DeVos Embraces Anti-Gay Extremists At Education Department

 

It is probably true that normal people who are thrust into a high-level position requiring a specialized knowledge of a subject will gather as many preeminent experts in the field for advice as possible. That would be particularly true if the person in that high-level position has absolutely no experience in the field to avoid being a total and complete failure. Betsy DeVos, the filthy rich Republican contributor and avowed enemy of public education is not a normal person for myriad reasons, but primarily for her lack of even a rudimentary comprehension of the public education system she wants to transform into privatized evangelical madrassas. Besides her sworn intent to use public schools and public money to “advance god’s kingdom,” DeVos has refused, under oath no less, to commit to protect the civil rights of all Americans involved in the education system; whether students, teachers, administrators or college professors.

On Thursday last, a day before the Commission on Civil Rights announced it was initiating a comprehensive two-year investigation into the Trump administration, Betsy DeVos was convening a policy-planning meeting of the most radical religious right anti-LGBT extremist groups in the United States of America. If there were any lingering doubts as to why DeVos “refused repeatedly” to commit to protecting the Constitutional civil rights of anyone associated with education, especially students and teachers, DeVos huddling with notorious evangelical hate groups should clear up her “lack of commitment” to civil rights.

Two days prior to meeting with luminaries of evangelical hate such as Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council, DeVos held a “very private meeting” with a Missouri millionaire and renowned conspiracy theorist because he is openly committed to spending whatever it takes to aid DeVos in eliminating public education. And, it cannot possibly be overstated that besides contributing millions of dollars to Republican candidates, the only reason DeVos was nominated, and then confirmed, as Education Secretary is because she is committed to destroying America’s public education system.

First, DeVos deliberated with the Family Research Council, a bonafide hate group according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), because it and the extremist evangelical group Focus on the Family ardently promote hate-driven anti-gay propaganda more than they promote the Christian bible. FRC president, radical fake Christian Tony Perkins, spent no small amount of time, and donor money, lobbying against anti-bullying initiatives in schools, and the effort to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” He also claims that the LGBTQ community is “disgusting” and exists solely to “recruit children” into the lifestyle – especially in public schools with anti-bullying programs. Perkins, a real pile of feces, heavily promotes programs that abuse LGBTQ children under the guise of “gay conversion therapy,” and appeals to white supremacists for support. Perkins did spend someone else’s hard earned money to purchase the mailing list of white supremacist and Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

Perkins, the president of a hate group and a truly hateful evangelical, claims that Americans that support LGBTQ rights are:

Very aggressive, they’re intolerant, they’re hateful, vile, they’re spiteful. …. To me, it is the height of hatred to be silent when we know there are individuals that are engaged in activity, behavior, and an agenda that will …destroy our nation.

This is the mindset that the evangelical freak-of-nature DeVos, Secretary of Education, is intent on installing as education policy “to advance the kingdom of god” in the education system. However, “education system” under DeVos’ plans is a monumental misnomer; she promotes for-profit private and religious schools that can hardly be considered “an education system.” It is  a religious indoctrination system,  not an education system.  It is why she held a private counseling session with “Missouri-based” millionaire and heavy Trump supporter Rex Sinquefield.

Sinquefield is a noted conspiracy theorists who “despises public schools” and regards himself, like DeVos, as a major “school reform expert and advocate.” Like everything related to conservative use of the word “reform,” in Sinquefield’s mind reform means eliminate.

According to Sinquefield, the American public education system was a Ku Klux Klan plot created specifically to hurt African American children and claims it’s what drives his “personal mission” to rescue education from those teachers; especially those teachers represented by unions. He also donates heavily to the extremist right-wing Show-Me Institute, a really right wing “belief tank.” The Show-Me outfit “creates studies” to assail the public education system and promote policies that use taxpayer money to subsidize private and religious schools for the very rich who want taxpayers to fund their kids religious indoctrination.

DeVos claims she believes that “Discrimination in any form is wrong,” and that she “doesn’t support discrimination in any form,” but of course she said that at the same time she repeatedly refused to commit to deny funding to schools that do discriminate. DeVos is a dirty liar; and not just because she committed perjury under oath before the Senate during her confirmation hearing. But because she does not believe discriminationin any form is wrong” or that she doesn’t “support discrimination in any form.”

Her invitation to the extremely discriminatory Family Research Council and Focus on the Family at the Federal Department of Education belies her filthy lie that she opposes discrimination. And, her private meeting with another anti-public education extremist with an eye toward aiding her destruction of public schools, and creation of nationwide evangelical madrassas, belies her filthy lie that she cares one iota about America, its children, or its Constitution.

