With all due cynicism I expect the worst of the ruckus has passed for Carl Paladino in regard to his most recent ejaculation of unfunny racist hate spew. Sure some people were offended and proclamations were read. Phonecalls were made and answered. Hands were wrung and fists shaken but in the end guess what folks? Carl can wish the President of the United States an undignified death caused by bovine bestiality and he can call the guy's wife a gorilla too. He can further take a swipe at the transgendered community implying the the First Lady is really a man in drag and when anyone asks if he's for real he can sit back and say Go fuck yourselves. He just did. Frankly friends I am here to say he's going to get away with it the same as he has every other fucking time he's done it. Or are we so daft in our naive teacher's view of the world that we honestly believe Mary Ellen Elia the Commissioner of New York State Education is going to wade into this swamp, drain it and emerge with Carl slung over her shoulder scarf like Troy Landry or Willie Edwards from down Pierre Part Louisiana way?
Don't hold your breath.
The deep dark irony here friends is no matter what anybody says about Carl the Churl's latest outburst, a sickening majority of the prominent people up in arms agree wholeheartedly with Paladino's desires to dismantle public education and hand the whole thing over to corporate privatizers who will put profits ahead of proficiency. At the top of this list is Barack Obama his own self. Once upon a time the nation celebrated a quaint little thing called "Teacher Appreciation Week" the final week of April. Every year since Obama has been in office he's rebranded this same week "National Charter Schools Week." A nervy and unsubtle fuck you to public schools and their teachers as well as the Stockholm Syndrome afflicted union leaders who insist on throwing cash and endorsements at people like Obama and his Democrats. Carl Paladino collects huge sums of money renting properties to charters. He bought the Holy Angels property to turn that into a charter with one of his pals. Obama's Race to the Top made life even easier for charters and attempted to turn public schools against each other in a feeding frenzy for cash and perks in roughly the same manner used car managers will tack a $50 up as a spiff for the next guy who gets the sale.
It's kind of hilarious to me how Carl doesn't see Obama as a brother in ed reform when you look at the way their sensibilities line up on this topic. Likewise with Andrew Cuomo, Cory Booker and Sam Radford III of DPCC. While Cuomo and Booker felt the need to speak out, Sam borrows a page from fellow ed reformer Larry Quinn in refusing to step up and throw a stone at Paladino. Instead of blasting Paladino full force Sam chose instead to quietly retweet a Cory Booker offering and another from CNN that briefly discusses Carl's latest step in manure. You see, even in a transformational moment like this where CNN and the New York Times are asking Buffalo how a guy like this can sit on our school board we still see prominent players like Quinn and Sam Radford hedging their bets. Carl Paladino just called the POTUS a cowardly cow fucker and his wife a cross dressing gorilla yet Sam and Lars are going to withhold comment. Likewise with gaseous old ex Regent Bob Bennett whose craven declaration that it would be inappropriate to say anything at this time is straight from the book of chickenshit un-speak. Larry Quinn is another one of these limo liberals who likes to remind everyone he's a Democrat as if that confers some kind of country gentleman duck hunter and wood splitter status on his pasty privileged existence. Sam Radford III Posed for a pic with Mr. Obama on at least one occasion when their ed reform streams met. Yet where's the condemnation Sam? Where's the outrage? Crickets.
I hate to be the greybeard in sandals and a "Don't Blame Me I Wrote in Bernie" t-shirt but sometimes you have to own what you stand for and who you really are. Fact is these people calling for Carl's resignation must know deep down the guy lacks the shame/guilt gear necessary for such a come to Jayzus moment. Carl was Catholic enough to father a child out of wedlock and keep it a secret for years but not Catholic enough to muster a Pope Francis moment of clarity that questions his own past practices in any meaningful way. So resignation is out. What about the bylaws? Isn't there something in there about the good of students and the duties of a school board member? If there is why hasn't it been used already? The NYSED Commissioner option as noted above is laughable. Mary Ellen Elia, like Obama, Cuomo, Booker and Sam has much more in common with Carl and the corporate privatization movement's vision of education policy than with any Buffalo Public School student she's charged to protect from an angry aged venom spitting adder like Paladino who happens to occupy a seat on the school board.
The common thread here that binds Paladino, DFER, Elia, Sam, Booker and the President is money. Corporate billions have wormed their way into education and we now await the installation of a billionheiress by marriage who's never attended a public school or sent any of her kids to one as the Secretary of Education. Betsy Devos has dedicated her spare time to defunding public education, de-regulating charters and redirecting education funds away from public ed and into unregulated charters. In case you missed it she also thinks the Jayzus sits on her shoulder to cheer all of her efforts. If you've been in a cave or coma for the past 60 days I'm here to tell you Paladino and Donald Trump are pals. If you believe what they say on rightie radio here in Buffalo the two talk at least once a week. And if Paladino is going to resign his school board seat it will only be because Trump's offered him a chance to do damage on a greater scale in his Education Department. This is just my own personal suspicion, I'll admit it. Paladino reminds me of that certain student we've all experienced whose idea of the last day of school is not one of a fond farewell as much as it's his last chance to take a final swipe at the adults who've put up with his nonsense for a year. I see this latest outburst as Carl jumping out the back door of the cheese bus on the last day of school yelling "kiss my ass you can't do nothing to me!" Of course I could be wrong and the latest expression of racist hatred may be just more of that swell Buffalo codependence people here have come to call "Carl Being Carl." Carl Paladino may be heading for greater things or he may just be staying put and continuing to spit bile. We might be careful for we wish for.