2020 Man of the Year: JustSomeDude187

Illiteracy remains one of the foremost public policy challenges in the United States. While most people are aware of the plight of disadvantaged youths without access to a decent education, there is also a crisis of adult illiteracy—a crisis that, surprisingly, reaches all the way up to famous, credentialed public figures.

Figures like CNN's Chris Cuomo.

The scion of New York's most powerful political family, a Yale alumnus, and a CNN primetime anchor, Cuomo nevertheless faces a daily struggle to read. In June, he even broadcasted his disability to viewers of Cuomo Prime Time.

"Please, show me where it says protesters are supposed to be polite and peaceful," declared the law-school graduate, in an apparent plea to have the 45 words of the First Amendment read to him. Tragically, our hollowed-out institutions of higher education have reached a level of deterioration where some students have been walking the halls hiding the embarrassing truth that they are functionally illiterate.

But just as our communities deal with illiteracy hiding in plain sight, selfless educators are also working to reverse these sobering trends. Internet personality JustSomeDude187 is one such hero, as this instructional video proved:

@justsomedude187someone should let them know about the amendments♬ original sound - J-Dizzle

Our dude intuitively comprehended the need to boil reading down to the barest essentials to raise up those at the bottom. As teacher effectiveness has plummeted in the era of "remote learning," this simple clarity is a model for teachers who refuse to give up on students who seem hopelessly lost.

From Al Sharpton to Joe Biden, many in high positions have illustrated the need for constant vigilance in the battle for literacy. It's a battle that won't end any time soon, but that just makes those on the front lines all the more indispensable.

Most American teachers bailed in 2020, but JustSomeDude187 rose to the challenge. For that, he is a Washington Free Beacon Man of the Year.

Published under: Chris Cuomo