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White GA Candidates Who Ratf*cked Black Lady's School Job Lose Elections Like Big Old Losers
That's right, it's a NICE TIME!
You might recall that ProPublica story back in June about how rightwing activists in Georgia mobilized a bogus panic over "critical race theory" to drive a Black woman, Cecelia Lewis, out of an administrative job with the Cherokee County School District last year. Lewis had never actually heard of the rightwing moral panic over CRT at the time she took the job. But the position had "diversity, equity and inclusion" in the job title, so clearly, the astroturf groups insisted, Lewis had to be a communist trying to brainwash little white kids into hating America and themselves. Lewis resigned before even starting the job.
Then, when Lewis was hired to supervise social studies teachers in neighboring Cobb County, the same crowd of rightwingers howled even more, because why would the schools hire this known Marxist that they had driven out of a job by lying about her? The school district bravely knuckled under to pressure, gave Lewis busywork that had nothing to do with teaching, and she left that job, too.
And now, the Nice Time we promised you with our headline: Three of the white people who'd organized to force Lewis out of her jobs lost their election bids in Georgia's June 21 primary runoff elections. Two lost elections for seats on the Cherokee County school board, and a third finally sort-of conceded Saturday that she'd lost a run for the Georgia House of Representatives, although she insisted the local board of elections had cheated her by not allowing a recount, even though she claimed to have evidence of serious "discrepancies" in the vote.
ProPublica reports that the two Cherokee County school board candidates, Sean Kaufman and Ray Lynch, were "defeated by wide margins " after running as part of a four-candidate slate that promised to make the school board much more conservative. (The other two members of the "4CanDoMore" slate lost their primary runs outright May 24, without getting enough votes to force a runoff against the incumbents.)
The third losing candidate, Noelle Kahaian, was a key figure in the effort to smear Lewis; she lost her bid for the state House by just 23 votes , just a hair over the half-percent margin that would have allowed her to request a recount. In a video po sted to Facebook Saturday, the day after the vote was certified, Kahaian complained that the elections board had completely ignored her requests for a recount on the basis of all the cheating she's sure happened, although she somehow managed to leave out the little detail about how the vote wasn't close enough to actually qualify for a recount. Instead, she suggested the elections board had "no intention of investigating" her evidence that she was ROBBED.
Curiously, Kahaian doesn't appear to have sued to have her compelling evidence of fraud examined in court, where it might get a less credulous reception than on Facebook.
At a spring 2021 meeting for concerned white parents who were upset about all the diversity and inclusion, which are extremely divisive, Kahaian explained how to make a big fuss at school board meetings, and to make sure to get good video "in case Tucker Carlson wants to put you on air." She also walked attendees through how they could harass schools by filing grievances against board members, and urged them to partner with "outside forces" to file public requests for emails and curriculum plans, in search of evidence of nasty nasty CRT and other "indoctrination."
Gosh, now Kahaian will have to settle for running her nonprofit, "Protect Student Health Georgia," which seeks to "educate on harmful indoctrination like comprehensive sexuality education (CSE), racially divisive theories, gender ideology, obscene materials" and to keep all that filth out of schools. It also encourages parents to anonymously submit evidence that innocent children are being indoctrinated, because there's always another teacher to smear.
Following the primary election runoffs, Cherokee County School District's chief comms officer, Barbara Jacoby, sent ProPublica a statement making clear that the rightwing activists who targeted Lewis
do not speak for our community, as was illustrated when their candidates failed in their recent attempt to win a majority on the School Board. We do not support hate, and we are deeply sorry for how Ms. Lewis and her family were treated by these members of our community.
Following June's ProPublica story on the harassment campaign aimed at ousting Lewis, one parent in a private Facebook group fretted, "Looks like we should prepare for antifa here in Cherokee County. I’m genuinely concerned for those names listed in that piece." As far as we can tell, none of those who hounded Lewis out of two jobs have received torrents of email calling them communists or accusing them of grooming kids. (No, we are not saying they should.)
And local parents who were sympathetic to Lewis are now cautiously optimistic that the bullies might keep losing. Mandy Marger, whose family moved to Cherokee County 10 years back, said, following the runoff,
The idea that groups who had such extreme views thought that they could grab a hold of our community was frightening [...] They made it very clear that those of us who did not align with them were going to have to stand up, and I’m really, really proud of our community — especially today — that we did.
So hooray for the good voters of Cherokee County and of state House District 117 for saying no to the extremists. Now all good Georgians need to do is turn out in droves this fall to throw out the rest of the loonies.
[ ProPublica ]