It's Gonna Be Tea Party Summer All Over, But 'Critical Race Theory' Instead Of 'Death Panels'
Now that vaccination rates are leading to more things opening up again, Americans are eager to start traveling, going to the beach, seeing movies, and, for some, showing up at public forums and accusing fellow Americans of trying to destroy America through socialism, or whatever is the rightwing panic flavor of the month. Case in point: a meeting yesterday of the Loudoun County (Virginia) School Board, which featured a packed auditorium and a lot of shouting.
I’m at a Loudoun County school board meeting. Packed room. A debate over critical race theory in schools has divide… https://t.co/tgavd21nWu— amna (@amna)1623183879.0
Hooray, we're able to gather together again!
There have been a LOT of angry feels in Loudon County lately. An elementary PE teacher was suspended after insisting at a recent board meeting that his religious beliefs would prevent him from ever using a hypothetical trans student's preferred pronouns (a judge has now ordered the teacher reinstated). A group of parents wants a supposed "dirty novel" removed from ninth grade English classes, too.
And a whole bunch of parents are super aggrieved over what they're certain is the teaching of "critical race theory" in the schools, although the district's interim superintendent, Scott Ziegler, explained at a June 2 board meeting that the schools aren't teaching CRT to students. Rather, as the Washington Post reports, Ziegler has
explained that the school system is about two years into racial equity work spurred initially by a pair of high-profile reports that found widespread racism was imperiling Black and Hispanic students' progress in the county. In response, Loudoun produced a 22-page "Plan to Combat Systemic Racism" that called for developing alternative forms of discipline, hosting teacher trainings to foster "racial consciousness" and forbidding students from wearing the Confederate flag.
But no part of the plan involved teaching students critical race theory, Ziegler emphasized repeatedly[.]
To make matters worse, Ziegler noted that social media is full of images in which the school system's logo gets photoshooped onto various texts allegedly aligned with CRT, as "evidence" that innocent children are being taught all sorts of terrible things that aren't actually being taught. At yesterday's school board meeting, the board voted to hire Ziegler for the superintendent post full time, possibly because he's already been going around putting out these dumb culture war fires already.
Fox News and other rightwing media have been all in on the CRT nonsense, too, and some parents are trying to recall the entire school board because of all the CRT that's supposedly oppressing white kids. It probably doesn't help a hell of a lot that the county's racial equity program involves an approach labeled "culturally responsive teaching," because look at how that's abbreviated!
Big surprise: Discussions of the alleged anti-white propaganda that's supposedly running rampant in Loudon County schools have been remarkably short on actual examples of curricular materials telling little white kindygartners they're personally responsible for slavery.
At last night's board meeting, 121 members of the public signed up to speak, and they were ANGRY. The crowd was quite unhappy, if not quite able to point to specific materials or lesson plans they had a beef with.
Couldn’t even get through the first 30 minutes of comments without crowd yelling, interrupting, clapping, some boos… https://t.co/AA1VtMCHhY— amna (@amna)1623185318.0
One parent objected to the schools "training our children to be social justice warriors" and "to hate our country," and another said they would "fight to the bitter end ... if you teach my children that they are racist just because they're white." Again, if any of the parents actually had examples of that happening, we haven't seen them, although I'll confess that when I asked for examples in that Twitter thread, I was assured it was everywhere. I'll save you the details, which were mostly links to rightwing fulminations about CRT, and one guy who said the book White Fragility is a "CRT textbook," though he was a bit fuzzy on which schools it's being assigned in.
This is all very reminiscent of the 2009 Stupid Season, when Democratic members of Congress went home to hold town halls and were met by people screaming about death panels and Obamacare is Hitler and the like. With Fox News and the rest of the wingnuttosphere whipping up the moral panic, expect to hear a lot more about the evils of critical race theory, even though it's mostly just the same old Culture War blatherskite in a shiny new-panic wrapper. Also, it's Marxism, and how can you people sit there and defend Marxism? Are you going to let George Soros burn your city to the ground like he did Seattle and Portland, which are both now just miles of ash from horizon to horizon?
In conclusion, we are very glad that in many parts of the country, vaccination rates are making it safe to go out again, and if you don't mind, we're going to stay mostly at home just like we did before the lockdowns anyway.
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.