Who can argue with this when Ellen DeGeneres sends Michelle Obama into an elementary school in the Southeast quadrant of Washington D.C. to bring hope and, even better, resources that will solidify that hope for the children?
I suppose Grumpy Old Teacher (GOT) can.
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth–as the saying goes–and we should appreciate the generosity of Ms. DeGeneres to give this great gift and Ms. Obama to visit the school in a splashy video-recorded appearance. The reaction of the children is priceless.
But it’s one school. Why can’t we do that for all schools?
Easy answer: Celebs don’t have enough money or the attention span. Get the PR and move on.
Those who have the money, the uber-wealthy, the billionaires, those who got a huge tax cut a few years ago, who could do this for many schools … well, they don’t give charity.
They give donations only when they can control how the money will be spent. Looking at you, Bill and Melinda, Zuck and Chan, Laureen, Rex, and many more, including the Walton heirs, whose actions have the old man spinning so fast in his grave … if we could only capture the energy, America would be energy sufficient for so many years we wouldn’t need to frack anymore.
Why do we have to go through this? Why do teachers have to turn to GoFundMe to get the basic supplies that their school districts cannot afford to give them?
Why do we lack the means to equip every school with a basketball court, student laptops, teacher equipment, and more?
America, we know the answer. It’s ugly and we want to pretend otherwise.
The truth: We don’t give a damn because these are not our children.
We fight to get the resources into our children’s schools but we won’t fight to get resources into all schools.
Those other children who aren’t like us. Why do we need to educate them?
But every once in a while, we pretend to care and we get stories like what you saw in the clip. A real tear-jerker, social-media-share-worthy (hmm, that could be a new acronym to use when posting: SMSW), and we all feel good.
It’s not enough to save one. Thank you, Ellen and Michelle, and you don’t have enough, but together, as the wealthiest society the world has ever seen, yes, we have enough to save them all. But that means taxes, and the T word, to those who would rule us, the new American feudalists, is worse than the F bomb.
Postscript: Fair school taxes will not be sufficient if we don’t address the inequities in America’s public schools due to the district boundaries that create ghettos for some and rich enclaves for others.
Postscript: Again, not to disrespect the celebrity and the First Lady, but did anyone else see the story as possibly providing the trope of a white savior for black people? Ms. Obama, in the clip, made sure everyone knew the largesse came from Ms. DeGeneres.
Postscript: Getting way beyond education, but is the reason the white savior is needed is because the racist structure of America means that there are no black billionaires in the quantity that we have white billionaires?
Postscript: Please don’t mention Oprah Winfrey. Watch the Doctor Who clip about allowing one person to escape to rationalize the worst behavior for the rest.