Saturday, October 23, 2021

As apologies go I'll take it

Apparently the National School Boards Association has apologized for a letter to the Biden Administration that likened concerned parents to potential terrorists.  Granted, the language of the letter only meant those parents threatening violence and death against school board members.  The problem was, no clear examples were given and the 'what constitutes threats and terrorism' seemed a matter of opinion.

Even the national press jumped on the story, though emphasizing the hellish terror that school board members were enduring at the hands of anti-vaxxers and opponents of fighting racism.  It goes without saying that the Internet lit up among leftwing sites and activists who cheered the move and were happy to label any parents bucking the vaccine or Critical Race Theory mandates as the terrorists they were.

The first chink came when questions arose about conflicts of interest for Attorney General Merrick Garland.  It was reported that he might have a vested interest in seeing CRT theory taught in schools. So ol'Garland will use the power of the federal government to hunt down parents who stand in the way of family book sales?   That was certainly the image presented. 

Whatever the actual facts and details, it was a bad look.  And the press hates it when it must break from bumper sticker news reporting and delve into details.  When that happens, then you get people asking for other details and facts, like just how many threats have there been, who made them, and so on. 

It also didn't have the desired effect.  For one of the first times in recent memory, it galvanized opponents of leftwing totalitarianism being hoisted on our nation.  Conservatives have done a lot of grumbling over the last few years, but often without teeth in their bite.  

This time there was an explosion of outrage.  So bad was it that I saw parents interviewed by local news outlets  who actually support the mask mandates and CRT, but who opposed parents being labeled so loosely as potential terrorists. I know in our neck of the woods, among the most passionate races in the upcoming election are those for school boards around the area.

So apologies given.  I'll take them.  But I'm also leery.  This is a popular trick, to make a statement or claim, and if it doesn't work, back off.  But the claim has been made and I'm sure many will run with 'uncooperative parents as terrorists' narrative no matter what.  It's been said, it can't be unsaid.  Like Pope Francis joking that everyone will be saved, but then taking it back.  It's been said, it can't be unsaid, even if you technically take it back.  I notice that trick a lot.

I wonder if that's the case here.  I don't know.   But watching this unfold, I'm pretty sure the apology comes because of the hot mess problems that came for the side making the claim.  More resistance than expected met with a jumbled tangle of questions and problems for those associated with making the claim were likely why we have this.  But we have it, so we can take it for what it's worth. 

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