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Missouri GOP hosts invite-only legislative hearing on race in schools without single Black speaker

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“That talks more to the kind of hearing that they wanted to have than the information that they wanted to gather,” he told journalists after the hearing. “They wanted to hear from their friends who were going to support their political talking points.”

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Republican Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin said she intended for the hearing of the Joint Committee on Education to feature parents who felt ignored when they raised concerns about critical race theory at their children’s schools. “I felt today it was important to hear from people who have tried to go through the official cycle of authority within their districts and have basically been turned away,” she told her peers.

O’Laughlin said an associate professor of Black history she invited decided not to testify but she’s “certain this won’t be the last conversation.”

Republicans throughout the country have been leading efforts to have critical race theory banned in public schools, but it’s worth noting the upper-level framework wasn’t being taught in many K-12 schools anyway. The GOP’s campaign has been about redefining critical race theory to mean anything remotely related to race, bias, or racism and having those topics banned. In Tennessee, a group of parents deemed author Robert Coles’ The Story of Ruby Bridges, a classic about a six-year-old girl’s work to integrate a New Orleans school in 1960, too closely aligned with critical race theory. In Texas, the Republican-led Senate is trying to push through the state legislature a bill no longer requiring teachers to teach Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream,” the emancipation proclamation, women’s suffrage, Native American history, and works by civil rights activists Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta—all deemed critical race theory. 

Republican state Sen. Mike Moon delivered a letter to the governor signed by 67 members of the Missouri General Assembly urging the governor earlier this month to issue an executive order banning critical race theory in schools as well as Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones’ “1619 Project.” The project correctly asserts that “no aspect of the country” has been “untouched by the years of slavery” that followed the first slave ship’s arrival to the coastal port of the English colony of Virginia in August of 1619.

“Since the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is within the Executive Branch of Missouri government, the governor has the power to exercise authority over the department,” Moon wrote in his letter. “I believe the destructive nature of this type of teaching demands immediate executive action until the Legislature can address it.”

Gov. Mike Parson tweeted his disapproval of critical race theory in a thread on Monday night. “Critical Race Theory (CRT) has no business being taught in Missouri classrooms – but the vast majority of our schools are not doing that,” he said. “Missouri schools are teaching diversity, equity and inclusion to help prepare our students for life and for the workforce by allowing them to better understand and respect each other’s differences. However, we do NOT need the extreme teachings of CRT in order to accomplish that goal.

“I believe in local control and our state has a long history of valuing local control, and that is why local schools districts have statutory authority over curriculum. Individual schools receive direct input from teachers and parents and know best how to address these topics,” Parson tweeted.

For many educators, this intense pushback on critical race theory is nothing more than a rejection of any history white supremacists don’t approve of. Rydell Harrison, a Connecticut superintendent, told NBC News he was resigning at the end of June. Harrison, a rare leader in the mostly white Easton, Redding, and Region 9 district, responded to demands to increase diversity efforts after George Floyd’s murder by actually increasing diversity efforts. But following his criticism of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in January, sentiments about his work changed, and local conservatives begin floating flyers questioning his work. “People have asked me, ‘Was it one flyer too many?’ And it wasn’t just this one thing,” Harrison said in a Facebook post. “It was the collection of all of these pieces and the emotional and personal toll to be a Black man doing this work and facing very blatant attacks left and right.”

RELATED: Fearmongers are driving quality educators away to advocate for lies about critical race theory

RELATED: Tennessee Republicans deem Ruby Bridges’ story critical race theory in effort to ban it in schools

RELATED: Texas governor aims to take ‘I Have a Dream’ speech out of schools, and that’s not all

RELATED: What if GOP pushed school ban on planes instead of critical race theory?


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News Roundup: New vaccine rules for federal workers; bipartisan infrastructure deal falls short

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In the news today: As COVID-19 cases continue to soar among unvaccinated Americans, President Joe Biden announced new vaccine requirements for federal workers, with a military vaccine mandate likely to follow. The Senate voted yesterday to begin debate on a “bipartisan” infrastructure plan. What’s the bipartisan part? That it’s less ambitious than needed and reeeeeally sketchy about its numbers. After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed the Biden administration doesn’t have the legal authority to unilaterally cancel student debt, advocates point out that the Higher Education Act very specifically says it does.

Here’s some of what you may have missed:


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Trump’s aides reportedly fretting over his potential toxic touch in future endorsements

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The latest? Trump laid his bam on a candidate in Tuesday’s special House election in Texas, and that candidate—Susan Wright, the widow of Rep. Ron Wright, who previously held the seat—lost. Convincingly. And now Trump’s aides and assorted hangers-on are starting to show just a wee bit of panic.

Politico:

Now, Trump and his advisers are trying to figure out what Wright’s defeat means for them — and how to contain any damage. Her loss Tuesday night sent shockwaves through the former president’s inner circle. Many privately concede the pressure is on them to win another special election next week in Ohio, where a Trump-backed candidate is locked in a close primary.

Yes, the Eye of Sour-Don now alights on Ohio, where another nail in Trump’s big, gilded, tricked-out King Tut loser coffin is being teed up as we speak. In Ohio’s special House election, Trump has backed coal lobbyist Mike Carey—because if you’re going to back losers, you might as well back losers from waning, has-been, loser industries like coal production.

Needless to say, the Trump team is currently on tenterhooks in advance of that election, because a Carey loss would allow Trump’s detractors to affix another big red loser stamp on Trump’s flaky, flop-sweaty forehead. More importantly, it might allow some of the nontrue believers in his party to finally spit out their ball gags. 

