At first I thought this was Josh Marshall's idea of a joke. But no, this is from the First Lady's speech before the Heritage Foundation this morning:
Here at home, the No Child Left Behind Act has put a new emphasis on high standards and on eliminating the achievement gap between white students and minority students. We also want to make sure that children develop a strong character and learn important life lessons. To do that, children need caring adults in their lives. The comedian Eddie Cantor used to say in all seriousness that every time he saw the 10 Most Wanted list, he thought, maybe if we'd made them feel more wanted earlier, they wouldn't be wanted now.She's fucking kidding me, right?
Does he First Lady not know who Eddie Cantor was? Or does she actually think it's appropriate to invoke a comedian famous for appearing in blackface when talking about minority students, and then crack wise about their erstwhile future as criminals?
The white house speech writers must be breaking into her pill cabinet again and setting her up for a goof just to keep themselves amused.
But then again, as bad jokes go, it is really hard to top NCLB. In Los Angeles, less than half the African-American and Latino children who start 9th grade will actually graduate. According to the Civil Rights Project at Harvard:
Current educational policies, such as high stakes tests for students and test-driven accountability for schools, appear to create unintended incentives for school officials to push out low achieving students."Current educational policies." That would be NCLB, which is forcing schools to ease students out of the system who can't pass the standardized tests, or risk losing what funding they have. Thus the most marginal students, the ones who already have learning disabilities or emotional disfunction, the ones who come from the most abusive homes and suffer the most privation, are eased out onto the streets where they won't get in the way of the First Lady's blackface vision for the country.
According to a study by the Civil Rights project, the way that BushCo. accounts for drop out rates masks the true nightmare NCLB is inflicting on the country.
Oh and let's bang that "compassionate conservatism" drum again while we're at it, shall we? Nationwide, just 32% of all students with disabilities graduate each year.
Things looking pretty rosy to you yet, Laura?
We thought so. Have another benzo. Carry on.