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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Right Wing ‘Astroturf’ Group Training Thousands to Run for School Boards in Fight Against ‘Socialist Brainwashing’

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FreedomWorks, the astroturf organizing and advocacy group​, is among the right-wing organizations spreading fear of ​the teaching of the racial history of the United States ​to motivate conservative activists to run for school board seats nationwide.

​Such right-wing fearmongering is framed around the term ​”critical race theory​,” ​an academic framework for analyzing systemic racism. Right-wing activists, religious-right groups, and Republican political operatives have spent the past year using inflammatory, red-baiting claims about critical race theory to fan fears and racial resentments among conservative parents and justify laws banning schools from exploring racism in American history, institutions, and culture.

Right Wing Watch recently reported on the right-wing Leadership Institute’s project to help candidates “take over” local school boards by running campaigns focused on ​their conception of critical race theory. FreedomWorks, a group funded by corporate interests and right-wing foundations, has its own operation to encourage right-wing takeovers of local school boards.

In an email sent to its supporters Wednesday, FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon said the group has held 66 events in 10 states, training ​more than 2,000 activists and recruiting candidates to run for school board. The group’s “Parents Know BEST” initiative is also nearing completion of a six-week online “academy” to train people to run school board campaigns.

The Wednesday email charges that “leftists” are trying to shut down FreedomWorks’ efforts “so they can have free reign to indoctrinate children with their Marxist ideology.” The group wants to get right-wing activists elected to school boards where “they can take direct action to root out CRT and any other left-wing indoctrination.”

In a “Stop Socialist Brainwashing Survey” sent to supporters via text message this week, FreedomWorks asked a series of loaded questions about critical race theory before asking for money to “continue mobilizing the nation’s largest grassroots network to STOP the far-Left’s Socialist Brainwashing schemes.”

For example, the survey asserts, “According to Critical Race Theory, shredding the Constitution, the rule of law, and teaching children to hate everything that’s made the United States the greatest and freest nation in human history is the only way to ‘fix’ America’s supposed ‘systemically racist’ institutions.” It then asks:

Do you OPPOSE teaching children that the only way to “fix” America is to hate everything that’s made the U.S. the greatest and freest country in human history, and to transform our Republic into a socialist “utopia?”

FreedomWorks is also mobilizing opposition to federal voting rights legislation and raising money to help Republicans win a majority in the House of Representatives in 2022 by targeting 21 Democratic representatives in districts won by Donald Trump in 2016 and exploiting upcoming Republican-controlled redistricting efforts that Brandon hopes could make a couple dozen additional Democratic members more vulnerable.

 

This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Watch: Garland Destroys GOP Congressman’s False Suggestion His School Board Memo Calls Parents Terrorists

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U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland Thursday morning was forced to respond to repeated Republican false claims about his memo directing the DOJ to hold “discussions” with local leaders about threats of violence made against school board members, and several times had to push back hard against false accusations made by GOP Congressmen.

Franklin Graham, Stephen Miller, and countless others on the right for weeks have been falsely claiming that Garland has ordered DOJ to investigate parents merely for opposing school board decisions, mostly on mask mandates and what they claim is “critical race theory.”

U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) on Wednesday during a Judiciary Committee hearing falsely suggested Garland was calling parents’ challenging school boards domestic terrorists.

“One example of a so-called terrorist incident was a parent, merely questioning whether school board members had earned their high school diplomas. Now that might have been rude, but does that seem like an act of domestic terrorism that you or your Justice Department ought to be investigating?” Chabot asked.

“Absolutely not,” Garland replied. “And I want to be clear the Justice Department supports and defends the First Amendment right of parents to complain as vociferously as they wish, about the education of their children, about the curriculum taught in the schools. That is not what the memorandum is about at all, nor does it use the words ‘domestic terrorism’ or ‘Patriot Act.’ Like you, I can’t imagine any circumstance in which the Patriot Act would be used in the circumstances of parents complaining about their children, nor can I imagine a circumstance where they would be labeled as domestic terrorism.”

As NCRM has previously reported, school board members and educators in at least nine states this year have been targeted with threats, death threats, and often racist death threats, including in Virginia, Arizona, Connecticut, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Vermont, according to local news reports.

Ironically, it was Congressman Chabot who, a decade ago, was legitimately accused of violating the First Amendment when his staffers directed local police to confiscate video cameras at the Congressman’s town hall event, held in a public school.

