Jamaican-born Winsome Earle-Sears, the Lt. Governor of Virginia – the first woman to be elected to the position and first black woman elected to a state-wide position, is trying to cripple public education using Brown V. Board as an example to advance an agenda that smells pretty damn racist.
It would seem silly if she wasn’t so serious. But she is and her base of election-denying, forced-birthing, public-education-dismantling Virginia voters isn’t batting an eye. They are on board with this woman. They hang on her soundbites. They think she’s brilliant.
For the record, she’s not. Not only is she not brilliant, but her lack of understanding of actual events as well as Virginia and US history also makes her dangerous.
The Lt. Governor has been making the rounds lately even landing a slot on Bill Maher’s “Real Time.” She took the opportunity to embarrass Virginia on a national stage. No Winsome Sears, Drag queens are not dancing in the laps of children in our public schools.
Winsome Sears was referencing a viral Tik-Tok video of a drag queen indeed giving a lap dance to an attendee of a Pride event at a community college in North Carolina – an event also attended by leaders of the local faith community. When Bill Maher questioned the validity of her statement, she suggested he, “read more.”
No, Lt. Gov. Sears, YOU read more, especially before you speak on a subject that you seemingly have little knowledge about. She seems to be on some kind of press junket and here’s the latest thing to fall out of her mouth on “Sunday Night in America,” with host Trey Gowdy.
This, to me, is the new fight in the Brown vs. Board of Education. Because what was that about? That was about a parent’s ability to choose the best school for the child. And here we are, 50-something years later, and we’re still making that request. Actually, we’re not requesting it anymore. We’re going to get it. The Democrats are not going to keep using this as a wedge to drive us against each other," — Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears
This is gaslighting. It has to be. Either way, she’s got to go but we are stuck with her for the next two years. Her friend and my Republican incumbent opponent, Anne Ferrell-Tata needs to be stopped before she can get a foothold. We can do this. It’s why I’m running. Other Democratic candidates in my state face similar opposition, running against Republican candidates comfortable with this sort of revisionist history.
Winsome Sears is engaging in revisionist history to satisfy her base or she’s not familiar enough with our commonwealth and nation’s history to serve in government. Or, she’s a racist and that’s just not possible, right? We can do better. This is 2023 not 1883.
I first learned about Brown V. Board in the 5th grade, 1980. I was a student in a small public school in rural Arkansas. My father would always flip through my textbooks at the beginning of each school year so he knew Brown V. Board would be discussed and he wanted to make sure that I wasn’t taught white-washed history – a risk in a community like Lead Hill, Ark. – entirely white, minus a handful of Asian women. He would take his thumbnail and run it down the side of the book to make an indent so he would know when I had reached a certain portion of a book and we could have a discussion about it. We had lots of books with these indents because I was allowed as a child to read anything. There were movies I wasn’t allowed to watch, but no book was off-limits.
Here’s the good news. My teacher didn’t revise history to make her classroom full of white kids comfortable, but the information she had to draw from the text was limited. She taught the textbook. I was a thoughtful and sensitive child and, if I recall correctly, it was me who approached my father when I came home from school to tell him what I learned.
That’s when he told me about our cousin Mary Lou. Her father was William Joseph Werner, My father’s father was William Joseph Werner Jr, and my father was William Joseph Werner III. He said Mary Lou won the Pulitzer Prize for her reporting on the forced integration of Virginia public schools. He said she was brave, smart, funny, and a woman who learned to dominate in a man’s world. He said I was a lot like her with the same blood coursing through my veins and there was nothing I couldn’t do. She was proof of that. I was imprinted. I became a journalist.
Sixty-nine years after Brown, not the “50-something years ago” claim made by Lt. Gov. Sears, and in direct opposition to her false statements about the landmark decision and what it really meant, I offer this – From Mary Lou Werner-Forbes and the Pulitzer Files:
“I was covering the Virginia General Assembly at the time the so-called massive resistance laws were passed. Right after the Brown decision the then-governor, Tom Stanley, had very reasonable things to say, but then political considerations got involved. One of the main laws was that the minute a Negro entered a white school, the school was closed. Another one was that the state would give a tuition grant to anyone who wanted to go to a private school…
Spottswood Robinson was one of the NAACP attorneys, a brilliant man, and he could really argue a case. I complimented him one day on one of his appearances in court. One of the arguments was about busing – whether this wouldn’t lead to isolation. Robinson started talking in court about what he called the loneliness of the Negro. “It doesn’t hurt him,” he said. “He can survive it. We’ve survived it for years.”
“No matter how hard you try to be even-handed, it was such a sensitive issue that people would call to complain even about how we covered a legal decision. But we did take care to avoid inflammatory pieces. There was a strong sense that Virginia would work its way out of this, maybe not as fast as it should, but that if the paper did its job of informing people, they would make the right decision.” — Mary Lou Werner Forbes
“Tuition grant” sounds synonymous with a “school voucher” to me. Know why? Because it’s the same thing. And guess what. Brown V. Board was always about race. It was never about parental choice.
Virginians stood on the wrong side of history before in massive resistance and we need to do it again but on the proper side this time. Lt. Gov. Sears’ ideology and skewed interpretation of history are what’s driving a wedge.
I call on my Republican opponent Anne Ferrell Tata to urge her friend, the Lt. Governor to rethink her statement and issue a separate statement and apology for not taking the time to “Read more,” at least about Brown V. Board and Virginia’s massive resistance. Unless you think the Brown v. Board decision wasn’t about race. That’s not what you think. Right, Anne Ferrell-Tata?
Another proud moment brought to us courtesy of yet another one of Pat Robertson’s Regent University genius alum.
We have a massive job ahead of us in Virginia as we face off against Republican Candidates who echo Lt. Governor Sears’ divisive rhetoric and appeal to voters who would just fall in line with the Republican Party. This massive job needs another massive resistance to get us to victory. Join me!