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  • Tom Sgouros

Educator Faces Recall for Promoting the Truth

The Progressive a national magazine covering peace and justice issues, has a nice article about the national trend of harassment, using the recall petition drive against NK School Committee member Jennifer Lima as an example. It puts the drive into a broader context, including the hounding of school committee members in South Kingstown earlier in the summer, as well as efforts around the country.

Whats more, in twenty-eight states, legislators have introduced bills to restrict what students can be taught about racism, bias, and the contributions of Black, Asian and Latinx groups to U.S. history. Eleven states have enacted them.
Deborah Menkart, co-director of the Zinn Education Project, calls these bills “laws against teaching history,” and they’ve been pushing back in several ways, including the creation of 100 national study groups for educators that use a book called Teaching for Black Lives.
“The right wing has always paid attention to what children are learning and reading,” Menkart explains. “What they are really worried about now is that white children will feel a sense of solidarity with people of color. That’s what they’re trying to squash.”

The article points out that the tactics succeed when people do not respond.

“The long term impact of the right’s attacks will depend on how we respond and how well we organize,” Menkart says.
Back in Rhode Island, Lima is doing just that--speaking out and organizing--and she has been heartened by the amount of support she’s received, telling The Progressive that despite a spate of hate mail and taunts, many people have rallied around her. “I’ve raised more unsolicited donations since the recall attempt began than I raised when I was campaigning,” she explains. “I’ve been invited to speak by groups all over the state. The interest has gone far beyond our community because people understand that if something like this can happen in North Kingstown, it can happen everywhere.”

Go read the rest!



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