In media news today, ESPN’s Sage Steele gets pulled off air after knocking the company’s vaccine mandate, a new study suggests that Critical Race Theory is infiltrating America’s 25 most elite private K-12 schools, and Hillary Clinton announces a new fiction book
MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House” featured a panel on Tuesday that suggested recent parent protests at school board meetings are being motivated and infiltrated by White supremacists.
Guest host Jason Johnson spoke with former FBI agent and MSNBC analyst Clint Watts on Attorney General Merrick Garland’s recent memo directing the Department of Justice and the FBI to begin investigating threats of violence against school board members.
“Attorney General Merrick Garland is stepping in, marshaling the FBI in response to what he called a, quote, disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence. Garland directing federal authorities to hold strategy sessions in the next 30 days with law enforcement to confront the scourge,” Johnson said.
This followed several months of contentious exchanges between parents and school officials over mask mandates and critical race theory teachings.
However, Johnson suggested a “sort of underlying disruptive forces, White nationalists, anarchists” that are using these issues to “wage chaos.”
“To me, is this really about people being upset about mask mandates or are there sort of underlying disruptive forces, White nationalists, anarchists, whatever, in this country, that are using mask mandates and a public health crisis to sort of wage chaos?” Johnson asked.
Attorney General Merrick Garland announces a lawsuit to block the enforcement of a new Texas law that bans most abortions, at the Justice Department in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Watts agreed with the sentiment, adding some connection to the January 6 Capitol protests.
“It is anything involving the local level, and if I can say anything since January 6th, the protests and the mobilizations to violence have gone from national to local,” Watts said.
Johnson also spoke with former U.S. attorney Joyce Vance who argued that the school board protests are a result of “White supremacist ideology.”
“We have not only this eruption, this not so much an eruption but a normalization of some of the White supremacist ideology that we’ve seen emerging and some of the conspiracy theories that we’ve seen emerging, we also have a country that, to be honest, is not at its best mental health-wise, 18 months into a pandemic, and those issues are crashing together now. That’s very much what we’re seeing,” Vance said.
She also defended the teaching of critical race theory and feared that protests could affect whether it is taught in schools.
People talk before the start of a rally against “critical race theory” (CRT) being taught in schools at the Loudoun County Government center in Leesburg, Virginia on June 12, 2021. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / GETTY) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
“It certainly has spun out in some areas with bans on teaching Critical Race Theory, which of course impacts the work that both you and I do and helps us understand how policy developed in the wake of American racism and what we can do to improve policy in the future as school boards are challenged, for instance, over issues of whether critical race theory can be taught in our schools,” Vance said.
Garland’s memo faced a wave of backlash from parents criticizing the decision to label them as “domestic terrorists.” Garland also faced scrutiny after his ties to a critical race theory consultant group.