The battle to win control of school boards from the grip of racial indoctrinators is like Normandy Beach. Everything hangs on the outcome. Lose and a generation is lost.
The outcome will determine whether your children learn to see themselves and other people as individuals, instead of merely members of a racial group. Parents of all ethnicities who never dreamed of getting involved in politics need to step up now.
Parents are already outraged by the indoctrination their kids are getting in school. White kids are shamed as racists and oppressors. Black kids are taught to think of themselves as victims. And the nation’s history is being presented as something to despise.
When parents object to this brainwashing, school administrators respond with doubletalk, denying its “critical race theory,” and insisting schools just want to be inclusive and diverse.
That’s why it’s time to shift from complaining to fighting for control of local school boards. These boards hire superintendents, set policies and have the clout to stop critical race theory. Except in large cities, such as New York, school boards are where the power is.
In Loudon County, Virginia, parents are organizing to recall a majority of the school board. They’re distressed that teachers are mandated to take training in “systemic oppression and implicit bias.” One of the recall organizer’s explains that Loudon schools are focusing less “on individuals” and more on “identity groups and putting everybody into an identity box.”
Last month, parents in Smithtown Central School District on Long Island put up three school board candidates and swept all three races. Organizers said they acted to stop the school from promoting the 1619 project, which recasts America’s founding as driven by slavery, not the ideals of equality and liberty. Voter turnout was nearly triple the usual school board election.
In Southlake, a Dallas suburb, parents against divisive, race-conscious learning ran candidates committed to promoting the ideal of colorblind fairness. They won, too. Hannah Smith, one of the winning candidates, explained the outcome. “By a landslide,” she said, voters “don’t want racially divisive critical race theory taught to their children.”
Even so, capturing a school board isn’t a cakewalk. Unions have a grip on the process. Often candidates are union members, or their races are funded by union donations. In Fairport New York, a suburb of Rochester, two opponents of critical race theory lost in May to candidates supported by the teachers union.
In Oregon, Sonja McKenzie, vice president of the state’s School Boards Association, says she’s disturbed to see board races becoming hotly contested political events. “School board work is not political work. It is community work.”
Don’t buy that. Incumbents are posing as nonpartisan, but it’s a ruse. Teachers unions give 94% of their money to Democrats. School boards tend to be pro-union, pro-Democratic Party and in favor of critical race theory.
Last month in Oregon, Color PAC described its school board candidates as living “at the intersections of multiple intersecting oppressions.” Their divisive message is clear. Opposing them were parents like Maria Lopez-Dauenhauer, who wants unity. She lost her race.
But there’s help on the way. Last week, a national political action committee called the 1776 Project announced it would be supporting school board candidates battling critical race theory. That could even the playing field against unions.
In many places, the fight for school boards started with parents frustrated that teachers unions would not allow schools to reopen. In Eastchester, New York, Jonah Rizzo-Bleichman never thought he’d run for political office. But seeing that “hybrid learning” was “a disaster” for his daughter, he concluded that “someone had to step up to fight for reopening the schools.”
Now schools are open, but the stakes in the school board wars are even higher. Of course, schools should teach about America’s past failures, along with its triumphs, and probe racial injustice where it still exists. But of paramount importance, young people should learn that their character and deeds matter more than their race.
Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and author of "The Next Pandemic," available at Amazon.com. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @Betsy_McCaughey. To find out more about Betsy McCaughey and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.