Cameras from Washington, D.C.'s ABC affiliate, WJLA-TV, recently captured angry protesters blocking Education Secretary Betsy DeVos from entering a DC public school.
Protesters created a barricade that blocked DeVos' vehicle from entering the premises, holding up signs that read "Black Lives Matter" and "Same on Mike Pence." The crowd chanted "Stop DeVos and build black futures" as they surrounded the vehicle.
Later, as DeVos was being escorted away, the crowd followed her and continuously shouted "shame!" as she was escorted away from Jefferson Middle School. One man yelled "go back!" and accused her of buying her way into her position.
“Keep giving money to Senate and buying your way into the position,” one of the angry protesters said. “You should be so proud of yourself!”
“She does not represent anything that they stand for,” another protester shouted, presumably about the school she was attempting to visit.
As the car she was escorted into pulled away, one of the protesters attempted to block the car while holding up a Black Lives Matter sign.
— Kris Cruz (@rc_kris) February 10, 2017
The idea that DeVos, a billionaire philanthropist who has donated heavily to Republicans, bought her way into her position as Education Department secretary and isn't qualified for the job is popular among her left-wing opponents and has been circulated in such liberal outlets as the Huffington Post and Vox. The Rolling Stone alleges that DeVos "bought herself a nice little Cabinet position" and summarizes just how much money she and her family have given up to the Republican Party.
It cost her $115,000 in personal donations to sitting Republican senators; $950,000 more has flowed in from the DeVos family over the last three and a half decades. And another $8.3 million from the DeVoses has gone to Republican super PACs in the last two election cycles alone. Not cheap! But it got the job done.
Her appointment has been fraught with opposition — due in large part to her avid support of charter and private schools and opposition federal control over state education systems — and was capped off with Vice President Mike Pence's tie-breaking vote in the Senate Tuesday to confirm her. Aside from a change.org petition that reached over 400,000 signatures that requested she not be confirmed, many have stated they will now be homeschooling their children afterward, interestingly something that DeVos has long supported.