Chabot, ruffled and rebuffed by Garland’s response, decided to end the inquiry there.

“Thank you I’m nearly out of time.”

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Flustered Jim Jordan Just Can’t Seem to Remember When or How Many Times He Talked to Trump on Jan. 6

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U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), speaking before the House Rules Committee Wednesday appeared flustered and agitated when asked if he had talked to Donald Trump on January 6.

Jordan began by delivering a rambling, angry, lie-filled speech revealing he is far more angry about the investigation into the attack on American democracy than the actual attack on democracy.

The fast-talking Ohio GOP Congressman spewed a cornucopia of right wing talking points, including attacking the Biden administration in his remarks as the “worst administration in history.”

But his tune changed when he was asked questions.

“If you could just, for the record, was it before, during or after the attack –” Jordan was asked by Chairman Jim McGovern (D-MA).

“I talked to the president after the attack,” Jordan interrupted.

“So not before or during?” McGovern asked to confirm.

“Right,” Jordan agreed.

“Okay, and you –” McGovern continued before being interrupted by Jordan.

“And I have been clear about that. But here, let me ask you a question, you brought up January 6 –” Jordan continued, attempting to flip control of the questioning.

He was not successful.

“But, but my understanding is that you said to a reporter from Politico that you spoke to him during, so, it’s now after the attack?”

“During? No, I didn’t speak to the president during the attack,” Jordan insisted.

“So you admitted to speaking to the former president on January 6 the same day you voted to overturn the election,” McGovern concluded.

In July Jordan told Rolling Stone he talked to Trump on January 6 “countless times” but refused to reveal the content or time of those calls. He also told Spectrum News:

“Uhh, I’d have to go— I spoke with him that day after … I think after?” he stammered. “I don’t know if I spoke with him in the morning or not. I just don’t know. I don’t know when those conversations happened. I know that I spoke with him all the time.”

A simple review of his telephone records would make determining when he spoke to Trump much easier.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Coup Memo’ Think Tank Encouraging ‘Secession-by-Sheriff’ With Latest Project: Report

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A right-wing Claremont Institute is undermining law and order and encouraging secession one county at a time.

The think tank, where coup memo author John Eastman remains a member in good standing, is weaponizing “patriotic law enforcement officers” with its new “Sheriff’s Fellowship” that ties together conservative anger over Black Lives Matter protests, COVID-19 lockdowns and Donald Trump’s election loss to bring so-called “Constitutional Sheriffs” into the mainstream, reported The Bulwark’s Charlie Sykes.

“Our nation’s conservative movement needs a countervailing network of uncorrupted law enforcement officials,” the think tank announced. [We need sheriffs] “not beholden to bureaucratic masters, and whose geographic boundaries, jurisdictional latitude, and — most important — direct connection and responsibility to citizens, places them on the frontlines of the defense of civilization.”

The plan sounds a lot like the Constitutional Sheriffs movement, which has infiltrated law enforcement agencies around the country with specious claims borrowed from the sovereign citizen movement that places the county sheriff as the “highest legitimate law enforcement” in the U.S. and claims they have authority to determine which laws are constitutional.

“Think of it as militias with badges, guns, and formal law enforcement powers,” Sykes wrote. “Or, if you like, secession-by-sheriff.”

Trump and his administration encouraged the sheriffs’ movement and openly backed leading figures such as Arizona’s Joe Arpaio and Wisconsin’s David Clarke, and former attorney general Jeff Sessions praised the “Anglo-Saxon heritage” of the office — which the Claremont Institute also did in a recent fundraising letter.

“The current revolution against the American regime, involving as it does both crime and political malfeasance, requires a coordinated response from patriotic law enforcement officers,” the letter reads. “Sheriffs are appropriate for this response. Since their beginnings as ‘shire-reeves’ (‘county watchmen’) centuries ago in England, sheriffs have been intimately connected with, and answerable to, the people of their “shires” and therefore the first layer of protection, and last line of defense, for the people’s rights.”

Another Arizona sheriff, Pinal County’s Mark Lamb, has emerged as a leading figure among militia-minded right-wing sheriffs who are loyal to Trump and supportive of the Jan. 6 insurrection.

“If Claremont gets its way, there will be sheriffs like Joe Arpaio, David Clarke, and Mark Lamb all across the country,” Sykes wrote. “You are not worried nearly enough about what that might mean.”

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