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Betsy DeVos’ resignation was cowardly and in no way diminishes her complicity in the harm that the Trump Administration inflicted on the world

January 8, 2021

On Friday, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, resigned from the Trump Administration, just weeks for she would have had to vacate her position.

DeVos, who is part of one of the most powerful family mergers in the country – the DeVos/Prince Family Cartel – sent a letter of resignation on Thursday to President Trump. 

The letter of resignation from DeVos is instructive, for a variety of reasons.

First, DeVos spends the bulk of the letter highlighting her accomplishments within the Trump Administration, even speaking fondly of Trump and his efforts to champion the Neo-Liberal Education model DeVos has promoted for decades.

Second, DeVos even takes yet another opportunity to denigrate teacher unions by saying, “Millions (of students) are being denied  meaningful access to education right now, in no small part because of the union bosses who control so much of the traditional system.”

Third, it is not until over halfway through the letter that DeVos expresses her sentiments about what happened on Wednesday at the Capitol. “That behavior was unconscionable for our country. There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me.”

Ok, so putting immigrant children in cages and separating them from their parents was not an inflection point for you Betsy? How about four years of endorsing White Supremacy with the Trump Administration, which not only fostered a climate for white nationalists to intimidate and harm Black, latinx and indigenous people, it sanctioned and nurtured a long standing practice of law enforcement agencies to brutalize Black, latinx and indigenous people. This was not a point of inflection for you Betsy?

Fourth, Betsy then seems to care about how the MAGA coup attempt at the US Capitol may have impacted children who were watching what went down. Really! How does Betsy think that children, who saw her ascendancy, as a billionaire, into the Trump Administration, with no previous public education experience, would react to what went own on Wednesday? More importantly, how will the parents and teachers help make meaning of what happened at the US Capitol. Will they challenge the official version of US history, a version that DeVos embraces when she says things like the children, “must know from us that America is greater than what transpired yesterday,” or will they expose them to a more honest People’s History version of how systems of power have functioned in the US since it was founded on Settler Colonialism and Slavery? 

Fifth, the fact that DeVos is trying to distance herself from what happened at the US Capitol on Wednesday is also a desperate attempt to deflect the fact that the DeVos family spent millions in the last four years to elect Republicans, many of which have encouraged the White Nationalist who attempted the coup, plus they contributed to Trump’s re-election in 2020.

Lastly, it is worth saying that Betsy’s resignation is just another attempt by those who have benefited from Trumpism to try to save face. The reality is that the resignation of Betsy DeVos was a cowardly act, in a long line of cowardly acts that she and the rest of the Capitalist Class have been committing for a very long time.

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