How about some optimistic news? These right-wing idiots have become caricatures of themselves, fulminating over the most absurd and trivial things, and believing that they are justified in radical action against fundamental American ideals, like schools and libraries. Stories about school board meetings where some angry nitwit stands up to rant about the “wokes” are commonplace, like this one in Florida.
At the meeting, right-wing parents and a minority of the school board amplified the usual attacks: Pornography in classrooms, indoctrination, wokeness. Watching them, it was impossible to avoid the sense that they were relishing every second of the tumult they’ve unleashed.
At the meeting, Shannon Rodriguez — a favorite of the right wing Moms for Liberty that led the attack on the Disney movie episode — kept robotically repeating phrases like “woke ideologies” and “woke agenda,” not even slightly disturbed by any sense of obligation to define their meaning. She proudly brandished her solidarity with boycotts of Bud Light and Disney as a badge of anti-woke heroism. Another conservative parent practically shouted, “You have awakened the entire alpha male blood of this country!”
It’s all fury for the sake of fury — they’re getting high on their own outrage. It has an effect, though. Fifty teachers in Hernando County, where this meeting took place, are resigning (come to Minnesota, we’d love to have you here). Ron DeSantis is basically destroying the educational infrastructure of the state, all in the name of stoking that moronic subset of the population that vote for him, and there are signs that the citizens are waking up.
But the real story of the night was the response. Again and again, parents and students forcefully defended teachers. They cast the right’s attacks, the censoring of educators and the removal of books as the real threats to education.
“War on woke?” one student said pointedly. “More like war on your children’s future.”
“It’s me and my fellow students who are feeling the effects of this,” said a second student. A third said the removal of books from classrooms is what’s really “indoctrinating students.”
Things like this are happening all over. As Sarah Jones of New York magazine reports, liberal parents in states as far-flung as New York, North Carolina and Montana are organizing local groups, pressuring school boards and running for office to challenge the right’s education takeover.
We can’t get too over-confident, though. Keep in mind that Hernando County elected DeSantis with a 41 point margin, and would probably re-elect him if a vote were held today. It would probably be by a smaller margin, though, and that’s where we are at — we need to keep chipping away, pointing out how incompetent and destructive the Right has been, and try to get incremental advantages that weaken them.