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Betsy DeVos Unironically Urged Her Staff to “Be the Resistance” When Biden Takes Over

Betsy DeVos speaks as Vice President Mike Pence listens during a press briefing

In a recent Education Department meeting to discuss the upcoming transition of power, Betsy DeVos had some odd advice for her team, urging them to “be the resistance” under the Biden administration.

“Let me leave you with this plea: Resist,” the real-life Dolores Umbridge reportedly told her career staffers. “Be the resistance against forces that will derail you from doing what’s right for students. In everything you do, please put students first—always.”

In terms of reappropriating language created to call out their own acts of oppression, anyone in the Trump administration calling for the “resistance” is right up there with far-right conservatives waving “my body, my choice” signs at anti-mask rallies.

The idea of the #Resistance began after Trump’s election and quickly became a tongue-in-cheek or outright derisive meme, thrown at anyone who showed the slightest divergence from Trump’s agenda. But if calls to #Resist hadn’t already jumped the political shark, hearing the words come from the mouth of the woman who has spent years working to dismantle the public school system and strip students of their rights, now try to talk about “resisting” and protecting students, is definitely the tipping point no one needed.

DeVos’ call to “please put students first” is laughable (like a big rage-laugh) because unless we’re talking about straight, cisgender, male, white, able-bodied, neurotypical, and above all wealthy students, that’s not a thing she’s ever done. This Cruella de Vil but for Title IX protections instead of puppies has worked to destroy the educational rights of every single marginalized group possible.

So if she’s worried about what the Biden appointees will do to undermine her work, well, that’s a pretty good testament to the incoming administration.

(via Politico, image: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.