Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio.
During the second hour, Carmichael weighed in on Joe Biden’s recent advocacy for teachers and not students in his endorsement of the National Education Association (NEA) during a virtual assembly last Friday. He stated that Donald Trump is the clear choice for Blacks, Hispanics, and other people of color that care about their children’s education.
Leahy: We are joined in the studio now by our good friend and the original all-star panelist, the man who builds the edifice of logic brick by brick Crom Carmichael. Crom, you are finding something interesting of note on the news here today.
Carmichael: Michael, how are you, sir?
Leahy: I’m great.
Carmichael: I’m going to try and put this up to my microphone and hopefully it will play.
(TV Reporter clip plays)
Carmichael: (Laughter) This is a reporter my grandson sent this to me. He said what do you think this is about? And the reporter says, we tried to reach out to the man who died in this pursuit but he was unavailable for comment. (Leahy laughs) and she says that to the TV cameras.
Leahy: With a straight face.
Carmichael: With a straight face. My grandson asked me what I thought was going on here and I said, she’s applying for a job at CNN. (Laughter) You have to prove in order to get on CNN, you have to prove that you are willing to say anything that your superiors tell you to say.
Leahy: I am totally buying into your premise that these talking heads of CNN, NBC, and MSNBC are just puppets.
Leahy: Who are not that bright.
Leahy: Who are paid 10 times what they are worth.
Carmichael: At least! At least 10 times.
Leahy: In order to basically spout off the left-wing dogma. By the way, we have some breaking news. Here’s the clip and I’ll tell you what it is.
(Young Frankenstein clip plays)
Leahy: Joe Biden gave a speech. (Laughs)
Carmichael: That should be our new intro to Joe Biden.
Leahy: That’s from Young Frankenstein. It’s alive! It’s alive! (Carmichael laughs) So he gave a speech to the National Education Association and The Wall Street Journal has a story about that. I just want to read it to you because you know we’ve talked about this before. Education is really the civil rights issue of today.
Carmichael: It absolutely is.
Leahy: And minority kids, Black, Hispanic, and others are not getting a fair shake because they are stuck in these awful public schools.
Leahy: Government-run public schools.
Carmichael: No they are government-run.
Leahy: Government-run schools as opposed to the charter schools.
Carmichael: Because charter schools are paid for by the public.
Leahy: Right. Here’s the headline at The Wall Street Journal. Joe Biden Bows to the Teachers Union. Here is a place where Joe Biden differs from his old boss. President Obama had fraught relations with the teacher unions including with the National Education Association which in 2014 called unsuccessfully for the resignation Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
Mr. Biden seeking the NEA’s endorsement at a virtual assembly on Friday pledged his loyalty to the union noting that his wife is a member “you don’t just have a partner in the White House, you’ll have an NEA member in the White House and if I’m not listening I’ll be sleeping alone in the Lincoln bedroom.”
His wife is a community college professor. If a Republican presidential candidate spoke to a special interest group with that kind of amorous devotion, the Journal writes, the caterwauling in the press would never end. What about this line from Mr. Biden, this is going to be a teacher-oriented Department of Education.
And their comment is, oh, not a student-oriented one? And then what’s interesting Biden did not get a question about school choice during Friday’s forum. But he’s made clear he believes the union dogma which says no privately funded charter school or private charter school would receive a penny of federal money.
Now the Trump campaign has jumped on his previous statements and said if he’s the president, none of the current Secretary of Education’s Betsy DeVos policies including school choice and charter schools would be implemented. So they jumped on that saying he would end charter schools. There’s a little bit more wiggle room there. But it wouldn’t surprise me if he does.
Carmichael: Michael, based on what you just read to me I don’t think there is any wiggle room at all. He says not a penny will go to charter schools. Is that what the article reports?
Leahy: Not a penny of federal money. It’s only eight percent.
Carmichael: Ok. It doesn’t matter. Eight percent of total federal dollars can be an awful lot of money to individual charter schools. It can be the difference between whether they exist or they do not exist. And so these are not small amounts of money. Plus also, when you have the national government doing everything it can to stifle school choice then what you have in the White House is the enemy of Black people. So let me paraphrase Joe Biden.
If you are a Black person and you care about education, you know who to vote for. Let me just paraphrase that because Donald Trump has made it really really clear that school choice and charter schools are what he believes is the key. And not just charter schools but vouchers.
Because vouchers can go to private schools. And now in Montana, the Supreme Court ruled that private schools that have a church affiliation can still receive vouchers. And that was over the vehement opposition by the Democrats and by the unions.
Leahy: And the four liberals on the Supreme Court.
Carmichael: Yes. And so what you have is you now have a very very clear choice. If you are a Black or Hispanic person who cares about the educational results for children who are of your color then Donald Trump is clearly your choice for President. Clearly.
Leahy: It’s very interesting because as you point out, he left what would appear to be a little bit of wiggle room because if he implemented the policy as he’s announced it right now it would economically hurt these charter schools because there is eight percent of federal money that goes to them.
Carmichael: He can’t unilaterally destroy private schools. If he’s the president he can’t do that. Let’s put it this way Michael, he’s doing everything in his power. He’s doing everything in his power to destroy charter schools.
Leahy: Yes. That’s exactly right.
Carmichael: OK. Then that’s no wiggle room. That’s not wiggle room because he can’t do something that he doesn’t have the power to do but he will use 100 percent of his power that he does have to destroy charter schools.
Leahy: Now my question to you Crom is we look at all the polls on this with choice, vouchers and charter schools, support within the African American community is like 65 percent support it.
Leahy: Now this is a disconnect when he is touting a policy that will hurt African Americans and President Trump is touting a policy that will help African Americans, how do you think that will translate when it comes down to real voting behavior with African Americans?
Carmichael: We’ll see. Let’s be clear about this. I had said since you’ve invited back on your show that the Democrat Party is the party of government. It is the party of government. It is not the party of the people. And in this case, this is another clear situation where a Democrat could stand up and say I want to help Black children get a better education by giving their parents as many choices on where their child should go if possible.
He is doing the opposite because it is the government schools. This kind of hearkens back to me to the 50s and 60s in Alabama and the southern states that were run by Democrats at that time which had segregated schools and then segregated colleges. And it took the National Guard to force the Democrats to open schools.
If you are a Democrat you have to own up to this. All this White privilege stuff, if you are a Democrat you have to own up to something that happened and if you are my age, happened during your lifetime. And you didn’t do anything about it you Democrats that are out there. And you’re not doing anything in Nashville by the way. Nashville, Tennessee has lousy government-run schools for black and Hispanic children.
Leahy: Terrible schools.
Carmichael: Terrible schools and the results are just terrible. And there are some charter schools here in Nashville that are doing a wonderful job.
Leahy: Nashville Classical is doing great. We did a story on that.
Carmichael: LEADS. You have a number of charter schools that are doing a good job. And the Democrats in this community, many of them are doing everything they can to stifle.
Leahy: All of them are. All of them want to stifle the charter schools. All nine members are Democrats of the Metro School Board.
Carmichael: To get back to your question on how will this translate, if Black and Hispanic parents know, if they are informed about the differences and the media may try and cover it up, but if they are informed about the differences between Biden and Trump on education and education matters to them, then Trump will gain dramatically.
Leahy: That’s the key. The quote from Biden, “this is going to be a teacher-oriented department of education.” The Wall Street Journal says, teachers first. Put it on a bumper sticker Mr. Biden and hope people don’t notice the corollary is that students and especially poor minority students come second.
Listen to the full second hour here:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Joe Biden” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.