Last night, Laura Ingraham – yes, the person who strongly supports Trump; who “has said that her influences include Ronald Reagan, Robert Bork and Pat Buchanan”; who ” has spoken out against the changing racial demographics of The United States”; and who “likened detention facilities where children separated from their illegal immigrant parents by the Trump administration are kept to ‘summer camps’ that ‘resemble boarding schools'” – went after the Fairfax County School Board. Check out the video (“Reading, writing and radicalism”), below, including comments such as:
- Parents and students are (supposedly, according to Ingraham) “rightly outraged” that there won’t be five days per week of in-person instruction at Fairfax County public schools this fall, despite the fact that – you might have heard – there’s a pandemic raging, putting teachers and other school personnel at serious health risk. Ingraham’s response to that, essentially, is pandemic? what pandemic? party on!
- Ingraham states that the “mortality rate under 25 is less than 0.1%.” Which does appear to be the case. But again, the risk isn’t to the kids, it’s to the teachers, administrators, etc. – and also to the adults who live with the kids, aka their *parents*, *grandparents*, etc. And yes, the mortality rate among those folks is a LOT higher than 0.1%. Again, Ingraham doesn’t appear to care about that – at all.
- Ingraham claims that “Biden-supporting educrats” (what the heck are those?) are “eager to work less but also indoctrinate more,” that “Black Lives Matter zealots now have outsized influence” in “school districts like Fairfax County” and “their goal is to turn your kids into harcore activists by remaking education from top to bottom.” Evidence? Video of the Fairfax County School Board members talking about creating a – gasp! – Chief Equity Officer position (RADICAL, eh?), talk about combating systemic racism (the horror, huh?)
- In sum, according to Ingraham, “Every subject, every extracurricular activity will be perverted to turn your kids into mini Ilhan Omars. They will learn capitalism is racist, history is racist, literature – most of that is racist, patriotic songs, racist and the Declaration and the Constitution, of course, they are racist. Are you sensing a theme here? Well, say goodbye to the three Rs – reading, writing and ‘rithmetic – and say hello to the 3cs of critical race theory, cancel culture, and community organizing.”
- Ingraham then attacks what she calls the “dolts in Fairfax County” for “ramming through a name change of their high school” as “total pandering,” while “hurting the minority kids they supposedly care so much about” by “clos[ing] their classrooms three days a week.” She attacks Rachna Sizemore Heizer for holding a Cesar Chavez doll, saying “that doll has more brain power than grown woman holding it – and she’s close in any way to making decisions about our kids’ education?”
So yeah, obviously Laura Ingraham’s whole shtick is to stir up outrage against liberals, progressives, the “left” (broadly defined), “political correctness,” etc. But is anything she says actually in touch with reality? As Fairfax County School Board member Laura Jane Cohen’s former campaign manager posts publicly on Facebook (bolding added by me for emphasis):
I’m so mad, I don’t even know where to begin.
Fox News is just straight up lying and folks are gobbling it up without an ounce of critical thinking (which is not to say other networks/hosts don’t do the same, but never to the degree of this network). Beyond the blatant lies being spread from the Secretary of Education on down through Laura Ingraham, Ingraham is also maligning and belittling school board members in FCPS (some of whom I count as friends). They have worked 14, 16, 18+ hour days since the pandemic started to try and make sure students, staff & faculty, and their families are as safe as possible given the absolute disregard for human life the Executive Branch has shown through this pandemic.
Disagree with policy decisions all you want, that’s fair game, but to call a school board member (who is incredibly brilliant) dumber than a stuffed doll is disgusting. I can’t imagine, for a second, hearing rhetoric like that come from a news anchor and not once applying critical thinking to say “maybe she’s wrong”.
All this is to say that voters in November elected the current school board members with a mandate to work for the safety and security of all those in the FCPS system, and they’re doing just that. Despite what Betsy DeVos or Laura Ingraham say, the school board members are working incredibly hard to make an impossible situation even slightly more manageable for students, staff, and their families. You may not agree with every choice they make, but you have to trust they’re working in the best interest of the FCPS community.
Take the time to get to know them and reach out to them if you disagree with a choice or to provide input, but do not resort to infantile criticisms.
TLDR; Fox News is by and large entertainment and not fact-based journalism. Use critical thinking skills when watching *any* news report or reading *any* news article.
Here are two more responses, from Fairfax County School Board member Rachna Sizemore Heizer and Fairfax County NAACP President Sean Perryman.