Kimberly Hunter, a Mennonite, teaches English as a second language to middle-school students and, in her free time, gardens, cares for the Kansas and Missouri Rivers, and organizes with the Poor People’s Campaign. During the May 25 rally, “Human Care, Not Warfare,” at St. Mark Hope and Peace Lutheran Church in Kansas City, Mo., she led the chant, “Everybody’s got a right to learn!” Hunter’s points:

  1. In 2018, we the people of the United States of America spent $700 billion on the military but only $23 billion on public schools! Any math teacher will tell you that means we spent 30 TIMES more on violence than education. THAT’S NOT RIGHT. Our children deserve books, not bombs.
  2. In 2019, Missouri taxpayers sent $10 billion to the Pentagon and military. Instead, we could have used that money to award a full-ride scholarship to every student attending a public, 4-year college in our state! THAT’S NOT RIGHT. Our teenagers deserve the chance to become scholars, not soldiers. MOVE THE MONEY!
  3. In 2019, Missouri received $14 billion in Pentagon contracts, but only $3 billion in Department of Education grants. THAT’S NOT RIGHT. Our students deserve science labs, not weapon labs. MOVE THE MONEY!
  4. But we don’t just have a national or even a state problem. WE HAVE A LOCAL PROBLEM. And it’s not a budget problem. IT’S A MORAL PROBLEM! Every year, the Kansas City National Security Campus spends $1 billion and could be exposing 5,000 workers to cancer-causing chemicals. THAT’S NOT RIGHT. EVERYBODY’S GOT A RIGHT TO LIVE! It’s time for a pandemic pivot! We need childcare, not warfare. We need a moral revival. MOVE THE MONEY!