Black School-Choice Protesters Shout Down Warren Speech Celebrating Black Women
On Thursday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) gave a speech in Atlanta celebrating black female domestic workers. Yet black protesters disrupted the speech, criticizing Warren for her opposition to school choice.
"Our children, our choice!" chanted mostly black protesters wearing shirts with the phrase "Powerful Parents Network."
Warren, a leading candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, paused her speech. Protesters shouted, "We want to be heard!" The candidate's supporters chanted, "Warren! Warren!"
Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) — the only member of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Squad to endorse Warren as opposed to Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) — tried to calm down the protesters, The Washington Examiner reported.
"No one is here to quiet you, least of all this black woman," Pressley, who is herself black, said. "The senator is here to talk about the contribution fighters like you have made in history."
Indeed, Warren's speech focused on the black washerwomen's strike in 1881 and other events in the history of labor. "There are fighters who were here before, fighters we can learn from, and the fighters I want to talk about tonight are black women," the 2020 candidate said.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has remained a shaky frontrunner in the 2020 race, enjoying strong support from black voters. Many Democrats consider Biden weak, leading former Gov. Deval Patrick (D-Mass.) to enter the race and leading former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to consider jumping in himself. Sensing blood in the water, candidates like South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and Warren herself have tried to gobble up Biden's black voters.
Warren's emphasis on black women in the labor movement echoed a speech she gave in September recounting Frances Perkins' response to the 1991 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. Her far-left campaign has valorized the labor movement, piggy-backing off of Bernie Sanders' return to old-fashioned socialism.
Yet these black protesters are themselves evidence of the vices of the labor movement. Teachers' unions have gained a stranglehold on public education and the Democratic Party, pushing a one-size-fits-all approach that harms people based on their geographic location. School choice aims to allow parents to pick the right school for their children, rather than just having everyone go to the public school.
In many cities across America, school choice has enabled poor black children to go to better schools and enjoy a better path to success. Teachers' unions insist the only path forward is the failing public schools and the only way to improve the public schools is ... more funding. Schools need to be accountable to children and their parents, not unions that help entrench the problems in the current education system.
School choice is a great example of how a little accountability can make a big difference in providing opportunity outside the stranglehold of government solutions. Yet Warren wants more government intrusion into all sorts of complex market systems, from health care to education to energy.
Rather than supporting more one-size-fits-all solutions to complex problems, Warren should listen to the protesters demanding school choice.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.