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Trump stood perplexed in the Bronx last week. It was as cringe-inducing as expected. • Michigan Advancement

Trump stood perplexed in the Bronx last week.  It was as cringe-inducing as expected.  • Michigan Advancement


Taking a break from his criminal trial, former President Donald Trump campaigned in the Bronx last week in a supposed show of force after winning just 16 percent of the vote in the Crotona Park area four years ago.

If you think he's going to win in AOC's backyard, I guess you think bringing Sheff G and Sleepy Hallow, two rap artists accused of murder plots, onto the stage was a masterstroke policy to convince black voters. (CNN reports that Trump took one look at Sheff G's grill and told him: I have to cut my teeth like that. I want that to happen to me.)

Trump, who has already been held accountable for rape and faces four separate indictments comprising 88 counts, can't stop arguing that this will help him win over African-American voters in November.

“I was charged a second time, a third time and a fourth time and a lot of people said that's why black people love me because they were so badly hurt and discriminated against,” Trump said in February. “And they actually considered me to be discriminated against.”

Trump added that he thinks “that's why black people are so on my side now, because they see that what's happening to me is happening to them.” (I'm not a lawyer, but I wouldn't advise anyone to threaten the judge during their trial, because unlike this ex-president, you'll probably go straight to jail).

While he promises brutal policies like deporting 15 to 20 million immigrants, arresting homeless people, denying basic rights and health care to trans people, and deporting pro-protesters, Palestinians on college campuses who he called raving lunatics and Hamas sympathizers, Trump is simultaneously making these overtly racist appeals to BIPOC voters.

A few months ago, Trump debuted his “official” high-tops, adorned with American flag logos and wrapped in gold lam that you'd expect to see in a saucy Temu ad. While most of us snickered at the cheesy sneakers, conservative Detroit News columnist Bankole Thompson said “Trump's golden kicks could upset Democrats” by appealing to black men in a version that could have been confused with a @detnewspitch tweet.

Trump's infamous Cinco de Mayo tweet, May 5, 2016 | Screenshot

And who could forget Trump's wacky masterpiece in 2016 when he posted a smiling lunchtime photo captioned: “Happy #CincoDeMayo!” The best taco bowls are made at Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics! »

Will Trump end up flipping voters in key Democratic districts? Some polls indicate he could achieve this.

The joke eight years ago was that it was the “LOL, nothing matters” election. But 2024 may turn out to be the most nihilistic election ever.

Teachers take it on the chin

Michigan used to be a very good place for teachers to make a living. For 30 years, from 1969 to 1999, we consistently had some of the highest average salaries.

But a lot has changed since then (which, for perspective, is before 40% of the Michigan Advancestaff were born).

Michigan's decade-long recession has clearly taken its toll. And for eight years of total Republican Party rule, from 2011 to 2018, teachers were a favorite political punching bag. The Snyder years saw attacks on their job security and retirement, as well as onerous new demands. Now that Democrats have secured their first governing trio in about 40 years, they have rolled back many of those measures.

A new study from the Education Policy Innovation Collaborative (EPIC) at Michigan State University shows that if teacher salaries had kept pace with inflation since 1999, the average salary for 2021-22 would be $81,703. Instead, the average was $64,884, a difference of $16,819.

New Michigan teachers fare even worse, starting at $38,963 on average for the 2021-2022 school year. We've now dropped to 39th out of 50 states and Washington, DC and Michigan have the lowest starting teacher salaries among the Great Lakes states, with even Ohio beating us (barely).

A sign at Chippewa Middle School in Meridian Township on May 25, 2024. | Susan J. Demas

How bad is it? Well, starting salaries for new journalists at many outlets in Lansing and metro Detroit are often considerably higher. Having made $10 an hour at my first journalism job in 2001, I'm thrilled to see that our industry has made great strides in paying people what they're worth.

But educators deserve it too, especially given what they've had to endure in recent years, amid right-wing panics about wearing masks during COVID and campaigns to ban books on LGBTQ+ issues and racial justice.

Honestly, they deserve hazard pay over helicopter parents who seem to spend more time browsing TikTok libraries than actually interacting with their own children.

The pay of our caregivers and teachers of young children is even more appalling. According to a study by the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the University of California, Berkeley, the average Michigan child care worker earns just $11.13 an hour and teachers preschoolers earn $14.89 per hour.

We are always told that children are our future. The fact that we continue to pay so little to the people who educate and guide our children is a farce.






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