Tuesday, October 4, 2005

(Mis)educator Bennett Couldn't Help Himself (Archive)

Diarrhea of the Mouth
"If you wanted to reduce crime, you could - if that were your sole purpose - you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down."--William Bennett
It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native criminal class except Congress. --Mark Twain
Former Secretary of Education William Bennett likes to tell everyone how to live and preach from his Book of Virtues. But his gambling addiction and overt racism belie his righteous preachings. Why am I beating this dead horse? Because many small schools, charters and home schoolers are using Bennett's K12 Inc. curriculum and have made him a rich man many times over since he left the Dept. of Ed.

Bennett's remarks echo those from a decade or two ago by William Shockley, who suggested offering cash bonuses to welfare mothers and other social undesirables (i.e. blacks) who agreed to be sterilized and Charles Murray's Bell Curve. They also follow in a long trail of right-wing eugenicists, including President Bush's own grandfather, who pushed the ideas of white racial superiority. And now, even after his offensive remarks about aborting black babies to reduce crime are out on the table, some like Rush Limbaugh are defending him. It seems there is nothing too racist or outright criminal (as is the case of Tom DeLay) for them to stomach. As for Bennett himself, always a defender of the voucher system and an opponent of affirmative action, it seems that he is so filled with racist crap, that like the man who ate at the greasy spoon down the block from our office the other day, he can't control himself. He must let it out to relieve himself--even on the radio.

This time though, diahrrea of the mouth may prove to be costly. The Philadelphia Daily News reported exclusively Saturday that Philadelphia parents and education activists entered the fray to demand that the School District of Philadelphia end the approximately $3 million in contracts it awarded in April to Bennett's K12 Inc. By Monday morning Bennett,was out as K12's chairman of the board of directors, board member and part-time employee, said Ron Packard, who co-founded the multi-million-dollar company with Bennett in 1999. Packard would not disclose what Bennett was being paid but did say he would not be paid in any other capacity, such as that of a consultant.

Then Philadelphia Schools CEO Paul Vallas called the comments Bennett made on his nationally syndicated radio show "outrageous and offensive" and said "any extension of the contract could be jeopardized by his continued presence on the board." Not real strong words but old ties are hard to break.

Now the question is...what kind of contracts will the current DOE hand to Sec. Bennett? Maybe he can be put in charge of new schools for New Orleans or Bagdad.