Matt Gaetz Pissed That COVID-19 Bill Gives $13 Million In Obama Phones To Black People University
Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida was miffed that Howard University, a known university for black people, got some scratch in the Senate's coronavirus recovery bill. He lamented this pork parade on Twitter Wednesday.
Gaetz concedes that “education is important," but Howard isn't worthy of coronavirus relief — certainly not $13 million big ones! Why, that money could house the houseless and feed the foodless. Howard is a historically black college, and Gaetz was probably worried that real American taxpayer money would be wasted on advanced Black Panther studies. Sen. Kamala Harris graduated from Howard in 1986, when we were free to gather in crowds. She pointed out that the "bill provides $30 billion to protect students and help schools, colleges and universities combat the coronavirus." She then dropped some of that math they teach us at black colleges when we're not learning how to properly season chicken.
HARRIS: This is $13 million. $13 million = .04% of $30 billion. Why do you take issue with money going to Howard, Congressman?
Just like that, Harris has put Congressman Florida Man on trial. Gaetz should've just broken down on the stand and confessed or tried to take a plea, but instead, he doubled down and insisted Howard received a “carve out" that other institutions didn't. This is when it got embarrassing and people had to explain to a US House representative that Howard has a hospital that's a 300-bed, level 1 trauma center, which is now a COVID-19 treatment facility in Washington DC, just a couple miles from where Gaetz allegedly works.
Howard also does research on anti-viral drugs, which is also relevant. Gaetz was undaunted and despite everyone on Twitter slapping the taste out of his mouth, he responded with some BS Fox News article that claimed other (white) colleges in DC like Georgetown, American University, and George Washington were stiffed while Howard was riding the gravy train.
Republicans like Gaetz can't resist blowing dog whistles or playing the same tired culture war games with the coronavirus relief package. They've complained that the Kennedy Center received $35 million in funding, as if it's a common porno theater in a scuzzy neighborhood. The Kennedy Center had to lay off 725 people as a result of the coronavirus shutdowns. It's a real business even if it's in the gay-ass arts.
Gaetz objected to $350 million set aside for migration and refugee assistance. (He's totally not racist.) He insists that we should “secure the economic condition of every American" before spending a penny on people who are “here illegally." Don't know how to break it to Gaetz that people who are here “illegally" are still, well, here and able to spread the virus because COVID-19 doesn't ask to see anyone's papers. Republicans are so conditioned to only caring about themselves they have trouble comprehending how it's even in their own selfish best-interest to give AF about other people.
It's only fair, I suppose, to note that conservatives resent almost all colleges and universities because of their fact-based agendas. Maybe Gaetz attacked Howard from an equal-opportunity “know-nothing" perspective, but it shouldn't have been such a surprise to him that a black institution could play a critical role in combatting the coronavirus.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."