Ron White is ready to rally the troops.
Usually that means the armed forces, a cause the comedian backs through his support of the Armed Forces Foundation that aids wounded soldiers. This time it means Columbus High School students.
White said that if students and others who support ousted Columbus High principal Marvin Crumbs hold a rally while he’s here April 28 to perform at the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, he’d like to be invited to say a few words.
Muscogee Superintendent Susan Andrews reassigned Crumbs to the central office as punishment for his showing teachers a clip of White’s “Can’t Fix Stupid” routine during an April 9 faculty meeting, prompting complaints about White’s references to women’s breasts.
That got White’s attention. Now it’s giving him material, he said today in a telephone interview: He’ll have some fun with that during his Columbus gig.
“I don’t think we have these kind of guys to spare,” he said of Crumbs. “I don’t think you can fire them for nothing and get somebody in there that the student body’s passionate about. I mean, good lord, if they want him to be their principal, let him be their principal. He has no past record of anything except superior service for these kids, in a time where a lot of educators are just not that good at making a connection with these kids. But this guy obviously does. You’ve got to have a better reason than that to let somebody like this go. That’s just sloppy, sloppy school management, and I’d like to make my opinion heard.”
So he’s up for an extra excursion, if an event for Crumbs happens while he’s here, he said: “I would like there to be a rally while I’m there, and just let me get up and say a few things.”
He already has one outing on his schedule, he said: He’ll go out to Fort Benning to meet some soldiers and shoot footage for an upcoming TV special to benefit the Armed Forces Foundation.
He’s been involved in the charity for years, and can’t forget an early visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he saw what the war in Afghanistan has wrought.
“That day I remember distinctly talking to this guy that was holding his 2-year-old daughter in the only limb he had left,” White recalled. “I went outside and just cried. These guys were so brave in the face of these injuries, and just wanted back in the fight. And most of the stories were the same: Most of them got blown up, and most of the time they were the only one that lived in this vehicle that was being driven. So they had just had all their friends die, and they are blown the f—k apart.”
The foundation helps make up for any government support that falls through, without a lot bureaucracy, he said: “This is six people in one office. They have a low overhead operation, and anything they do is to the benefit of these soldiers.”