Recall that Secretary of Education Betsy Devos enjoys a multi-billion dollar lifestyle, owns four airplanes, two helicopters, ten yachts (and a full time employee known as a “yacht scheduler”) and, still in time for Christmas, a gift buyer and toy repairer. You might say she is a bit out of touch with the average American.
She’s also fully on board with Trump’s plan of sending kids back to school and declared, without evidence and without any plans to keep them safe, that “There is nothing in the data that suggests that kids being in school is in any way dangerous.” (Donald Trump’s son Barron remains a “virtual student,” of course.)
Yet more than two thousand students, teachers and other school workers are now in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19, mere days into schools reopening. As I write this, we are in the midst of a global pandemic that has claimed 207,538 American lives. (As far as I know, none of them are members of the “Yacht Scheduler Union.” I’ll have to get back to you on that.) Devos seems oblivious to the truth.
Betsy Devos is also a law breaker. She is in violation of the Hatch Act, a law that prohibits civil service employees in the executive branch of the federal government from engaging in some forms of political activity.
The complaint, now being investigated by the US Office of Special Counsel, begins with Devos being interviewed on Fox News, where she characterizes Joe Biden’s promise to abandon her “school choice policies” as “shameful.” Specifically, she said that Biden has “turned his back on the kids” and “turned his face in favor of the teachers union.”
Devos then had the clip from Fox News attached to an email with the subject header, “Important Updates from U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos,” distributed widely across her official government list and on her twitter account. Unfortunately, the Hatch Act is only enforceable by the current sitting president. But that doesn’t change the fact that Devos is clearly in violation of federal law.
Needless to say, were she a poor woman of color she could be gunned down in cold blood through her living room window for such an egregious disregard of the law. As it sits now, because she is white and rich, she will get away with it, and will once again underscore the difference between rich, white privilege and the rest of the world.
This little vignette of casual, legal infidelity is brought to you by the Trump administration. There are a million reasons why Donald Trump is unfit to be president of the United States, this has been another one. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.