan right out of Milton Friedman's Shock Doctrine playbook to close 50 public schools then quickly disappeared with his privately educated kids on a skiing vacation and left the announcement to his "cleaner" Barbara Byrd Bennett. (When you hear the word cleaner think "Mike" from Breaking Bad or "Winston Wolf" from Pulp Fiction) No, Michelle wasn't there to advocate for the kids whose schools are being closed -- some kids who now will face a 10 block walk through a Great Lakes Gaza Strip of hood thugs, drug dealers and wandering homeless people in various states of inebriation and mental illness. Michelle was in Chicago to talk about gun safety and compare herself to 15 year old Hadia Pendleton who'd performed at the inauguration and was gunned down the next week by two gang morons thinking she was a member of a rival gang, which of course she wasn't. Yes Michelle said flat out that she was Hadiya, growing up in the same circumstances except that she (Michelle Obama) was allowed to grow up. Hard to criticize her for an anti-gun violence message especially when people like Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell are curling up into some post-Confederacy fetal alcohol position promising to filibuster any attempts at meaningful gun control legislation. Of course the two moonshiners from Kentucky might think differently if their kids or grandkids had been slaughtered by an insane 20 year old in an elementary school somewhere but for now they are playing their second amendment card against the desires of 90 plus % of Americans. So, good for Michelle Obama going to her old neighborhood and visiting a school who's buried 8 of its students this year due to gun violence. I wish I could congratulate her but I can't. She gave Rahm Emanuel a big hug on the speaker's podium and proceeded to make her point while ignoring a larger point that Emanuel and his corporate sponsors in for profit "ed reform" were all very relieved to have ignored. Rahmbo's plan to close these schools is going to displace 30 thousand kids and cut more holes into communities that are barely holding it together as it is.
In a manner eerily similar to the way European imperialists barged into Africa and carved up the place to suit their own desires, ignoring traditional tribal boundaries and long standing borders so Emanuel's plan is going to throw kids from neighborhoods inhabited by warring gangs into the same schools. The plan will also force kids from the neighborhood of Gang A to cross into the neighborhood of Gang B. If you've ever spent a minute talking with urban kids who have to survive this kind of turf situation they will tell you very quickly the most basic lesson of survival is to stay out of places where you've got no business. In short, don't go where you don't belong. You learn where these places by are experience and from your community. But in the profit driven world of the white billionaires who are looking to become I don't know what -- Godzillionaires? these kinds of nuts and bolts realities are the hobgoblin of the little people. The people pushing "school reform" know their interest in education is pure bullshit and they prove it when they engage in this kind of ill advised, and wholly reckless decision making. And true to form, they always hire some "house negro" like Barbara Byrd Bennett, Beverly Hall or Corey Booker or even own dearly deflated James Williams to remove themselves from the hands on dirty work so that nobody can call them out for their overt racism. Why, a person of color made these decisions, what ever do you mean by calling us racist? they'll sniff in their best Scarlett O'Hara voice slightly addled by mint juleps and juice. And to her manifest discredit, cleaner Byrd puffed herself up with all the haughty indignation of the damned dead and guilty to give Chicagoans a "how dare you" when they called her a sell out. Well, Maam, folks aren't buying it. When Byrd Bennett tried to wax indignant that people were calling her school closing racist, parents in the audience shouted back "They Are!"
So good for Michelle Obama going to Chicago to talk about putting an end to gun violence. And shame on her, her husband and their pal the Mayor for trying ignoring the horrific side effects of the bitter yet profitable medicine their billionaire pals are pushing on Chicago's communities and their schools. Yes, Michelle, unlike Hadia, you were allowed to grow up. Now you need to wake up. Tell your husband his RtTT and his old sidekick are setting up more Hadiyas to take a bullet meant for someone else simply by trying to walk to school. It's not rocket science.