The Culpeper Branch of the NAACP will award a $500 scholarship to a graduating high school senior who lives in Culpeper, Madison, or Rappahannock counties. Scholarships are available for applicants who will attend accredited trade, vocational, and technical schools; community colleges; or four-year colleges and universities. To be eligible for this scholarship, you must have a minimum 2.5 grade average.
Applications must be received no later than April 1, 2022. Please submit to your guidance office or mail (postmarked by April 1) to: NAACP Culpeper, P.O. Box 687, Culpeper, VA, 22701.
Winners will be recognized in local media and at the March NAACP meeting, receive gift certificates up to $200, and be invited to attend a special field trip to the NMAAHC in Washington DC.
Email submissions by February 28, 2022, to email@example.com
Today, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we are heeding the call of MLK’s family: no celebration without legislation. That means the best way to honor his legacy is by taking action for voting rights.
Right now, essential voting rights legislation is pending in the United States Senate, and the entire Republican Party, with the help of two conservative Democrats, is blocking it. This isn’t new – Rev. Dr. King himself talked about this dynamic in his lifetime. His family has asked all of our help in making sure this quote is spread far and wide today, so please share it on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, or forward the link to this page to a few friends.
Dr. King is right: It is a tragedy, but it’s one that we can address if we unite. This weekend, activists nationwide have been hosting events encouraging Senators to fix or ditch the filibuster and ensure we pass this voting rights legislation. Some of those events are still ongoing – you can check here to see if there’s one near you.
Speaking of Senators Manchin and Sinema, the two Democrats holding this bill up… History has its eyes on them, and it is not going to reflect favorably on them if they don’t find the fortitude to do the right thing. Here’s how Martin Luther King III put it this week:
We’d expected a vote today on changing Senate filibuster rules to allow democracy reform to go forward, but because of a positive COVID test and a winter storm in DC, the debate won’t start until tomorrow, and the vote will happen later this week. That means we need to keep up the pressure over the next few days, and we’ll be reaching out with updates soon.
Onward for democracy!
No celebration without legislation. On January 17, join me to honor my father and the #MLKLegacy as we call on Congress and the White House to eliminate the Jim Crow filibuster and pass voting rights to protect millions of Black and Brown voters. #DeliverForVotingRights pic.twitter.com/JQ726iaRYi
— Martin Luther King III (@OfficialMLK3) December 15, 2021
This year’s theme is “Living Out the Legacy After the Dream.” Speakers include the Rev. Dr. Owen Cardwell, pastor of the Diamond Hill Baptist Church in Lynchburg and the Rosel Schewel Distinguished Chair for Education at the University of Lynchburg. Dr. Cardwell was one of the first students to integrate E.C. Glass High School in 1962.
Also sharing remarks will be Culpeper Mayor Frank Reaves, Jr., NAACP Life Member John Doyle, and Dr. Laurel Blackmon, chair of the NAACP Culpeper Education Committee.
The presentation will air at 1:00 PM on Monday, January 17.
While Critical Race Theory is not taught in K-12 schools in Tennessee, the law bans instruction or material that “include” any of one of 11 poorly defined concepts. A sampling:
“Privilege” based on race or sex
“Discomfort” or “guilt” based on race or sex
“[D]ivision between, or resentment of, a race, sex, religion, creed, nonviolent political affiliation, social class, or class of people.”
Armed with this vague law, a Williamson County, Tennessee chapter of Moms For Liberty, a right-wing dark money group, filed a complaint with the Tennessee Department of Education. The complaint alleges that the language arts curriculum for second graders in Williamson County school violates the law banning Critical Race Theory.
In May, Tennessee passed a law banning Critical Race Theory in K-12 schools. The state is already seeing the ugly consequences of the law. And things are likely to get worse. While Critical Race Theory is not taught in K-12 schools in Tennessee, the
The murder and the trial horrified the nation and the world. Till’s death was a spark that helped mobilize the Civil Rights movement. Three months after his body was pulled from the Tallahatchie River, the Montgomery bus boycott began.
Less than two weeks after Emmett’s body was buried, J. W. Milam and Roy Bryant went on trial in a segregated courthouse in Sumner, Mississippi. There were few witnesses besides Mose Wright, who positively identified the defendants as Emmett’s killers.
On September 23, the all-white jury deliberated for less than an hour before issuing a verdict of “not guilty,” explaining that they believed the state had failed to prove the identity of the body. Many people around the country were outraged by the decision and also by the state’s decision not to indict Milam and Bryant on the separate charge of kidnapping.
In 2017, Tim Tyson, author of the book The Blood of Emmett Till, revealed that Carolyn Bryant recanted her testimony, admitting that Till had never touched, threatened, or harassed her. “Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him,” she said.
An NBC News analysis recently found at least 165 local and national groups that aim to disrupt lessons on race and gender. The groups are largely reinforced by conservative think tanks, law firms, and activist parents.
The tension can be traced back to then-President Donald Trump’s 2020 memo in which the White House Office of Management and Budget ordered a stop to fund federal training on diversity and critical race theory. Around the same time, Trump sought to rebuke the 1619 Project, which culminated with the release of his administration’s “1776 Report” just prior to his leaving office earlier this year.
