An open letter to Betsy DeVos on resignation: You’re too late

Ms. Devos actively participated in building a political movement and agenda that promotes and feeds on race baiting, hate speech and racism

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Dear Ms. Devos,

Your resignation is much too late. There is no redemption, absent serious penance, for those who have stood by while Donald Trump wreaked what can only be described as havoc on this country, and in many cases, the world. 

Read More: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos quits, cites Trump rhetoric

Trump’s refusal to accept the very clear results of the November election is not an eye-opening event. Instead, that refusal is a part of a long history of denying facts and building campaigns based on delusions. Have you forgotten how he fervently led the Birther movement and refused to accept the presidency of Barack Obama?

Trump Obama
President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama. (Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images and Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Anyone, including you, associated with him has known for a long time that the Trump brand is one rooted in denialism and lies. 

You did not take this role to do good. It is our claim that you took this role to dismantle one of the sacred institutions of American public life, our neighborhood public schools. Yet you failed miserably at that task.

Read More: As DeVos exits DOE, leaders focus on damage control amid pandemic

Ms. Devos, your resignation is a performance. One that is no doubt tied to an interest in being able to tell a story of how you rejected Trumpism. The truth, however, is that Trumpisim need not only be rejected, but it must also be uprooted. And leaving an administration with less than 14 days left on the clock is an insufficient and cowardly act. 

Betsy DeVos
(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Like many Americans, our eyes are now set on the Secretary Designee and making sure that his plan and his department look nothing like yours. We are looking for him to work with President-elect Joe Biden and the Congress to fully fund Title I, expand community schools, regulate the charter industry, make sure that educators and school staff are paid good wages, incentivize parent and community involvement in school-level decision making, do everything he can to get police out of schools, and take a more community-centered approach to school safety.  

Ms. Devos, for the last four years you have actively participated in building a political movement and agenda that promotes and feeds on race baiting, hate speech and white racism. And I echo the sentiments of American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten  and say, “Good Riddance!” 

Keron Blair is the executive director at Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools. 

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