2018, Betsy DeVos, Education, Gretchen Whitmer — January 12, 2017 at 11:00 am

#RESIST: Michigan Gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer refuses to be bullied by Betsy DeVos


Bullying and intimidation are the modus operandi of Donald Trump and those who support him. Through personal insults and vague threats, they attempt to make people afraid to oppose them. His pick for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, is no exception.

Earlier this week, Gretchen Whitmer sent out this fundraising email as part of her bid to be Michigan’s governor which points out danger of having DeVos in charge of federal education policy in America:

The email highlights Whitmer’s fierce opposition to the corporatists who want to privatize our government and turn it into a profit center for their own personal benefit, destroying public education in the process.

The next day, Gary Naeyaert, the Executive Director for the Great Lakes Education Project, Betsy DeVos’s corporatist front group which advocates for the destruction of our public school system, sent this threatening email to Whitmer, saying “We’ll keep this one in the files, for sure”:

What you need to understand about Gretchen Whitmer is that she is not someone who is easily intimidated. After her years as the Democratic Senate Leader in the Michigan state legislature, she’s developed a spine of titanium and remains a fierce warrior on behalf of those who are most impacted by the actions of Michigan Republicans and their corporate benefactors. She responded to DeVos with this beautiful piece of prose:

January 11, 2017

Dear Ms. DeVos (via your henchman, Gary Naeyaert),

Thank you for reaffirming why we don’t trust your judgment when it comes to educating our kids. Please know that instead of intimidating me, your note only fuels my fire as an advocate for all children.

If more people would work to find solutions instead of bullying people who disagree, we really might make education “great again.” But as long as people with power, privilege, and the President’s ear seek to destroy public education, I fear we will lose a generation of kids.

Gretchen Whitmer

Whitmer posted images of the email exchange on her Facebook page and said, “I refuse to be intimidated by Betsy DeVos and her lobbyist henchman. We will always stand our ground and fight for quality public education for all kids in Michigan.”

There may well be other candidates for governor who enter the race before the election in 2018 but it’s good to know that we have at least one candidate with a strong track record of standing up for our Democratic values and one who is unflappable and unintimidated by bullies like Betsy DeVos. We’re going to need all the warriors we can get in order to #RESIST the Republican/corporatist/Trump assault on our country.

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