I guess I'm a racist. Who knew?

We live in a small town in eastern Massachusetts, about an hour outside Boston.  Except for the bigger cities like Boston, Springfield, Worcester, Fall River, etc., Massachusetts is pretty evenly split along the liberal/conservative lines.  The four or five towns around us are actually fairly conservative, and we often elect Republican state representatives and Republican town mayors.  The last Republican U.S. senator to be elected from Massachusetts was from this area of the state.  We just don't have quite enough conservative voters statewide to push enough of our candidates over the top.  Every single Republican who loses a statewide election loses by exactly the same margin — 61–39% — and the race is always called at exactly the same time — 8:04 P.M.  Go figure that, OK?  Every single time.

However, as that old cliché goes, "All politics is local."  And no local elected office has assumed more importance or gained a higher profile recently than the office of School Committee member.  The office of School Committee is now charged with the responsibility to monitor and approve or disapprove of specific items and courses in the school curriculum.

That the direction and nature of what is being taught in our public schools have become highly controversial recently is not open to question.  Many schools are now openly promoting Critical Race Theory and anti-capitalism/pro-socialism themes, and are actively presenting revisionist American history, where accepted facts about the Founding Fathers and our past wartime victories are portrayed in a negative light.  The notion of sex as a "social construct, not a biological fact" is also part of the left's new woke educational agenda.

COVID also exposed another liberal/conservative educational divide here in Massachusetts.  Without justifiable, ironclad scientific backing, in-person learning at public schools was shut down, and when it finally resumed, student mask mandates were imposed.  This was despite mountains of verifiable scientific studies proving the ineffectiveness of cloth masks to stop COVID and the incredibly low incidence of COVID-caused hospitalization and death among school-aged children.

School Committee members were in a position to contest and prevent both the woke educational agenda and the baseless, socially harmful COVID mandates, but around here, those committees just rubber-stamped any directives that came down from the state.  Each town had the autonomy to go its own way, but none did.

Parents here have had enough.  Our small town has its elections soon, and there are two School Committee seats (out of five) up for re-election.  On the current school board, three members can be considered hard leftists, one is a soft RINO, and one is an honest swing voter.  Two new candidates — both commonsense educational/social traditionalists (or what their critics call "hard-hearted far-right extremists") — stepped forward to run for the contested seats.  If both new candidates win, the Board will have a slim majority of traditional voters.

We chair our town's Republican Town Committee.  Every month, we run our modest meeting featuring guest speakers like the local state representative or the county sheriff or the town's registrar of voters.  Not exactly controversial stuff.  Our meetings are advertised in the town paper and are open to all, not just Republicans.

Each year, just before town elections, we put on a Candidates' Night, where we invite the local candidates to present their positions and take questions from the audience.  We feel that we're performing a nice public service.  The actual "party" affiliation of the candidate is not as relevant as his take and proposed solutions to whatever local problems are at hand.  (Should we replace the stop sign with a traffic light at the intersection of Maple and Main Street?  Should the town restaurants be allowed to have outdoor dining again this summer?  And so on.)  Every year, Candidates' Night is one of our more popular and best-attended meetings.

This year was different.  For merely putting on a Candidates' Night where we'd allow School Committee candidates who had "traditional" views of school curricula and who didn't automatically accept the non-science-based state student mask mandates to actually speak and present their views to the public, the Republican Town Committee was called out on the town's Facebook dialogue page as "promoting hate speech, racism, intolerance and bigotry."  This one-way piling-on continued for days, for more than a week, starting as soon as our ad announcing the event hit our town newspaper.

We felt that putting on a Candidates' Night, including the School Committee candidates, was a worthy public service.  For that, we were personally attacked as racists and hate-mongers.  It got so bad, so threatening, that we had to announce that attendance would be limited to 50 people in the relatively small hall we rent each month and that all attendees would be required to sign in with name, cell phone number, and street address, figuring (correctly) that that would keep away the worst of the rabble-rousers who were intent on disrupting the proceedings and making a big public spectacle.  We also alerted the police beforehand to keep an eye on the meeting, and, incredibly, they told us they already knew all about it — that's how much talk there was!

The event itself went off fairly smoothly.  The Q&A session was very "spirited" at times.  One liberal proponent (amusingly, he could be a screen double for former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey) became so emotionally inflamed in his anti-new-candidate tirade that he almost started crying, but outside him, most of the audience comported itself well.  It was obvious that some people were there strictly to try to embarrass the traditional candidates, but toward the end of the evening, a recently retired school official said this: "Kids never noticed or cared about other kids' color or race.  It just didn't matter.  But now, with this new curriculum, they notice, that's for sure.  This has got to stop."  The room exploded in agreement.

All the candidates — the one wokish incumbent and the two new traditionalists — remained calm and composed throughout the evening.  Full credit to them.

However, the instantaneous liberal vitriol and opposition directed towards us for even having proposed and organized this event in the first place were stunning to me.  It's one thing to watch the nightly cable news programs and see examples of unhinged wokists upending all manner of public decorum and established benchmarks of correct behavior.  It's quite another to be personally on the receiving end.

For promoting free speech and the open exchange of different ideas, I guess I'm a racist.  Who knew?

Image: John Phelan via Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 3.0.

If you experience technical problems, please write to helpdesk@americanthinker.com