After running interference for House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff in the aftermath of the Barr letter and Republican demands for his resignation, MSNBC's Morning Joe invited Massachusetts Rep. Katherine Clark to rail against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and call for her resignation.
Co-host Mika Brzezinski asked why Clark was calling for DeVos' resignation. Clark launched into an diatribe full of ad-hominems and non-sequiturs. "What Betsy DeVos did that I so object to and find disgusting is she rescinded civil rights policy and cherry picked racist research to back it up." The "civil rights policy" that Clark was referring to was the Obama-era directive that sought to correct what it saw as racial discrimination in school discipline.
Princeton Professor Eddie Glaude Jr., who earlier in the show lamented that some on the left are now calling Joe Biden a racist and mysoginist, tossed a softball over the middle of the plate, "Talk about these other policy decisions that reflect and deepen what you take to be her racist approach to education policy in this country."
Clark said that black boys are three times and black girls are twelve times more likely to be expelled or suspended than their peers. "What Betsy DeVos, you know, said in her writings, what she quoted was that these children are just fundamentally different," she said, applying a racial sentiment to DeVos that nobody who debates in good faith could justify. "Head Start's not a good investment, the school-to-prison pipeline, we shouldn't be worried about that, because black people and black children are just inherently more violent and more prone to crime," she continued, impersonating DeVos and repeating the false version of DeVos' argument.
Adam Schiff spent two years speaking to every TV camera he could find telling the country there was evidence of collusion only to have Attorney General William Barr report that the Special Counsel concluded just the opposite. Despite that, Morning Joe will mock anyone who says Schiff should resign. Meanwhile, they fully did not even slightly challenge a congresswoman calling for Betsy DeVos to resign based on nothing more than a policy disagreement and had to resort to baseless name calling to justify.
Here is a transcript of the interview on the April 1 show:
8:27 AM ET
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Joining us now, one member of Congress, who is calling for the Education Secretary’s resignation, but for an entirely different reason. Member of the Appropriations Committee, Vice-Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, Congresswoman Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, Jonathan Lemire, Eddie Glaude, and Kasie Hunt. Are back with us as well. Are you calling for the Secretary of Education’s resignation, congresswoman? And exactly why.
KATHERINE CLARK: Thank you, Mika. Yes, I am, and I am calling for her resignation, because she has failed to live up to her basic job responsibilities, making sure that our kids have fair and equitable access to great public education, and to keep them safe. What Betsy DeVos did that I so object to and find disgusting is she rescinded civil rights policy and cherry picked racist research to back it up. What she did was roll back Obama-era protections for children of color, who we know are disciplined at far greater rates their white peers and she backed it up with research that says this isn't because of institutional racism. This isn't because of any of that. It's because of who these children are, that black children are just temperamentally different, they come to school with behavioral problem, and they import them into the classroom. Her fundamental failure to stick up for children as Secretary of Education makes her unfit to carry on this job. This is just one glaring and appalling example of many where she has eroded civil rights, sided against students, and a history of conflicts of interest.
EDDIE GLAUDE JR: Representative Clark, this is Eddie Glaude from Princeton University, I just wanted to follow up on this. It is certainly the case, when I saw the hearing when you and Representative Lee pushed Secretary DeVos on this question. That there were underlying questions also kind of informing and shaping the interrogation as it were. Talk about these other policy decisions that reflect and deepen what you take to be her racist approach to education in the country.
CLARK: You know, what we were focused on was this rescission of Obama-era civil rights protections that said “We have to look at these rates of discipline. Why is it that black boys are expelled or suspended at three times the rate. Black girls at 12 times the rate of their peers?” We know this leads to a school-to-prison pipeline. What Betsy DeVos, you know, said in her writings, what she quoted was that these children are just fundamentally different. They come to school fundamentally different. They import these problems in and the researcher that she quoted has said nothing else we can do can change this. Head Start’s is not a good investment, the school-to-prison pipeline, we shouldn't be worried about that, because black people and black children are just inherently more violent and more prone to crime. This is, for an Administration whose hallmark is racist and outrageous policies, this really does stand out to me as something that we can't just say it's another day in the Trump Administration. We have to stand up for children in this country. We have to stand up for the value that everyone is entitled to a fair and equitable access to a great public education. Betsy DeVos won't do it, and we can't have her as Secretary of Education.