Black money drives today’s “concerned moms” attacking anti-racism in schools

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Just before the Nov. 2 election, in which Trump-backed Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the Virginia gubernatorial race with the help of 57 percent of white women, a right-wing black money group called the Independent Women’s Voice (IWV) spent thousands ads to promote its new attack website, ToxicSchools.org.

The site presents an outrageous 2016 Washington post big title: “McAuliffe veto bill allowing parents to block sexually explicit books in school. “But what the ad (and headline) obscured was the actual context of the resolution: The Republican bill was a response to a mother who sought to ban Toni Morrison revolutionary novel Beloved, a story about the trauma and resilience of black people in the decades following the end of slavery, due to a scene of sexual violence. Surprisingly, this would have made Virginia the first state in the country to allow parents to censor these textbooks.

Much of this story is not new. As Jenn Jackson observed in Vogue teens: Current events may be relatively silent on the role of women in white supremacy, but the story is quite boisterous. The indelible image of white mothers from Little Rock, Arkansas, heckling 15-year-old Elizabeth Eckford, the first of the Little Rock Nines to arrive on the day their public high school entered in 1957, may come to mind. In her historical account of the involvement of white women from the 1920s to the 1970s in efforts to stop school integration, Mothers of Massive Resistance, Elizabeth McRae calls these white women “constant gardeners of segregation.”

But there are also differences. Today’s “mothers of massive resistance” appear to represent an organic local uprising of “concerned parents,” but the outcry is fueled by black money groups like IWV.

Attacks on public school curricula can serve a number of purposes, including undermining teacher unions, promoting school privatization and impacting elections, like that of Virginia. They too evoke indignation among the most racist elements of the Republican base.

The proposed legislation banning discussions of systemic racism (which Republicans mistakenly present as “critical race theory”) could be sweeping, potentially banning pedagogically fundamental terms like “anti-racism,” ” diversity ”,“ patriarchy ”and“ whiteness ”of schools, as a bill that was recently passed by the Wisconsin legislature made.

Fabricated outrage at discussions of racism in schools is largely fueled by female-led astroturf groups, such as Parents Defending Education (which has deep links with the Koch network), Moms for freedom, No left turn in education, and the Free to Learn Coalition (funded by the Leonard Leo network, who orchestrated the stuffing of courts under Trump).

These astroturf groups are yet another reminder that the white nuclear family is one of the most powerful forces to reproduce white supremacy. It works in part through hoarding of resources, something even some liberals and progressive white women do when they declare their support for policies such as school desegregation and then refuse to send their white children to integrated schools. “Tracking”, the designation of separate routes for students based on academic results, sometimes called “The segregation of modern times”, is another way.

So how have right-wing women’s groups, funded by anonymous donors, come to play a disproportionate role in local school policy as concerned mothers?

As historian Nancy MacLean has show, men like economist James M. Buchanan and billionaire Charles Koch, who funded the Buchanan Center at George Mason University (whose impetus was Buchanan’s antipathy to school integration in Virginia), sought to intentionally hide the political nature of their libertarian-minded organizations. for decades.

The black money organizations spawned by Koch and other billionaires have since spread like a noxious and pervasive weed, from the Heritage Foundation to Americans for Prosperity to Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point USA. In recent years, this network has integrated women-led groups that provide “soft” cover to a deeply political agenda.

But don’t be fooled by the fact that there are women in front of you. The women who defend black money attacks on public schools today are serving a regressive political agenda, just as the women who tended the gardens of segregation did almost a century ago.


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