Holland has always been home for me. In my twenty years of existence, it’s still just the place where tulips grow a certain time of year, freshwater is an abundance and snow is a nuisance. Ask anyone from Chicago to California and you’ll hear them tell you that Holland is cute, but there isn’t much here. This Saturday proved them wrong.
We’ve all heard the news. Whether you watch it on television, hear it on the radio or scroll past it on Facebook, it’s all the same—Trump’s done something, and people are angry. I’m angry, but today, maybe I’m a little more proud than angry. Maybe.
For those of you who missed it, Holland organized its own protest this Saturday, Jan. 28th. I missed it in real life, but I have the honor of knowing so many who braced Michigan’s cold for an important cause. This protest, unlike the protests directly after Trump’s inauguration, was centered on a person rather than an idea: Betsy DeVos.
If you’re from Holland, you know the DeVoses as the people who own the largest house in Holland. You know, the one on South Shore Drive you slow down to get a good look of when you’re dreaming of which home you’d want to live in if you won the lottery. For the rest of the world, Betsy DeVos is now the woman who potentially holds the future of many educators and students like you and I. She is also the woman whom you’ve seen in several interviews. She’s the one portrayed without having a clue as to what she will be in charge of. Sound familiar?
I know that “fake news” is a growing concern in our world today. I feel wary when supporting any information of political significance because I am afraid of being inaccurate. That being said, I realize that I’m not the best-educated on this topic, but I have educated myself as well as I can in this age of misinformation. Betsy DeVos never attended a public school. She has never taken out a loan as many of us are forced to in order to gain higher education. She doesn’t have the fear of having to pay back loans or whether she will be able to cover the monthly payment for her tuition. I’ve done my best to research this seemingly common knowledge and still, I have yet to find anything that contradicts those facts.
So, here’s what I do know: some of my favorite teachers from high school marched on Saturday. Those whom I respect most, who did not hold back their passions and beliefs when they educated me and the rest of us in Holland Public Schools, are those effected most by this controversial woman’s placement by Trump. Many of us are opposed to this Hollander becoming a factor of our future. They marched with hundred of other Hollanders and I’ve never been prouder of my little town of Holland. Holland made a stand with the rest of the country. My small town is growing to be more than a tourist town and I’m angry at what has forced this but proud to know that whatever comes next will be met with around the country and in this city.