CNN host Abby Phillip exposed on Tuesday the hypocrisy of Chicago Teachers Union president Stacy Davis Gates.
What is the background?
Davis Gates is a fierce opponent of school choice. She believes offering parents school choice is “the choice of racists.” But apparently Davis Gates doesn’t believe her rhetoric applies to her family.
Last week, it was revealed that Davis Gates does not send her son to public school. Instead, she exercised her choice to send him to private school.
What happened on CNN?
Before interviewing the union boss, Phillip reminded viewers what Davis Gates herself has said about private schools.
She has called them “segregation academies of the Jim Crow South,” according to Phillip, while championing public schools and promising that she “can’t advocate on behalf of public education without it taking root in my own household.”
When Davis Gates denied condemning private schools, Phillip reminded her, “That was literally your language,” and told her the concern that people have with her is “whether the rhetoric matches your actions.” But at every point in the conversation, Davis Gates ignored that point and rehearsed the complicated history of school choice and race in America.
But Phillip was not deterred.
The CNN anchor told Davis Gates that black families in Chicago and other cities “want the same choice that you were able to afford to give to your child.”
“What I’m trying to ask you is, do you think that your rhetoric at some point went too far when you are making a choice? Because perhaps I assume you can afford to do that, that a lot of Chicago parents don’t because they can’t afford it,” Phillip said. “And proponents of school choice say the state should have a role in helping those families who can’t afford it make the same choice that you did for your family.”
In the end, Davis Gates only defended her choice to send her son to private school while ignoring Phillip’s point.
“As I’ve said before, my children do attend public schools. My son, he has the opportunity to play sports at a school — sports, by the way, that are not offered at our neighborhood school or any school close to our address. Again, students in Chicago, especially black students, on average, travel almost two hours back and forth to school,” Davis Gates said. “So the real scandal is why in 2023, black families in Chicago and across this country have to deal with such severe inequities and such high stakes.”
“I totally agree that is a scandal,” Phillip responded, “but I also think that what you just described for your son is choice that you made for your family, and I think that’s what your critics are pointing out here.”
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