When Gov. Youngkin signed his flurry of Day One executive orders, most of the focus and outrage and legal battles centered around EO#2 (essentially stripping local school boards from their ability to make decisions on mask-wearing in a pandemic). The legal battles were going well until the VA Legislature passed SB739 during the 2022 legislative session, essentially crippling most of the legal arguments against the EO.
The next battle was looming and is now under way with EO#1, as the Superintendent of Public Instruction (Jillian Balow) has submitted her interim 30-day report on the dog-whistle “inherently divisive concepts” referred to in Youngkin’s executive order, which is rescinding or making unusable all progress in anti-racist education and equity-based guidance that the Department of Education instituted while Democrats controlled the Governorship and both houses of the general assembly.
This is a clear case of white people’s continued comfort being more important than Black and brown people’s continued existence. A very vocal minority of Virginia parents had issues this past November with “CRT” (which is really just a bogeyman that allows that vocal minority to argue that any talk of racial inequity is a direct attack on white people). The reality though, is that a poll released by Christopher Newport University’s Wason Center just two days before the release of this report showed that 63% of Virginia’s supported “teaching how racism continues to impact American society today.” The very thing these equity programs seek to teach our children!
We have yet another example of how the GOP is trying to pull our country further and further to the right, even in the face of polls suggesting the majority of the country is actually progressive.
Elections have consequences.
This will be a non-stop battle in Virginia for the next four years that will not stop at the higher levels of government in the commonwealth. I am running for school board this year in Chesapeake, Virginia, because I believe that local government is the foundational backbone of defending against these kinds of state-level overreach. We need progressives elected at the local level to protect our children and the future of our country from these proponents of maintaining the racist status quo instead of moving our country forward.
Please consider donating to my campaign here if you want to help at least one city in this Commonwealth with this fight.