N.C. Gov. McCrory’s  Crusade To Continue Legalized Bigotry Without HB2

North Carolina’s religious governor, Pat McCrory, must think his state’s residents are imbeciles on myriad levels; they did, after all, elect him as governor. Apparently the governor is getting stressed about his gubernatorial re-election bid particularly after he and his Republican legislature reacted very badly to a Charlotte City Council ordinance; an ordinance “granting” constitutionally-protected equal rights to all North Carolina residents. It was, after all, that Charlotte ordinance that provoked religious Republicans to pass the hideous HB 2 that legalized discrimination against anyone in the state who isn’t white, male, and follower of the “right” religion.

Now, McCrory is proposing what would be a no-win deal for the LGBT community statewide in an attempt to curry favor with decent North Carolina voters and taxpayers who are aware the state is hemorrhaging jobs and revenue due to HB 2. Remember, since HB 2 passed and was signed into law, the NBA All-Star Game and several NCAA championship games relocated out of North Carolina to protect athletes from being subjected to religious Republican-sanctioned discrimination.

Along with the highly-profitable basketball events, the state lost a substantial number of major economic opportunities for the state’s residents and businesses. One conservative estimate in the immediate aftermath of the outrage is that the state has lost at a minimum $230 million as a result of HB 2. Add to that, McCrory raided the state’s emergency disaster relief fund for $500,000 to cover legal fees defending the unconstitutional HB2. It is little wonder McCrory is worried and desperate to save his job.

The governor’s plan is a solemn pledge to voters that he will reconvene the General Assembly before it officially meets again in January and overturn the law. Sounds promising; right? Except it’s not acceptable whatsoever due to one condition that maintains the status quo. Pat McCrory promises to “attempt” to convince the religious Republican legislature that passed HB2 to repeal the law if, and only if, the Charlotte City Council repeals the anti-discrimination ordinance that incited McCrory and his Republican cabal to start this truly sordid religious affair. The result will be no change and LGBT people, women, non-whites, and non-religious residents will still lack any protection from bigotry-driven discrimination they lack with HB2 in effect.

What McCrory is doing is a classic punk move to take pressure off himself during a heated campaign and put it on the Charlotte City Council responsible for passing the state’s only anti-discrimination ordinance. This is a nasty Republican gambit because McCrory is counting on the Charlotte City Council’s refusal to succumb to a no-win deal. If they don’t accept his bogus offer, he can tell voters that “I wanted to repeal the law, but the elected officials in Charlotte wouldn’t let me!

Here’s the thing, religious Republicans realize that the citizens are paying for the consequences of their and the governor’s actions, so it is on them to do the constitutionally-right thing and repeal the seriously discriminatory and unconstitutional law. The city of Charlotte’s leaders already did the “constitutionally-right thing” in protecting the LGBT community with the state’s only anti-discrimination ordinance.

The Charlotte City Council is already facing pressure from anti-LGBT businesses such as the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association. The state’s hospitality industry is putting heat on the city council to take McCrory’s deal and eliminate the only protection the LGBT community has in the entire state. The N.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association represents businesses “with hundreds of thousands of employees” and they still want LGBT discrimination firmly in place sans HB2 to lure all the customers they’re losing back due to the NBA/NCAA exodus. The industry stated:

The hospitality industry has become collateral damage in a fight it did not start or ask for. Restaurant and lodging businesses and their employees are suffering the adverse impact of these policies though lost business and wages.

The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association calls on Charlotte City Council to repeal ordinance #7056 immediately, [and] on Governor McCrory to convene a special session of the NC General Assembly, and on the NC House and Senate to repeal House Bill 2 in its entirety.” That way, discrimination remains legal in the state and McCrory and Republicans look reasonable to idiotic voters in the state who are probably unaware sanctioned discrimination is still the law of the state.

It is no mystery why, if all the adverse impacts, suffering and lost business and wages were the only thing on the “hospitality industry’s mind, they aren’t demanding that Governor McCrory immediately convene a special session of the NC General Assembly and order them to repeal House Bill 2 in its entirety; they heartily approve of religious Republican-sanctioned discrimination or they wouldn’t demand that the Charlotte City Council toe the bigots’ line and eliminate the only constitutional anti-discrimination ordinance in the state.

One hopes the Charlotte City Council rejects the “special deal” from McCrory and continues holding the line on equal rights for all North Carolina residents. It is noteworthy that the Charlotte City Council did not start, or ask for, the fight for equality and protections against discrimination; they simply adhered to the United States Constitution’s 14th Amendment that religious Republicans and Governor McCrory have no use for according to their nasty bent against the LGBT community, women, non-Aryans and non-Christians.

McCrory and his religious cronies in the state legislature started this fight against the Constitution’s 14th Amendment. If the governor is in a heated re-election bid over HB2 and the economic losses to the state, then he can bolster his decency credentials by demanding “his cohorts” in the General Assembly come to order and repeal HB2 completely. The “no-win deal” McCrory offered the Charlotte City Council is just that: a dastardly deal that perpetuates HB2 without the necessity of a bigoted law and one has to believe that the members of Charlotte’s City Council are savvy enough to comprehend exactly what McCrory is up to.

H/T Patheos