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Opinion: War on wrongthinkers comes for parents


Ben Weingarten

Federalist Senior Contributor; Claremont Institute Fellow


Disagreements at school board meetings are now in the eye of the nation’s top law enforcement agency. At the request of the National School Boards Association, the Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland sent a memo announcing it’s directing the Federal of Bureau of Investigations–yes, the FBI–to handle these so-called “threats of violence” which the NSBA calls “domestic terrorism”.

Really? We are using the FBI to investigate parents voicing concern about their children’s education? This is just another step in the Biden administration’s effort to silence those with a dissenting opinion.

The War on Wrongthink has now come for America’s parents, with the Federal Bureau of Investigations mobilizing against critics of Critical Race Theory—racial Marxism—in America’s schools.

That’s the sum and substance of a memorandum recently put out by Attorney General Merrick Garland that will have the effect of chilling countless Americans.

The memorandum seems to come in response to a letter by the National School Boards Association to President Joe Biden, which claims that school boards are coming under assault:

“Coupled with attacks against school board members and educators [the letter reads] for approving policies for masks to protect the health and safety of students and school employees, many public school officials are also facing physical threats because of propaganda purporting the false inclusion of critical race theory within classroom instruction and curricula.”

A dubious assertion to say the least.

The NSBA cites a handful of confrontations at school board meetings in states across the country to make this claim:

“As these acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials have increased, the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”

And it goes on to call the DOJ, FBI, Homeland Security, and other agencies to:

“…examine appropriate enforceable actions against these crimes and acts of violence under…[among other laws] the PATRIOT Act in regards to domestic terrorism.”

Let’s be clear about something. Violence and intimidation cannot be tolerated—we settle things through persuasion, not force. Something the left has a tendency to forget.

But as we’ll get to in a moment, this effort from the NSBA, now seemingly in cahoots with the Biden administration, actually aims to use force rather than persuasion to chill those who dissent from its favored policies—by threatening them with America’s most powerful law enforcement arm for daring to have a dissenting opinion. 

The NSBA letter tries to justify a domestic terrorism investigation into critics of mask and critical race theory policies while citing a series of disorderly school board meetings, and all of two arrests: one in which an Illinois man reportedly engaged in disorderly conduct at a meeting and while school officials tried to escort him out, struck an official, and another in which a Virginia man reportedly physically threatened someone and then “continued to be disorderly with the deputy” and resisted arrest.

This is domestic terrorism? Two arrests? Some confrontations? This is worthy of mobilizing the FBI—the kind of behavior you’d see from overzealous parents at a Little League game? 

Two arrests among thousands if not millions of Americans rejecting things like the indoctrination of their kids into a fundamentally un-American Marxist curriculum?

Well to the Biden administration this is a legitimate argument.

The DOJ memorandum, released several days after the NSBA letter, claims that:

“…there has been a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff who participate in the vital work of running our nation’s public schools.”


“The Department…is committed to using its authority and resources to discourage these threats, identify them when they occur, and prosecute them when appropriate. In the coming days, the Department will announce a series of measures designed to address the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel…”

“… I [AG Garland] am directing the Federal Bureau of Investigation, working with each United States Attorney, to convene meetings with…leaders in each federal judicial district within 30 days of the issuance of this memorandum. These meetings will facilitate the discussion of strategies for addressing threats against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff, and will open dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting, assessment, and response.”

Note that the DOJ doesn’t cite specific examples of the threat, or quantify it. It doesn’t demonstrate that there’s any precedent for this effort when it comes to our schools.

How could this possibly be the proper role of the FBI under AG Merrick Garland’s purview? How could it possibly give credence to the idea raised in the NSBA letter that this is potential domestic terrorism, worthy of this response? 

Senator Josh Hawley asked these types of questions of the Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. Her answers, were wanting:

Monaco: “As the Attorney General’s memorandum made quite clear, spirited debate is welcome, is a hallmark of this country.”

Hawley: “It didn’t make it quite clear.  It doesn’t define those terms, nor does it define harassment or intimidation… Harassment and intimidation, what do those terms mean in the context of a local school board meeting?… I’m not aware of anything like this in American history.  We’re talking about the FBI.  You’re using the FBI to intervene in school board meetings. This is extraordinary.”

Monaco: “Senator, I have to respectfully disagree.  That is not…”

Hawley: “Point me to an instance.”

Monaco: “The attorney general’s memorandum made quite clear that violence is not appropriate.  Spirited debate on a whole range of issues is absolutely what this country is all about.”

Hawley: “Then why is it being investigated?”

Monaco: “It is not.”

Let’s put what’s going on in context.

As I’ve argued, January 6th was used as a catalyzing event to smear, malign, and target tens of millions of Trump supporters, really anyone who’s not a progressive, as actual, or would-be terrorists, or terrorist sympathizers.

It justified the Biden administration’s National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism, which as detailed in a prior video, constituted the blueprint for a War on Wrongthinking Americans—for a war on Americans again ho dissented from the Ruling Class’s orthodoxy on a whole slew of issues, and therefore threatened its power and privilege.

The Biden administration has proceeded to cast as national security threats those skeptical of the integrity of the 2020 election, or critical of coronavirus policies, in national terrorism advisory bulletins.

It’s challenged states running election audits on grounds that they are somehow violating civil rights by investigating whether the right to vote was violated by fraud or corruption.

The administration has pressed Big Tech to censor communication on these and related topics on grounds of “dangerous” misinformation or disinformation—ignoring the fact that things they’ve flagged like on the lab leak theory proved not to be misinformation, and it’s because the ruling class has no monopoly on truth, nor do they have a monopoly on disputed matters that are purely subjective. And in fact, the authorities often get it wrong.

It’s only natural now that the Biden regime would target those who dissent from the prevailing orthodoxy on leftist indoctrination in schools.

They want a monopoly on children’s minds, on our speech, on election rules, and on what you put in your body.

And they classify as literal threats to life and limb anyone who would dare reject what they seek to impose.

This is the stuff of Third World police states. It has no place in America. And the only silver lining in this, is that hopefully, this will wake the Sleeping American Giant—the common sense, truly liberal, patriotic people of this great country—up.

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