Republicans love to bang the drums about how China represents an existential threat to the United States and the liberal world order but are unwilling to do the basic work necessary to meet this threat. Their only solution seems to be shoveling more money to the bloated military-industrial complex while ignoring the myriad other spheres in which Americans will have to compete in order to meet the coming century.
Nowhere is this failure to prepare for the future more evident than in our education system. If the GOP were truly serious about competing with China they would be injecting hundreds of billions of dollars more into the Department of Education. Instead, they continue to vilify teachers while advocating for private and charter schools that could only ever cater to a small portion of the nation’s children.
As a result, countless teachers have to scrape by to provide even the bare minimum to their students. A disturbing example of this trend surged to the forefront of Twitter recently when a clip of South Dakota educators competing in a “Dash for Cash” competition went viral on the social media website.
The demeaning competition involved helmet-wearing teachers scrambling to fight over $5,000 worth of one dollar bills that they would be able to use for the classroom supplies. For obvious reasons, the video didn’t sit well with many observers and it was likened to everything from Ancient Rome to the recent popular tv series Squid Game.
Regardless of the comparison one makes, the point is the same: this is unacceptable. Teachers shouldn’t be forced to engage in humiliating stunts like this just to provide their students with what they need. Our government should be paying for it all. If we can afford to spend close to a trillion dollars a year on the Pentagon’s budget we can afford to buy pencils and paper for teachers.
The organizers of the event have since apologized and promised to donate more money to teachers in the area saying: “although our intent was to provide a positive and fun experience for teachers, we can see how it appears to be degrading and insulting towards the participating teachers and the teaching profession as a whole.”
JUST IN: An arena in South Dakota is holding a “Dash for Cash” where teachers get on their knees and fight for one dollar bills that they can use for classroom supplies while spectators watch and cheer. (h/t @AnnieTodd96) pic.twitter.com/jIht84Ls9W
— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) December 12, 2021
This is what happens when the wealthiest country in the world chooses to prioritize billion dollar Pentagon contracts and trillion handouts to corporations over our children’s education. https://t.co/kDDHfJ3Rvw
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) December 13, 2021
Disgusting & dehumanizing. Tax billionaires already. This is dystopian.
South Dakota arena holds a “Dash for Cash” where teachers get on their knees & fight for $1 bills to use for class supplies as people watch & cheer.😳
SD ranks 29th in K-12 educationpic.twitter.com/JCaLabloYd
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@QasimRashid) December 13, 2021
the thing that gets me is that you just know that the people who put on the “dash for cash” thing for teachers really thought they were doing something good for their community
— Hayes Brown (@HayesBrown) December 13, 2021
Squid Game (KOR,fantasy): underpaid people play games on hidden island for $38.5M
Goal: a better life
Dash for Cash (USA,real life): underpaid teachers grovel on their knees in ice rink for a share of $5k
Audience: stadium full of ppl
Goal: buy pencils for the kids https://t.co/KlK5Tx44p6
— でじこと Dexter Thomas (@dexdigi) December 13, 2021
My student needs aren’t entertainment.
We should not have to dash for cash to meet their needs. https://t.co/RW4n8BXRsb
— just scott (again) (@justscottplease) December 12, 2021
Here’s why I voted no on the NDAA. We spend billions on weapons systems our military doesn’t want, but teachers are forced to fight over $1 bills on the ground because our schools are so underfunded. As a congressman & the brother of two public school teachers, this is shameful. https://t.co/81ARFZsjpf
— Rep. Jim McGovern (@RepMcGovern) December 13, 2021
The House passed a $768,000,000,000 defense budget last week. https://t.co/Pg5HMhjYgm
— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) December 13, 2021
This, except it’s members of Congress collecting their salary for the year. https://t.co/DWAidUcIuq
— Ramp Capital (@RampCapitalLLC) December 13, 2021
When asking myself why these local teachers would be willing to humiliate themselves in front of a massive audience like this, I suddenly remembered an old interview with Matt Damon from 10+ years ago. https://t.co/WC128q4Kzi pic.twitter.com/Gg0DfHyVPa
— Daniel Dumbrill (@DanielDumbrill) December 13, 2021
And yet somehow as we ended the longest war in U.S history Congress still found a way to provide $778 billion in 1 year to the Pentagon when we already spend more on the military than the next 13 nations combined. What stage of capitalism is this? https://t.co/62rL0tsOVH
— Warren Gunnels (@GunnelsWarren) December 13, 2021
THERE’S TEN OF THEM!!! JUST GIVE THEM EACH…500$!!! THIS IS THE MOST AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM THING I’VE EVER SEEN AND I HATE IT. https://t.co/9eeGAVlRsP
— Kwame Mbalia (@KSekouM) December 13, 2021
Without a $778 billion military budget, who would keep our public school teachers safe to debase themselves before bleating crowds as they battle for classroom funds on their hands and knees. https://t.co/Pbm3xnAlki
— Aren R. LeBrun (@proustmalone) December 13, 2021
When I tell people I’m a teacher they often mention how “disrespectful” they find “kids these days,” but it’s not the youth dictating our wages and exploiting the financial position of educators for spectacle. https://t.co/GhQBeG37xy
— Chris Dier (@chrisdier) December 13, 2021
This feels like a scene from an over-the-top dystopia movie from the 1980s in which Arnold Schwarzenegger exposes the whole corrupt, dog-eat-dog system for what it is by beating the overlords at their own game. https://t.co/QMkVXTZLbh
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) December 13, 2021
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This is a staff report from former Occupy Democrats Editor in Chief Colin Taylor or contributor Rob Haffney.