Last night, Stephen Colbert deployed "The Word" to bring his show's unique and wonderful brand of language-brutality upon the recent decision of the Wake County, N.C. school board to dismantle a successful school system that had achieved schools of high economic diversity and astounding rates of parent satisfaction.
The baseline reason given for taking apart a success story was austerity. But Colbert highlighted a lot of the pure disingenuous nonsense involved -- in the mind of Tea Party acolyte and school board member John Tedesco, for instance, the successful program was nothing more than government sponsored "social engineering," and the poor were much better off in a situation that magnified their hopelessness.
TEDESCO: If we had a school that was, like, 80 percent high-poverty, the public will see the challenges, the need to make it successful...Right now, we have diluted the problem, so we can ignore it.
To which Colbert archly responded: "See? Misguided government do-gooders foolishly diluted the problem by addressing it. We need to ignore it, so we'll pay attention to it!"
COLBERT: Just take public transportation. City buses are dirty, because we ignore the problem because it's not squalid enough. But I believe if we made certain groups of people ride in the back of the bus again, we'd remember how poor those conditions are and I'm sure we'd fix them. And then we can reverse socially-engineered progress in other areas like lunch counters and water fountains until things get so bad for the poor that we won't be able to ignore them. Because there would be massive social unrest. These injustices will become so apparent to everyone that we'll put aside our differences that we worked so hard to reinstate and join together in a new civil rights movement to undo the undoing of what we've already done.
According to WTVD-TV in Raleigh, Colbert's mockery has some residents grousing that is makes it "seem like we're kind of backwards." But Tedesco is said to be taking it in stride:
"I think when we laugh together, we can talk together. So I hope it does create more dialogue," he said.
Maybe, in this way, Tedesco is right: if we can shed a light on the fact that the community has a high concentration of super-stupidity localized in the form of John Tedesco, the problem will be so undiluted that no one will be able to continue ignoring it.
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