AMAC Exclusive – by Shane Harris
In what was likely the largest rally of its kind to date against Critical Race Theory in public schools, more than 1,000 energized parents, teachers, citizens and activists gathered in Loudoun County, Virginia last night for the “Rally to Save our Schools.” Headlined by Dr. Ben Carson and the Republican nominee for Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, the event featured an impassioned discussion of the dangers posed by CRT and moving testimony from concerned parents and educators.
The event, which was livestreamed on Facebook, was co-hosted by 1776 Action and Fight for Schools, two organizations leading the battle against Critical Race Theory and other anti-American indoctrination in K-12 classrooms.
Over the past year, Loudoun County has become the epicenter of the national opposition to Critical Race Theory (CRT) and other “woke” curriculum being implemented in schools throughout the country. Early last month, a heartbreaking video of a teacher publicly resigning at a Loudoun County school board meeting over the district’s “equity” training program became just the latest example of an outraged citizen going viral after lambasting a school board for their policies.
Larry O’Connor, a local conservative talk radio host, set the tone for the evening early with opening remarks that electrified the crowd. “This is the most essential issue we as citizens should be caring about,” O’Connor said. “If we are going to fight any fight, it’s going to be this one for the future of our children and the future of our country.”
“We love this country, and we are tired of people saying we shouldn’t,” said Adam Waldeck, President of 1776 Action. Fight for Schools Executive Director Ian Prior added that “Our motivation is our children, and so we are never going to stop fighting for that.”
A highlight of the evening was a panel of concerned parents and citizens who are leading an effort to recall nearly every member of the Loudoun County school board. One particularly compelling testimony came from Xi Van Fleet, a Loudoun County resident who said she grew up in China during the Cultural Revolution. The audience was riveted by her description of the oppression under Mao’s regime and what she said were the eerie similarities between the Chinese Communist Party ideology and Critical Race Theory.
Another point of emphasis from several members of the panel was the importance of all citizens getting involved in school board policy, even if they do not have children in the public school system. As the panel pointed out, everyone has an in ensuring that K-12 students are taught to be upstanding citizens because those students will grow up to be members of the community themselves.
Several panelists also stressed that opposing progressive ideology in schools does not have to be a politically divisive issue. The event was open to Republican, Democrat, and Independents alike, and its sponsors, AMAC among them, were not all explicitly conservative organizations.
The event also took place just one week before early voting begins in Virginia’s gubernatorial election, pitting former Democrat Governor Terry McAuliffe against Youngkin. CRT and education policy in general have become a central issue of the campaign, with Youngkin promising to ban CRT and create 20 new charter schools as part of his “Day One Game Plan.”
Both Youngkin and the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears attended the rally and delivered remarks to great applause from the audience.
Sears, who proudly described herself as a black Republican, spoke at length about the alarming number of students in Virginia, particularly students of color, who are falling behind in critical areas like math and reading, while schools focus on teaching children that America is an evil country. Sears cited statistics that showed 45% of white children, 70% of Latino children, and 84% of Black children are not proficient in math by the time they reach the 8th grade. Sears went on to detail the importance of ensuring that children are taught the skills they need to succeed now, because “our kids don’t get do-overs.”
Youngkin also spoke about the need to restore academic excellence in schools and root out divisive ideologies from the classroom. “How can we think that teaching children to judge each other by anything other than the content of their character is anything but wrong?”
The loudest cheers of the night were undoubtedly reserved for Dr. Ben Carson, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Trump and a member of Trump’s 1776 Commission, the inspiration for the establishment of 1776 Action. Carson, who himself grew up poor, described CRT as an ideology that would take the country backward, not forward. “When I look at CRT and things like the 1619 Project, it sickens me quite frankly because they are trying to tell people that the most important factors in your life… are your external physical characteristics that you have no control over, and putting aside the thing you do have control over, which is your character.”
“[America] is not going to remain free if we the people don’t stand up for what we believe in. The government will not keep us free,” Carson warned as he concluded his remarks.
As the national outrage over CRT and radical indoctrination in schools continues, grassroots rallies like the one last night in Loudoun County may spread throughout the country. Parents, many of whom have never before been politically active, are quickly learning the power of community organizing and making their voices heard. That could be bad news for leftist politicians who have for years catered to woke ideologies without fear of reprisal from the voters, who have now finally had enough.