Trump calls school choice the civil rights issue of the decade

President TrumpDonald TrumpMaria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' The Memo: The center strikes back Republicans eye Nashville crack-up to gain House seat MORE on Tuesday described school choice as the civil rights issue of the decade "and probably beyond."

Trump was delivering remarks in the Rose Garden on an executive order to encourage police reform amid national unrest over police brutality and racial injustice when he touched on his administration's push for school choice.

"We're fighting for school choice, which really is the civil rights of all time in this country," Trump said. "Frankly, school choice is the civil rights statement of the year, of the decade and probably beyond because all children have to have access to quality education.


"A child’s ZIP code in America should never determine their future, and that’s what was happening," he continued. "All children deserve equal opportunity because we are all made equal by God."

The comments describing school choice as the preeminent civil rights issue of the day appeared out of place as the nation is gripped by protests over the treatment of black Americans by law enforcement.

The president's executive order came after nearly three weeks of demonstrations sparked by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.


Calls for reform were ignited again this week after police shot and killed Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old black man, after an encounter at a Wendy's in Atlanta.

The Trump administration has advocated for increased school choice, arguing that it would allow residents living in distressed communities the opportunity to send their children to more competitive educational institutions.

Vice President Pence earlier Tuesday raised school choice when asked whether black Americans have a harder time making it in the U.S.

"I mean, [Joe] Biden says everybody ought to have a fair shot at the American dream. Well, we would say, 'Well, why don't you support allowing African American families to choose where their kids go to school?'" Pence said.