Politico:

Advisers worry that a second embarrassing loss would raise questions about the power of Trump’s endorsement — his most prized political commodity, which candidates from Ohio to Wyoming are scrambling to earn before next year’s midterms. More broadly, losses could undermine his standing in the Republican Party, where his popularity and influence has protected Trump’s relevance even as a former president barred from his social media megaphones.

While we should all root against Trump’s candidate next week, it’s important to note that Trump has never actually been a superstar endorser. His continued influence over his party and its elected officials is indisputable, but there’s plenty of reason to believe he cherry-picks his candidates in order to cultivate a phony winner’s veneer.

As CNN’s Chris Cillizza (I know, I know) noted in his July 28 column, Trump’s reputation as a kingmaker is, at the very least, exaggerated. Noting that Trump’s endorsement record is 141-42 in general elections, 3-2 in special elections, and 21-2 in battleground primaries, Cillizza writes:

In general elections, Trump has always padded his stats by endorsing lots and lots of incumbents who face almost zero chance of losing. Trump did a LOT of this in the 2020 cycle. For example, he endorsed Rep. James Comer in Kentucky’s 1st district; Comer won with 75% in a seat that Trump won by almost 50 points. No one thought Comer was losing. Trump’s endorsement had nothing to do with that fact. 

And, yes, as Cillizza acknowledges, Trump’s endorsement record in primaries is very good, but it won’t help the Republican Party much if he backs dozens of slavering sycophants and Q-weirdos in contested primaries only to see them flame out in their general elections. And, regardless, the scuttling of Trump’s preferred candidate on Tuesday shows he’s vulnerable, even when it comes to primary candidates (though, granted, he may not be not quite as vulnerable in exclusively Republican primaries).

Politico:

Unlike the Texas election, where voters from both parties were allowed to vote, the Ohio contest is a Republican primary. Trump allies say that means it will be a purer test of his ability to shape GOP nomination contests. At the same time, they argue that the more conservative nature of the race increases the odds that Trump’s endorsed candidate will be successful.

Some Republicans contend that Tuesday’s loss highlights a trend in Trump’s post-presidency: His endorsement doesn’t carry as much weight as when he was in office. After being kicked off social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, Trump has been forced to promote his endorsement largely through email blasts.

Aww, so sad.

I used to want Trump to shut up and go away forever. For one thing, he sounds like a glitchy jet engine sucking in the cast of The Jersey Shore. And I’ve had enough lies for one lifetime. But I happen to believe it’s in our best interest if he stays in the game. He’ll keep picking nonviable candidates and pushing the GOP further into Bonkersville, and his constant harping about election fraud will likely—as happened in the Georgia Senate runoff elections—depress turnout among his own base, many of whom already neglect to show up when Trump’s not on the ballot.

So keep talkin’, Loser Man. And keep hosting your Loser-paloozas. I can almost see the stink lines wafting off your stable of candidates, and it’s beautiful to behold.

It made comedian Sarah Silverman say “THIS IS FUCKING BRILLIANT” and prompted author Stephen King to shout “Pulitzer Prize!!!” (on Twitter, that is). What is it? The viral letter that launched four hilarious Trump-trolling books. Get them all, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Just $12.96 for the pack of 4! Or if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE.


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Black woman’s travels with white adoptive sister end in police questioning

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Bailey told the news station that officers also questioned her mom and a social worker before following them to baggage claim. “The whole time they were talking with us, people kept staring at us, whispering and stuff,” Bailey said.

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She said it’s clear that she was racially profiled. “If the roles were changed and it was a white person walking off the plane with a Black person, like a Black child, I feel like things would be different,” Bailey said.

Frontier Airlines issued this statement to The Denver Channel:

”A concern was raised during the flight by another passenger who was sitting near the woman and child and suspected human trafficking. That passenger approached the flight crew with those concerns and subsequently completed a written report during the flight to document her observations. The captain was notified and felt an obligation to report the matter. Air travel is one of the most common means for human trafficking. Race played no part in the actions of the flight crew who were following established protocols”

Bailey said she and her family are considering suing the airline. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump tweeted on Tuesday: “After a flight, law enforcement accused Lakeyjanay Bailey of human trafficking her 4yo white sister, Olivia, & demanded to speak w/ their mother & a social worker to confirm their relationship! This traumatic experience shouldn’t have happened!”

Bailey’s experience, though frustrating, is unfortunately not unusual. Keia Jones-Baldwin, a Black North Carolina therapist, told The Today Show in 2019 she was accused of kidnapping her white son Princeton, who she was in the process of adopting. Jones-Baldwin was having car trouble and decided to knock on a local resident’s door when she said the person who answered the door called the police and accused her of stealing both the car and the child. She was again accused of kidnapping while vacationing with her family in Tennessee. Jones-Baldwin had decided to do a Western photoshoot. “The girl behind the camera would disappear and then come back. Finally she asked, ‘Is that your baby?’” Jones-Baldwin said. “I told her he was. Then she said, ‘I just took picture of this baby with his family two weeks ago.’”

The incident actually led to the authorities being called and Jones-Baldwin being made to show a custodial document proving she had permission to travel with her son. “We get a lot of stares,” Jones-Baldwin said. “I’m frequently asked if I’m Princeton’s babysitter … I get, ‘Why didn’t you let him stay with a family of his own race?’”

Her answer to the question was simple. “I don’t look at family as blood,” she said. “I look at family as love. When Princeton came into our lives, he came into our hearts.”

RELATED: A white man complained about Muslim woman on flight, launching 6-hour ordeal


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