Mike Rowe to Hampshire College: Why accept fed money from a country whose flag you despise?

In his latest episode of “Hot Under the Blue Collar,” Mike Rowe asked why would colleges take federal money “from a country whose flag they despise?”

Which is exactly the kind of down to earth, common sense query one might expect from the popular former host of “Dirty Jobs.”

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Rowe drew attention to the recent actions of Hampshire University President Jonathan Lash, who took down the American flag on campus because it provoked “fear and discomfort” in the school’s snowflake students.

“Removing the flag permanently from our campus will better enable us to focus our efforts on addressing racist, misogynistic, Islamophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and behaviors,” Lash said in a statement.

Lowe wondered aloud on his lively Facebook page if the school president is “unaware that billions of people around the world are routinely subjected to horrific levels of racism, misogyny, and bigotry that far exceed any injustice in modern-day America.”

He then got down to the dollars and sense of the matter, writing:

Furthermore, I was curious to know if President Lash really believed that removing our flag is a better way to assuage the fears of his frightened students, than simply educating them about the undeniable fact that no country on the planet affords its citizens more liberty than this one? Finally, I found myself wondering as to why the President of Hampshire College would allow his students to pay for their tuition with federal dollars – federal dollars provided by the same government whose flag was no longer suitable to fly at his school.

Here’s the problem. Tuition at Hampshire College is about $60,000 a year. That’s not a problem because it’s expensive – it’s a problem because 85% of Hampshire students qualify for some form of federal financial aid. That means that We the People are enabling schools like Hampshire to sell a liberal arts degree for approximately $250,000. With $1.3 trillion dollars of student debt currently on the books, I found myself thinking how nice it would be to hear a more persuasive argument from those who will happily take money from a country whose flag they despise.

 

Here’s Rowe’s latest “Hot Under the Blue Collar” video, which has absolutely nothing to do with any of the above — other than a creative segue noting that you never see flags being burned at trade schools — but is equally informative and entertaining at the same time.

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…a Rowe staple, when you think about it.

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Tom Tillison

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