For those of you who don’t follow the education debate in South Carolina, students in our state’s best public schools (i.e. in our best, lily-white, middle income neighborhoods) are trailing their peers in other states by increasingly large gaps.

Even more tragically, though, students in our worst-performing public schools (usually in black, low-income neighborhoods) are falling even further behind due to a growing achievement gap between black and white students within our state.

It’s a vicious, institutionally-perpetuated cycle that’s been going on for decades.

Two years ago, African-American Sen. Darrell Jackson (D-Richland) hinted that “a time was coming” when he would support parental choice as a means of providing hope to black children – you know, since the whole mo’ money, mo’ accountability approach hasn’t worked.

And yet within days, Jackson was eviscerated by educrats – accused of selfish motivations given the fact that his church school might have benefited from education scholarships or tax credits.

Jackson was also accused of being ignorant of black history, failing to adequately support public education and conspiring to “eliminate public education” in South Carolina.

Sadly, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Ten days ago, State Sen. Robert Ford (D-Charleston), who is black, joined Rep. Eric Bedingfield (R-Greenville), who is white, in announcing his sponsorship of a new parental choice bill.

Now, less than two weeks later, Ford is being viciously attacked by his local NAACP and two fellow lawmakers, Charleston Reps. David Mack and Wendell Gilliard, both black democrats.

Specifically, they’re calling him a sellout to the black community, throwing out expressions like “it’s hard to bark with a bone in your mouth” in an effort to paint him as a tool of the white man.

We certainly understand a group like the NAACP attacking Ford, and it’s certainly no surprise that they will angrily denounce the name “Howie Rich” as many times as possible because let’s face it – that’s the only arrow parental choice opponents have in their quiver.

Hell, it’s the same diversionary tactic they’ve been using for years.

In their effort to keep blacks in South Carolina from being slaves to “the man,” the NAACP and politicians like Mack and Gilliard have managed to turn them into the slaves of any number of different government bureaucracies – agencies that exists solely to keep them dependent.

That’s the NAACP plan for South Carolina – institutional slavery, and it starts with subservience to the State Department of Education (a.k.a. Ministry of Failure and Non-Competition).

But what we want to get at is the “why?”

Why is this the model when it so clearly hasn’t worked?

Why bow to a bureaucratic altar that has done nothing but force black children to be left behind each year by the thousands in under-performing government-run schools?

The answer to that question can be found in Sen. Ford’s attackers – utterly worthless and hypocritical black politicians like Rep. Mack, who along with fellow poverty pimp Wendell Gilliard pounced on Ford’s parental choice support like the trained status quo Dobermans they are.

Seriously, where does a guy like Mack get off accusing anyone else of shadiness with money?

Say what you want about somebody receiving a campaign contribution from a private citizen, but Mack makes his living off the taxpayers.

For those of you who don’t remember, Mack was the subject of Charleston Post and Courier feature last summer which exposed the fact that he has used his position in Columbia to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars to “charities” he works for – and receives cash from.

From the story:

State politicians for years have used budget mechanisms to send tax dollars to pet projects. But the amounts tend to be higher for money funneled through universities.

In Mack’s case, he sent $300,000 to S.C. State in the 2006-07 school year and asked the university to send the money to a Columbia-based nonprofit organization called the Palmetto Center for Advocacy. The center conducts health education programs statewide, especially obesity prevention programs.

Mack sent the group another $400,000 through S.C. State in the 2007-08 school year.

Anastasia Shaw, deputy director for Palmetto Center for Advocacy, said the $700,000 from the state is the only money the group has brought in so far. But, she said, the center is “looking to diversify funding.”

According to the group’s Web site, Mack is employed as its “outreach director.” In a telephone interview, Mack said he now does consulting work for the group and previously was the organization’s interim director. He also said he is paid for all of his work with the center but declined to say how much.

Well, well, well … more taxpayer-funded “community outreach” that in reality goes to line the pockets of black lawmakers who do the bidding of their government masters – like attacking African-American colleagues who dare to “get out of line,” for example.

Again, say what you want about Robert Ford (and we’ve said plenty), but how can you go after him for receiving legitimate campaign contributions when Mack and Democrats like him are fleecing the taxpayers to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Politicians like Rep. David Mack are nothing but paid whores for a failed political establishment that wants to keep each and every black child in this state stupid, broke and devoid of hope … and the fact that they feel justified in criticizing anybody for anything only shows how morally and intellectually bankrupt they are.

They’ve been giving billions of dollars and decades to turn things around, and they haven’t.

They can’t.

They’re too busy making themselves rich.

Ford, at long last, has acknowledged that it’s time to try something new.

For that he should be praised, not attacked … but certainly the last people who should be throwing stones are these modern-day Pharisees.