In a Black History Month panel at the White House last week, Michelle Obama said that education is the most important civil rights issue in the United States right now – even if you are at a bad school.
She talked about two black women who were able to get their education despite resistance from angry mobs during the civil rights era. These women were Charlayne Hunter-Gault, who was the first black woman to go to the University of Georgia, and Carlotta Walls LaNier, who integrated Little Rock Central High School.
The First Lady talked about how we no longer have angry mobs outside of schools, but that education is still a struggle for some. She believes that education will solve all sorts of issues, such as the racial tensions that our country has experienced over the past year.
She strongly encouraged students to go to school. “Go to the bad school that you have,” she said. “Go to school.”
It’s interesting that she would call out bad schools and seem to imply that they still have value. But I understand what she’s trying to accomplish. Perhaps this talk will give motivation to those who might be tempted to drop out of their terrible schools.