John Birch Society Is BACK BABY, And They're ... Trying To Block Entrances To Your Kid's School!
There used to be a time when we could look back on certain less savory parts of history and go, "Wow, those people were nutso, good thing we've evolved past that!" We haven't been able to do that for a number of years, as Trumpism and its adjacent belief systems brought back basically every instinct that many of us had thought were in the dustbin of history for good. The Satanic Panic; blatant anti-Semitism; freaking out about immigrants; white nationalist nonsense like the Great Replacement. Given the way things are going, it's almost hard to believe that no one has started decorating their house with arsenic wallpaper or covering themselves in leeches. One of the terrible "we're supposed to know better now!" things that is making a comeback? The John Birch Society.
While it seems they never actually went away entirely, despite having mostly morphed into a shorthand way of suggesting someone is totally paranoid about something there is no reason to be paranoid about, they are now trying to make a full on comeback — as anti-masking activists. Oh boy, who could have seen that coming?
Kelly Weill at the Daily Beast reports that the JBS, which is apparently made up of actual people and not just a bunch of ghosts wailing "Martin Luther King is a communist!" from beyond the veil, has been hosting anti-mask events, trying to gain a foothold in today's paranoia market. Apparently, they are quite excited because they think this could actually lead to the anti-mask parents joining them in their crusade to end public schooling forever.
Via Daily Beast:
On a sunny Saturday in a Knoxville, Tennessee park, a man with a microphone told a crowd of parents to bar entry to their children's schools.
"Starting Monday morning and until this is over, we need to bring Knox County schools to a screeching halt," he said to applause. He called on parents, students, and staff to participate. "We have a moral obligation to our children's future. Block the entrance to the school with your car. That's my suggestion. Block the entrance to the drive—don't even let a bus in your schools. If you can be that bold in your groups, do it."
Although that sounds like pretty much your boilerplate anti-mask nonsense, the event, "Parents in the Park," was organized and hosted by the JBS.
While the man was indeed a member of the JBS, a spokesman for the organization, Paul Dragu, insists that they don't actually want anyone to block the entrance to public schools, they just want children to stop going to them entirely.
"While we disagree with all mask mandates, we do not endorse blocking schools or impeding anyone's ability to access them in any way," Dragu said. "The official JBS stance is that instead of struggling against public schools, parents should immediately abandon them altogether."
That is certainly one way to go.
The JBS YouTube account, which has a shocking 85.1 thousand followers, is filled with videos with titles like "Bidens New World Order Agenda!" and "Installing the New World Order" and "COVID'S Lies Push People To Action," because apparently the virus is a sentient being now. There is a whole series on the Illuminati and what those rascals been up to for the past several hundred years.
Yes, it is killing me that I have to wait until after work to watch every single one of these.
The JBS has also used the anti-mask movement to push for an end to democracy all together.
"You've probably experienced some of this same rhetoric as you going about doing what used to be mundane weekly chores like shopping, which have suddenly turned into a nightmare scenario of having to don a mask in order to play the theatrical part that the overall community of do-gooders wants you to do, all without a care or thought to what this usurpation of powers will lead to in the future," [JBS CEO Bill] Hahn said in the video. He went on to describe mask requirements as a nefarious symptom of democracy.
"This is what democracy looks like," he said, "a majority sweeping away the rights of the minority."
The John Birch Society, for the record, did not have much of a problem with a "a majority sweeping away the rights of the minority" during the Jim Crow era.
It's almost odd that the John Birch Society did not make a bigger comeback during the Trump Era, given how many of the MAGA movement's theories and ideas about things were straight up JBS propaganda from 50 years ago, and all the screaming they've been doing about communism lately. They've got some serious competition now in the form of Prager U, The Federalist, Alex Jones, Epoch Times, OAN and all of the other rightwing people and groups out there trying to make people afraid of communists, critical race theorists, and epidemiologists under their beds.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse