Opinion

Michelle Obama criticizes school ‘segregation,’ but her own daughters are safe at private school

It was a graduation lesson in lib hypocrisy.

Shunted to “Senior Appreciation Day” after the restrictions her presence would place on graduation ceremonies for Topeka, Kan., first lady Michelle Obama publicly lamented the state of American public education Friday, without admitting how much the political party her husband leads is to blame for the disgrace.

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Photo: CNN

The news peg for the Topeka event was the 60th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling that ordered the desegregation of public schools in the United States “with all deliberate speed.”

Sixty years later, “by some measures, our schools are as segregated as they were back when Dr. King gave his final speech,” Obama said, according to The New York Times.

That may be true, but there are a couple of things worth mentioning that liberals tend to avoid – and that didn’t show up in The Times coverage.

The first is that no family with the means to avoid it – and that very much includes wealthy black families – will send their children to inner-city schools – the very schools the first lady bewailed as “segregated.”

The Obamas, like the Clintons and the Carters before them, are Democrats who love to talk about how much they love public schools but would never dream of sending their own children to one. (The Obama girls attend Sidwell Friends, the traditional school of Washington’s ruling elite.)

The second is that the same teachers unions that are an essential part of the Democratic Party have spent decades resisting every real effort to reform public schools, whether it’s charter schools or vouchers. Mrs. Obama can lament the state of public schools, but it has less to do with race than the hidebound work rules written into generations of teacher contracts.

The stranglehold on public education isn’t segregation, it’s unionization. And as long as the unholy alliance between the Democratic Party and teachers unions remains in force, nothing will change in the public school system.

Commenting on the state of Chicago’s schools, which she attended after Brown, the first lady’s speech was tinged with unintended – but unmistakable – irony.

Referring to her mother, who grew up in Chicago’s in the day’s before both Brown and teachers’ union pre-eminence, she said, “I think …. how today, that little girl from Chicago is helping to raise her granddaughters in the White House.”

And watching them go to private school.

Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at [email protected].

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