While waiting on her governor, Chloe Hough saw a perfect opportunity to make her voice heard.
Bam. (via Facebook)
These days, a lot of working people feel like they have no voice in representative government. With private individuals and massive corporations funneling billions of dollars into political campaigns, opportunities for regular citizens to participate in the democratic process are dwindling. That's why people like Chloe Hough are role models for all of us. She saw the perfect opportunity to speak truth to power at the highest level and didn't back down. And it only cost her ten bucks.
Until Saturday, Hough was a waitress at Boss Hawg's Barbeque in Topeka, Kansas. With the slogan "Horrifying Vegetarians Since 1995," it was only a matter of time before Boss Hawg's was overrun with Republican politicians looking to savor some meat and rally their base. So it should have come as no surprise when Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and his family arrived for dinner.
Hough was surprised, however. And inspired. Everything had lined up for her to do something big. She was face-to-face with a politician whose policies she didn't appreciate. She had already quit working at Boss Hawg's, and was working her last ever shift. She didn't want to be spiteful, but knew she couldn't miss this chance. As she told KSNT, "I just knew I had to say something or I would regret it." Looking for ideas, she posted this to Facebook:
She got several suggestions, but ultimately decided not to verbally confront him in front of his family. Instead, she decided to make her statement silently, on the governor's credit card receipt. She drew an "X" through the tip line, and wrote a simple message: "Tip the schools." Then, she posted a photo of the receipt with the caption "MIC DROP," and it immediately went viral.
Hough's comment was no generic pro-education statement. Brownback has faced a lot of criticism lately for his approach to public schools. In March, he quietly signed into effect a new "block grant" approach to funding education. In theory it's a less complicated, more direct way for schools to apply for funds, but educators see it as a massive cut in financial support. Brownback received blowback from the overwhelming majority of Kansas teachers and administrators. Just today, two Kansas school districts announced they will be ending their school years early because of a budget shortage. As Hough told KSNT, “He and his followers are robbing Kansas of equal opportunity."
Chloe Hough, waitress/warrior. (via Facebook)
This is democracy in action. People like Chloe Hough will never be able to fund a Super PAC or pay for political ads, but they can still stand up for what's right. And when politicians keep slashing public education in favor of tax cuts for corporations, while at the same time more and more countries pass us by, that's pretty damn important. Plus, he probably would have been a lousy tipper. Because trickle-down doesn't work either.