Betsy DeVos is Not a Bigot; School Choice is a Civil Right

The Left is gunning for Republicans who are including and courting conservatives of color. If you don’t believe me, just ask Betsy DeVos.

DeVos tried to deliver the commencement address last week at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida, which is a Historically Black College or University. The Secretary of Education’s address to the graduates of BCU was hopeful and uplifting, congratulatory toward the students and appreciative of their alma mater. Yet, many of the students, who have since been lionized by the liberal media, booed her and turned their backs toward her during her remarks.


The media have portrayed the disrespect shown toward DeVos as noble and necessary, given her political stances. Since DeVos supports school choice and traditional marriage, the NAACP has called her a civil rights failure. Since when did supporting school choice and traditional marriage become a civil rights violation? The NAACP, of all organizations, should support school choice as a civil right, not oppose those who do as bigots. The very college at which Secretary DeVos spoke was founded during the era of segregation primarily because there was no such thing as school choice for African-American students who could not attend whites-only schools.

The Left has hijacked the phrase Civil Rights and turned it into a hobby horse to promote their liberal agenda. Any time a conservative, like DeVos, attempts to speak about free-market ideas and freedom to people the Democrat establishment takes for granted as part of their fiefdom, the drum-beat against them begins. Just ask South Carolina U.S. Senator Tim Scott how “inclusive” the left is when they do not get their way. Scott, a Republican, is the first African American U.S. Senator from my home State. He is a consistent conservative on issues from life to school choice, and he has been roundly attacked by liberal organizations for being a conservative. When Scott first became a Senator in 2012, the then-head of the NAACP said that Scott “doesn’t care about Civil Rights,” and this past winter when Scott cast a confirmation vote for Betsy DeVos, a liberal on Twitter attacked him with a racial slur.


As inclusive conservative activists continue to make inroads into urban and minority communities with a message of freedom and hope, we can only expect the shrieks of the left to grow louder and louder. Entrenched special interest groups like the National Education Association, one of the largest labor unions in America, view school choice as the Kryptonite to their forced funding stream; they will seek to destroy the reputation and dignity of anyone who stands in their way, regardless if they are a private citizen or the Secretary of Education.

Conservatives must not be be intimated and they should never cower. The cause of school choice is a true Civil Rights campaign, as millions of students, many of them minority students, are trapped in a failing single-payer school system. In the case of school choice, those shouting-down supporters of educational freedom as opponents of Civil Rights are, themselves, the true civil rights offenders. School Choice empowers parents and their children, regardless of race or creed. To say otherwise is a gross and self-serving misrepresentation.


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