You’ve likely seen the powerful social media videos. A collective of pissed off parents from across the country demanding more for their students and communities.
Chanting “our children, our choice” the Powerful Parent Network raised money via GoFundMe to attend Elizabeth Warren’s “honoring the voices of Black women” event in Atlanta. What a thought, a cadre of Black and Latino parents demanding their voices be heard at an event aimed at honoring them. The novelty.
In response to Warren’s steaming pile of an education plan, the Powerful Parent Network had a message of their own: Create a new education plan that works for all of us, not just those who can afford to buy houses near schools where kids learn. (Or who can afford the tony private schools where Warren sent her kid. Something she’s been silent about, before then lying about, before then correcting the record on.)
Just updated the Warren charter piece with clarification from the campaign on where she sent her children to school, a point that came up in the discussion with charter activists https://t.co/xSC83GaujD pic.twitter.com/IBmo9gg74Y
— Matt Barnum (@matt_barnum) November 23, 2019
And effective these parents were. Garnering national coverage and forcing Ayanna Pressley to mediate, the parents — along with civil rights champion and former superintendent Howard Fuller — met with Warren and her team after the event, exchanging perspectives in a collegial conversation, where she said, “If I don’t have the pieces right, I’m going to go back and read it. I’m going to make sure I got it right.”
Success, right? Black and Brown parents from some of the most historically segregated and under served districts and schools in the country made sure their voices were heard and asked the candidate they may end up voting for to take their perspectives into account in her education plan. That’s democracy in action, but not quite.
Because what would it mean to be a parent of color in America if the Fauxgressives of the Left and their thoughtless media hounds didn’t seize this occasion to question their intelligence and motives, accusing Black parents of being props for billionaires? This was exactly the line of thinking from The Intercept’s Ryan Grim, who’s shoddy internet sleuthing sought to undermine these parents because a similar group of parent activists accepted funds from The Walton Family Foundation. Thankfully, those who know better called out the racist BS:
Wow! This says anonymous. It doesn't say Walton family. It's a shame that black parents are lied on just because we are fighting for our children. The question is who pays you?@ryangrim Whoever the Walton family is they must have pissed you off. https://t.co/fltqh3aR9N
— Sonya Thomas (@Sonyathemom) November 23, 2019
I attended a conference on electing more LGBTQ+ people and not a single person downgraded our work simply because we were funded by Walmart. pic.twitter.com/KtIzbJb9Zn
— Joshua Crosson (@joshcrosson) November 23, 2019
You don’t have to agree with them. And I’ve RT’d both Rep. Pressley’s reply and their statements. But I won’t feed into the racist idea that black people were paid to do this. That’s what people said about Soros re: police protests for years. It’s racist.
— deray (@deray) November 22, 2019
Alas, this is what we’ve come to expect from the lazy keyboard crusaders and self-aggrandizing Twitteratzi whose aims are retweets and likes rather than truth and understanding. Where is Grim’s expose on the notorious discrimination and criminalization of Black and Brown students via K12 education? Where are the hot takes on the teachers’ union dollars poured into politics, from local school boards to presidential races?
And where oh where are the mea culpas from Grim and Co. declaring their own billionaire funders, Pierre Omidyar of eBay and Bloomberg? Of course they aren’t actually against taking money from billionaires — just not the “right” ones who happen to write their paychecks.
The blatant anti-Black and parent of color bias from “woke” Twitter pundits such as Grim and Rachel Cohen is par for the course, cynically brokering Jim Crow Black Parents Don’t Know Better paradigms as progressive ideals while decrying those who point out this hypocrisy as “neo-liberal” or “far-right”.
It’s disappointing to see you work so hard to dismiss and silence the voices of Black parents and grandparents and to minimize their concerns .@rmc031. Have you sat down and spoken to a single one of the protesters to hear their perspectives? #PowerfulParentNetwork
— Nekima Levy Armstrong (formerly Levy-Pounds) (@nvlevy) November 22, 2019
The reality is that we parents of color, forced to navigate an education system which disdains and criminalizes our children for being themselves, have been failed for generations — and then told we are the problem. We aren’t taking it anymore and, yes, we’ll take money from wherever we can get it to do so, because we don’t have much to begin with. But that’s not the catchy clickbait your own billionaire funders want you publish, right Grim?