For the first time since Harry Truman started doing it in 1952, the President of the United States is declining to present the Teacher of the Year award at the annual ceremony. In fact, Trump is skipping the ceremony altogether. Last year, Trump even admitted to the tradition himself, saying: “Every President since Harry Truman has honored the National Teacher of the Year, and I’m proud to continue this tradition with this year’s recipient.”
Of course, the 2018 winner looked a bit different from this year’s winner.
Donald Trump has chosen not to give out this year's National Teacher of the Year Award, breaking a tradition that dates back to Harry Truman.
I'll give you three guesses why, but you won't need the other two. pic.twitter.com/Ha0uqXwNRG
— Brett Pransky (@BrettPransky) April 28, 2019
Yes, 2019’s Teacher of the Year is Rodney Robinson, a black man.
Now, Donald Trump hasn’t said explicitly that he’s breaking this 67-year tradition because the recipient is a black man and Trump is a racist butthole. But he was happy to do it in both 2017 and 2018 when the winners were white women in spite of his general animosity toward teachers. So you’ll excuse people if they’re a wee bit suspicious.
Instead of the President, Robinson will be presented the award by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos – perhaps the only person in the White House who seems to hate teachers more than Trump does. DeVos has been especially brutal on low-income schools, teachers, and students, who are disproportionately black and Latinx.
Another interesting tidbit is the fact that Robinson pursued teaching specifically to honor his mother, who was denied a good education due to poverty and racism. He then chose to teach at a school within a juvenile detention center in order to study the school-to-prison pipeline that puts so many black kids on the fast-track to a life in the prison system. As it turns out, he’s an amazing teacher and deserves all the awards.
He also deserves to be honored by someone who isn’t terrible. Some are urging former President Barack Obama to step in to present the award or at least give Robinson his personal congratulations.
I’m betting he would be honored to do it. President Obama understands what Public Service and honoring Americans means.
— AJLux (@LuxAngela) April 29, 2019
Yes!!! A call that truly means something from a man of substance!
— R (@APrettyGoodLife) April 29, 2019
Others are simply (and justifiably) pissed off.
I can't quwhite put my finger on it. https://t.co/Nq9E888erk
— Notorious B.O.G. (@JoshuaLBogus) April 29, 2019
What a lesson for Mr. Robinson to take back to his students.
— taryn gewürztraminer (@syringa_x) April 28, 2019
The National Teacher of the United States of America, that represents the good that men, men of color and educated men, dedicated men and intelligent men is not going to be recognized by OUR President of these United States REALLY! So in his eyes my 31 yrs as a teacher means?
— William Jackson, M.Ed. (@wmjackson) April 28, 2019
Though if he wrung out his "hair", he could put a nice wax shine on it.
— Kai-Lee Klymchuk (@KaiLeeKlymchuk) April 29, 2019
Ha ha 'think.'
— WitzelsuchtMonkey (@WalterMarieD) April 28, 2019
Will there be a white runner-up for him to recognize?
— Peter Kerwin (@PeterKerwin26) April 29, 2019
all three are correct, and in order of importance
1. he is black
2. he’s an educator and educated people dislike trump
3. also, he is black
— scarlet begonia (@reheatmycoffee) April 29, 2019
As a former teacher, I’m outraged….on so many levels but mostly for the obvious reason. I hope the accolades, tributes, recognition of this outstanding teacher go viral and tht he gets deserved #media attention.
— How To Work a Room® (@HowToWorkARoom) April 29, 2019
Jesus he doesn’t even try to hide it anymore.
— Katseye (@NBeesax) April 29, 2019
I simply can't understand how someone could be so racist as to not want to be in a room with, or shake the hand of a black person.
— Someone Else ? (@corsetmaster1) April 29, 2019
There's no more dog whistles…it's just blatant racism.
— Anne McCarthy (@AM_McCarthy) April 29, 2019
Disgusting. Between this incredible teacher & the #1 NFL draft pick….I see a pattern emerging. Duh.
— Gail (@bubbiex3) April 29, 2019
Well I'm sure Mr. Robinson would rather have an honorable person present the award anyway! 🙂
— samches (@samches) April 28, 2019
Guess 1: He's thinner than Trump.
Guess 2: He's a better golfer than Trump.
Guess 3: As Richard Pryor would have said, "BLAAAAAAAAAAAACK!"
— Uncle Mike – Wartime Consigliere (@MichaelPacholek) April 29, 2019
Is it because Rodney is a way snappier dresser?
— Edna wellthorpe (@WellthorpeEdna) April 28, 2019
— Retro Freak Reviews (@DarkwyndPT) April 28, 2019
— Don Lemon's baby Afro (@GhostofGarvey) April 28, 2019
Is it because he’s too busy romancing Kim Jung-un? Or maybe he’s afraid he won’t look like a vibrant young man in the photo op?
— Chuck Nuckles (@cnuckles) April 29, 2019
Congratulations to Mr. Robinson for his essential work in taking down the racist school-to-prison pipeline that is denying so many children their right to a quality education and future. Hopefully, he’ll receive plenty of recognition from the kind of people who actually deserve to be in the presence of such an incredible educator.