Over 4,000 employees of the Department of Education received an email (presumably on government, taxpayer paid computers) encouraging them to attend Al Sharpton’s rally at a high school football field at the same time Glenn Beck’s Restore Honor rally was underway on Saturday. The email was from Arne Duncan, Obama’s Education Secretary. There must have been a high degree of angst in the Sharpton entourage, knowing that Glenn Beck’s crowd would dwarf his own knee-jerk reaction to Restore Honor – where Sharpton believed he could save MLK’s I Have a Dream speech from all those hideous Caucasians…at the same time Dr. Martin Luther King’s niece, Dr. Alveda King, was a featured speaker at Beck’s event.
The Washington Examiner was told about the email by a Department of Education employee who “felt uncomfortable” with the request.
Although the e-mail does not violate the Hatch Act, which forbids federal employees from participating in political campaigns, Education Department workers should feel uneasy, said David Boaz, executive vice president of the libertarian Cato Institute.
“It sends a signal that activity on behalf of one side of a political debate is expected within a department. It’s highly inappropriate … even in the absence of a direct threat,” Boaz said. “If we think of a Bush cabinet official sending an e-mail to civil servants asking them to attend a Glenn Beck rally, there would be a lot of outrage over that.”
Duncan spoke from the podium alongside Sharpton, saying education is “the civil rights issue of our generation,” and “…we have to stop thinking of [poor-performing children] as other people’s children.” Translated: poor-performing children are the responsibility of the village – don’t even think about blaming parents for their underachieving children.