The Department of Education might want to go back to the books. Its official Twitter site spelled the name wrong of African-American leader W.E.B. DuBois, the co-founder of the NAACP, among many other accomplishments.
The Department of Education spelled his name W.E.B. DeBois. Specifically, the tweet says, “Education must not simply teach work – it must teach life. – W.E.B. DeBois.”
The tweet was still sitting at the top of the department’s Twitter page three hours after it was first posted on February 12. It was bad timing for Department, what with the controversies over new Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, derided by opponents for her school voucher support, and whose nomination deadlocked in the U.S. Senate before VP Mike Pence broke the tie. Protesters blocked DeVos from initially entering a Washington D.C. school.
The Education Department was trying to honor DuBois for Black History Month. According to the NAACP, DuBois “was an American civil rights activist, leader, Pan-Africanist, sociologist, educator, historian, writer, editor, poet, and scholar.” The NAACP noted, “Du Bois’s most lasting contribution is his writing. As poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, sociologist, historian, and journalist, he wrote 21 books, edited 15 more, and published over 100 essays and articles.”
Biography.com calls him “one of the most important African-American activists during the first half of the 20th century. He co-founded the NAACP and supported Pan-Africanism…In 1895, he became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University.”
The reaction on Twitter was immediate. The NAACP weighed in:
Celebrities weighed in too:
Some used the tweet to attack DeVos, although she is presumably not literally running the Department of Education’s Twitter page herself.
Others chimed in:
It’s not the first time Trump/Trump administration spelling errors have earned mockery. A list the White House put out of supposed underreported terror attacks spelled the word attacker “attaker” and spelled San Bernardino wrong.