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.
Evangelical anti-LGBTQ activist and former Trump advisor Franklin Graham this week jumped on the right wing conspiracy theory that wrongly claims the U.S. Dept. of Justice is investigating parents who merely attend school board meetings to voice their “strong opinions.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland, responding to a request by a nationwide association of school board members urging protection in the face of the rising threats of violence, announced the FBI will investigate anyone who makes a threat against school board members, educators, and staff, citing the “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence.”
“Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation’s core values,” Garland wrote, noting “criminal conduct” will be investigated.
Franklin Graham, twisting the very clear memo the DOJ released, declared that investigating parents who share their opinions at school board meetings is “communism.”
And he injected his own anti-LGBTQ hatred in his attack, on a topic that’s rarely being discussed these days at school board meetings.
“It’s an ominous sign when the government uses its power to try and silence the voice of the people,” Graham told his 9.7 million Facebook followers. “That’s how communism works.”
“Anyone who speaks against communism or the goals of communism becomes the enemy. And we’re seeing this happen right in our own country. The Biden Administration, which bows to the radical progressive left, would like to silence parents who voice strong opinions against critical race theory and trans radicalism at school board meetings. Unbelievably, the National School Boards Association asked that parent protests at school board meetings be treated as possible acts of ‘domestic terrorism.’ This tactic of intimidation is meant to silence parents with views the Left doesn’t agree with,” Graham said, mischaracterizing the DOJ’s very clear memo.
As NCRM has previously reported, conservatives have spent months organizing and training “grassroots” activists to bombard school board meetings to oppose mask mandates and “critical race theory.” At least one former Trump administration official is involved behind the scenes, and Christopher Rufo, the right wing activist who admitted his goal was to twist critical race theory to mean anything “crazy” the right wants it to also mischaracterized Garland’s order, once against igniting outrage on the right.
“We cannot let the government take over the parenting of our children. School boards and schools should educate, not indoctrinate,” Graham declared. “If anti-woke, anti-socialism, anti-communism citizens like us do not speak up, get involved, and take a stand to preserve what we have in this country, it will disappear right before our eyes—in just one generation.”
MSNBC’s Zerlina Maxwell covered the rise in violent threats against school boards on Thursday, saying: “Individual school board members are getting death threats.”
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John Eastman Will Face Charges if Continues ‘Frivolous Argument’ Against Capitol Riot Probe: Adam Schiff
John Eastman, the far-right lawyer who authored Trump’s “coup memo,” announced on Friday that he would be defying a subpoena from the House January 6 Committee.
Appearing on CNN later in the day, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) made clear that Eastman is free to plead the Fifth if he has a good-faith reason to fear he could incriminate himself — but that doesn’t entitle him to a free pass to ignore investigators.
“Eastman says the partisan makeup of the committee, he says makes it invalid and doesn’t need to cooperate,” said anchor Wolf Blitzer. “What do you say to that?”
“Well, that was a frivolous argument,” said Schiff. “If he uses that as a basis to refuse to answer questions, he will be in contempt of the committee, simple and straightforward. So we’ll be seeing with each witness… whether they’re properly invoking a privilege or to stall and delay for the former president, and will make the judgment as to what the repercussions should be once we see and hear the testimony.”
Newsmax Host Falsely Attacks Biden and Entire Democratic Party for Declaring ‘War on Christianity’
A host on the far right wing cable and streaming TV channel Newsmax has declared the entire Democratic Party, including its devoutly-Catholic President, has “declared war,” not on just Christmas, but on “Christianity” itself. That would be extremely surprising to the majority of Democratic registered voters who self-identify as Christian.
The revelation of a “war on Christianity” comes in a wide-ranging attack on the left from the Newsmax host Friday morning, who decided to attack the White House’s highly-praised Christmas decorations this year, which were designed by First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.
“This week is about Christmas at the White House,” the host declared. “I love Christmas decorations. But this looks a little like a Carnival Cruise especially from an administration and political party as a whole that has declared war on Christianity for a while now.”
Newsmax host objects to the White House Christmas decorations because the administration “has declared war on Christianity” pic.twitter.com/7Rcb9JEAcK
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) December 3, 2021
‘What Wannabe Totalitarian, Fascist Dictators Do’: Alarm Over DeSantis Move to Form His Own ‘Personal Militia’
Critics are responding with alarm to news Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis is asking for millions of taxpayer funds to create his own militia force, separate from the existing National Guard.
CNN calls it “a World War II-era civilian military force that he, not the Pentagon, would control.” And while the law allows for the move, it was created “as a temporary force to fill the void left behind” when the state’s National Guard was deployed overseas, and “disbanded after the war ended.”
But the highly-controversial Florida Republican, seen as one of the top 2024 GOP presidential candidates, is also making clear his motives are a further escalation in his war of words against the Biden administration.
“DeSantis also said this unit, called the Florida State Guard, would be ‘not encumbered by the federal government.’ He said this force would give him ‘the flexibility and the ability needed to respond to events in our state in the most effective way possible.'”
For some reason, Ron Desantis now feels the need to create a state militia under his control. pic.twitter.com/q4EJUEGG4i
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) December 3, 2021
It’s also being seen as one more potential attack on science during the coronavirus pandemic era. All National Guard members must be vaccinated. DeSantis opposes all vaccine and mask mandates and has invited unvaccinated, fired police officers from others states to move to Florida – and offering them a $5000 payment.
Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, now a U.S. Congressman but running to unseat DeSantis, called DeSantis’ militia a “handpicked secret police” force.
No Governor should have his own handpicked secret police. https://t.co/BWEPhM5rHa
— Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) December 2, 2021
Perhaps one of the strongest warnings comes from SiriusXM Progress host Dean Obeidallah, who calls it “the beginning of a ‘Red Army’ as the GOP prepares for war.”
DeSantis also said this unit would be “not encumbered by the federal government.” In other words it would be Ron DeSantis personal militia. You know like political leaders in Iraq and Syria have. #TrumpsRedArmy https://t.co/rmZ93fa7mr
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) December 3, 2021
“The same Republicans who claim Jan 6 was not a terrorist attack but just a ‘tourist visit’ now tell us not to be concerned with Ron DeSantis forming a personal militia that he says will ‘not encumbered by the federal government,'” Obeidallah adds. “This is a Red Army!!!”
MSNBC’s Joy Reid likened the move to fascism, asking: “So… y’all know this is fascisty bananas, right…?”
Attorney and DeSantis critic Daniel Uhlfelder noted the governor’s “classic authoritarian move” on bringing his son to the announcement.
In a classic authoritarian move Ron DeSantis brought his young son to brag about announcement of his reinstatement of long defunct Florida state guard.
The Florida state guard would be under DeSantis’s sole power without any interference.
— Daniel Uhlfelder (@DWUhlfelderLaw) December 3, 2021
“More setting up for 2024 coup!” tweeted Amy Siskind, The New Agenda founder and author of The Weekly List.
Research and strategic communication CEO Fernand Amandi describes DeSantis’ move as “What wannabe totalitarian, fascist, authoritarian dictators do.”
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