The racist premise of Elizabeth Warren’s education policy

Elizabeth Warren is about as comically unelectable as a candidate can get without having a surname like Bush or Clinton. It would be a waste to talk about her, except for the fact that Democrats are likely insane enough to nominate her.

Warren is the person little Greta Thunberg will become when she gets older: a tiresome, self-congratulatory scold who can’t imagine why everyone else in the world doesn’t want to drop trillions of dollars on whatever cause she now thinks is an “existential crisis.”

(Seriously, “existential crisis” is the dumbest buzzword the left has co-opted lately. A Frenchman smoking desperately in a cafe is an existential crisis. Your faux-Armageddons are just exaggerated cost centers for taxpayers. Give it up already.)

But what is most nauseating about Elizabeth Warren’s entire political career is how effectively she reveals the unwitting racism of wealthy white progressives that reside in certain intellectual bubbles (e.g. higher education, the New England charity circuit, white shoe law firms in Washington DC). You know, people who were slacktivists before social media was invented. They are insulated by their family backgrounds from any form of suffering, but they consider fetishizing suffering some sort of perverse hobby. (Warren, for example, rails against the rich, but has a net worth north of $10 million.) They want you to know they are better than you because they care so hard, and their white savior complex is, to them, their most solid qualification for determining your tax liabilities.

This week, Warren released her plan for improving education in the United States. Like most of Warren’s “plans” her education plan involves spending hundreds of billions of dollars that do not currently exist in the federal budget.

(The total amount of new spending Warren has proposed in her campaign is roughly five times the gross domestic product of the United States, so why stop? Don’t risk the ire of progressive journalists by pointing out that she’s effectively talking about imaginary money at this point. I’m just waiting for Elizabeth Warren to really jump the shark and propose the Federal Reserve start printing money for her crusades. You know that’s coming.)

But the biggest component of her education plan is that she intends to ban charter schools in the US. Her main reason for banning charter schools is that she thinks charter schools are just so “corporate” and anything “corporate” is icky.

Warren talks like she has never met a black family in her entire life. Because if she had, she’d know that minority families are some of the most vocal proponents of school choice there are. They support charter schools. They support vouchers. Black mamas have massive homeschooling groups now. In fact, supporting charter schools financially is a pet cause of wealthy minorities as a means of lifting their community up. In many ways, charter schools are the new HBCUs.

I’m sure in Warren’s mind, however, school choice is only a cause for suburban housewives and religious zealots, so this probably seems like a “safe” policy recommendation to her politically. Again, these people live in bubbles.

Black families do not want to hang the fates of their children on state legislatures suddenly making education spending more equitable. Almost a trillion dollars of taxpayer money is spent on education in this country every year already, and education in the aggregate has only decreased in quality. Does she think minority families have missed that?

They want to put their kids in high -performing schools now, when it will actually affect how their children get to live. They aren’t waiting for the vision of utopia that folks with white savior complexes like Warren want to sell them. They are rational economic actors and they are smarter than that.

In New York City right now, more than a quarter of families do not send their children to public schools. Public schools are a joke there. You do not physically have to attend school to get a diploma, that’s how little the city cares about education. The overwhelming majority of children are not reading or doing math anywhere close to their grade level.

If you take away charter schools in New York City, only wealthy white kids can escape that reality. There are almost 119,000 NYC children in charter schools, mostly in minority neighborhoods. And no one serious is going to argue that charter schools are not objectively a better option for them.

You can repeat this narrative for virtually every urban area in the United States: Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta….

Pundit after pundit likes to mention how Warren receives almost no support from minority households in polling. (It’s probably worse than that – not receiving support is different than being actively disliked by a specific group, and I think Warren definitely fits in the latter.) And I am sure they attribute that fact to Warren spending the first 70 years of her life trying to convince people she was a person of color. But regardless of her flubbing her autobiographical details, she isn’t going to win over minorities with policies that do them (and more importantly, their children) actual harm.

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