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May 11, 2022

NBC "News" Writes Maudlin, Manipulative Piece About One Woman's Quest to Make One Texas School Board Safe for Critical Race Theory

This is nigh-religious:

"Lord God," she prayed aloud as she pulled up to a voting location a few minutes later, "allow me to win this victory today for the people of Fort Bend County, and for all of the students who are counting on us."

"Amen," her kids said from the back seat.

Lewis believes that God hears all prayers, but still, she knows the answer isn't always yes.

By sundown, she and other Texas school board candidates would have the results of what have become increasingly contentious races -- centered on culture war battles over the ways schools address racism, gender and sexuality. The results that night would be mixed: Conservative candidates would sweep to victory in several races where they'd received support from right-wing political action committees, while falling short in some suburban contests in which progressive candidates ran well-funded campaigns.

Lewis was hoping she would be among those celebrating.


Lewis decided to run after seeing conservatives sweep to power in neighboring school districts. "I just thought, 'If not me, then who?'" she said.


"The partisanship and the politicization of the race here in Fort Bend County has caused so much division that we've lost sight of what this is all about, which is supporting teachers and providing the best possible education for all students," Lewis said early Saturday as she prepared to greet voters.

She wanted to stand up for the "nonpartisan" values of critical race theory and teaching about homosexuality and transgenderism in kindergarten.

One of her opponents, a 38-year-old insurance agent named David Hamilton, promised he would keep "critical race theory" out of Fort Bend schools, referring to the academic study of systemic racism, which conservatives have redefined to criticize lessons on race.


Hamilton, who's white, also made headlines last month after a group of parents publicized several controversial posts he'd made on his personal social media pages, including a tweet that accused liberals of wanting to "sexualize kindergarteners."

Hamilton's campaign didn't respond to messages requesting an interview, but in an earlier statement shared with reporters, it said he was "committed to equality and justice for all people."

I wonder why Hamilton, who's white, didn't respond to messages requesting an interview.

With conservative groups spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to win seats on school boards across Texas, Lewis tried to position herself as a stark alternative: a Black mother who ran a campaign openly defending the types of diversity and inclusion efforts that have come under attack from Republicans over the past year.

Outside the polling site Saturday morning, Lewis said she hoped her message was resonating.

"Hi, my name is Orjanel Lewis," she shouted to an older couple before they headed inside to vote. "I hope I can count on your support for school board today."

The couple glanced toward her, but didn't respond. Lewis sighed.

"It's not a good sign," she said, "when they avoid making eye contact with you."


All of the candidates running for a pair of seats on the school board, including Hamilton, said they believed the district's diversity is one of its strengths. (Just 15 percent of the district's students are white. The rest are split evenly among Black, Asian and Latino.) But only Lewis was outspoken in her support of district policies implemented in recent years with the goal of reducing racial disparities in student discipline and academic outcomes.

That position drew progressives to her side, while also making her a target.

Last month, some community members circulated digital flyers, designed to look like candidate questionnaires, falsely claiming that Lewis supported giving students "easy access to porns," seeming to reference Lewis' opposition to attempts to ban books that contain descriptions of sex and LGBTQ storylines.


This book -- CONTENT WARNING -- is one of the books they are surely referring to, a book which contains graphic illustrations of an underaged boy giving a blowjob to an adult man. Dick right in the mouth.



Freedom Action Matters, a local conservative activist group that had endorsed Hamilton, separately posted a video last month in which one of its members accused Lewis of wanting to teach that some children are inherently oppressors.

"They're going to push CRT, they're going to push the gender agenda, the LGBTQ agenda," Hamilton, who was interviewed in the video, said. "All of that stuff is coming to Fort Bend ISD if I lose."

Lewis called those accusations "ridiculous."

"Nobody is trying to teach kids that they're oppressors or victims because of their race," she said. "Nobody is saying that."

That is exactly what CRT seeks to teach.


Even with the fundraising advantage, Lewis was feeling uneasy Saturday afternoon.

Yes, this downtrodden oppressed underdog had the fundraising advantage. NBC "News" just blips by that in a hurry.

She'd been hoping for a bigger election day turnout from neighborhoods where she'd been expecting significant support.

So, with hours to go until the polls closed, her campaign fired off a text message to thousands of likely voters in the area.

Writing in sharp, partisan language that Lewis had avoided up until that point, the text blast called Hamilton a "Trump wannabe" and told voters this was their last chance to stop him: "If you haven't already voted and don't vote today, you'll have a Trump-style radical right-wing trustee and there won't be anything else anyone can do about it."

Soon, Lewis' phone was buzzing with responses from some of the people who'd received the message. Most of the replies were supportive, but not all of them.

"Don't message me again with your critical race theory bulls---," one person wrote.

The "news" article highlights one (1) message that responded with the n-word.

But... that's one (1) message -- and that kind of happens when you blast out a highly insulting, divisive text message to random phone numbers on the internet, doesn't it?

So, finally: the day went well for conservatives.


Patriot Mobile Action, a PAC run by a cellphone company that markets itself to Christian conservatives, had spent $400,000 backing 11 school board candidates in the suburbs surrounding Fort Worth who, the group said, would "protect our children" and "keep critical race theory out of our classrooms." All but one of the 11 candidates won their elections, including a couple who claimed more than 70 percent of the vote. The only Patriot Mobile-supported candidate who didn't win outright advanced to a runoff election in June.

Elsewhere, the results were more mixed.

In Dripping Springs, a fast-growing Austin suburb, a pair of conservative candidates who were endorsed by Rep. Chip Roy -- heralded by one of their campaigns as "America's most conservative congressman" -- won two school board seats, narrowly defeating an incumbent and another challenger.

In Katy, a Houston suburb, a mom who'd sought to ban graphic novels about Black middle school-age boys and falsely accused another school board candidate of being a child "predator," lost her race. But another candidate in Katy who said he was running to stop schools from teaching critical race theory and sexualizing children won a different seat on the school board.

Meanwhile, in the affluent Eanes Independent School District in Travis County, an incumbent school board member who'd received support from liberal groups narrowly fended off a challenge from a conservative candidate who raised a staggering $160,000 for his campaign.


The final update of the night came around 11 p.m. In a school district that serves 78,000 students, Lewis lost by 544 votes.


She thought of all the hours she'd put into campaigning. The insults and racist accusations from strangers. The nights away from her children, who were passed out on a pair of armchairs in the community center.

Despite the outcome, Lewis said she was proud of the race she ran.

"I think I did everything that I could."

And yet, as the last of her supporters headed for their cars, she couldn't help but cry.

Womp womp.

Ric Grennell just emailed me and said "THIS IS KATHY BARNETTE"

digg this
posted by Ace at 02:45 PM

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