Those actions planted the seed for the recent education fight, and critics of the bills say the tension pressures schools boards and ultimately harms students most. It’s a battle that has invaded every level of government from Congress through local school boards, with conservative groups backing the efforts.
What is being promoted as an effort to stop Critical Race Theory (CRT) from indoctrinating K-12 students is actually a push to censure truthful information about American history. A new “teacher loyalty” bill introduced in New Hampshire would, among other things, prohibit “teaching that the United States was founded on racism.”
A reporter for WMUR, the ABC affiliate in New Hampshire, asked one of the bill’s sponsors, Representative Erica Layton (R), how a teacher could “address something like the Three-Fifths Compromise in the Constitution which basically invalidated the humanity of enslaved people who were black” if the new legislation became law. The reporter noted that’s a “racist aspect of America’s founding.”
We asked co-sponsor @EricaForDerry how she thinks teachers should approach a subject like the Three-fifths Compromise in the United States Constitution if HB 1255 — which explicitly prohibits teaching that the U.S. was founded on racism — was to become law. #NHPolitics pic.twitter.com/IkQHaAdLdt
— Adam Sexton (@AdamSextonWMUR) December 3, 2021
Layton said that teachers should explain that the 3/5ths compromise was an effort to end slavery, which Layton said was “already on the way out.” The only problem with this solution is that it’s not true.
Scholars agree there is “no evidence the constitutional provision was intended to end slavery,” which persisted for nearly a century after the Constitution was ratified. It conferred additional political power to states with large slave populations. In so doing, it helped entrench the institution of slavery.
The same ahistorical argument was advanced by a lawmaker in Tennessee, Representative Justin Lafferty (R), earlier this year to support legislation banning CRT. The legislation is now law in Tennessee and, as Popular Information reported, is currently being invoked to try to prevent second graders from reading about Martin Luther King Jr.
Layton herself acknowledged her historical “errors” in answering questions from WMUR but continued to defend the bill:
— Adam Sexton (@AdamSextonWMUR) December 3, 2021
The New Hampshire bill also prohibits “any doctrine or theory promoting a negative account or representation of the founding and history of the United States of America in New Hampshire public schools which does not include the worldwide context of now outdated and discouraged practices.” The primary sponsor of the bill Representative Alicia Lekas (R) told the Concord Monitor that this provision requires teachers to explain away slavery in the United States because it was ubiquitous worldwide:
Slavery was a terrible thing, but a lot of people don’t know slavery happened all over the world, that’s the setting you need to be teaching. If you’re going to teach about the founding of the country you need to teach it in its proper setting so you know what was happening in the rest of the world so you have a better idea of why people did the way they did.
This, again, is ahistorical. Long before slavery was abolished in the United States (1865), it was abolished in other countries, including Spain (1811), Mexico (1829), Britain (1834), and France (1848).
The ACLU of New Hampshire says the bill is “unconstitutional” and “builds on the disturbing trend…of erasing America’s legacy of racism and slavery.”
Teachers attempting to comply with the bill, should it become law, will be in a bind. If a teacher discusses the “worldwide context” of slavery on one day, can they discuss slavery in the United States without mentioning this context the next day? What about assigning a text that references slavery in the United States without including the “worldwide context”?
These are not trivial matters. According to the legislation, teachers who violate these provisions “shall be considered a violation of the New Hampshire code of ethics and code of conduct for educational professionals” and will be subject to “disciplinary sanctions.”
The opaque nature of the restrictions is really the point. The legislation is designed to chill honest discussion of American history in the classroom.
Putting teachers on a tightrope
The new bill builds on legislation that was enacted in New Hampshire over the summer prohibiting instruction on “divisive concepts.” The primary sponsor of that legislation, Representative Keith Ammon (R), is also a sponsor of the new “Teacher Loyalty” bill.
The law signed by Governor Chris Sununu (R) in June is more limited. It prohibits teaching “that one identified group” is “inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive.” In doing so, it likely bans discussion of “white privilege” and related concepts. The language in the bill is based on an executive order issued by Trump which banned the use of federal funds to support instruction on “divisive concepts.”
Such concepts are not currently part of New Hampshire’s K-12 curriculum. The New Hampshire Department of Education says the law does not prohibit “the teaching of historical subjects” or “the historical existence of ideas.”
Teachers in New Hampshire, however, are concerned about the difficulty in threading this needle. Teachers told New Hampshire Public Radio that “students are always making connections to current events” and “making sense of the past by talking about the present.” A teacher does not necessarily have the ability to prevent a discussion on historic discrimination from touching on the ways white privilege operates in society today.
Such a discussion could lead to a complaint filed against the teacher with the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights or the New Hampshire Office of the Attorney General. A teacher found in violation of the law may face “disciplinary sanction by the state board of education.”
A dark money push
The push for anti-CRT legislation in New Hampshire is not happening in a vacuum. PEN America, a non-profit devoted to freedom of expression, has identified “54 separate bills” introduced in 24 states “intended to restrict teaching and training in K-12 schools, higher education, and state agencies and institutions.” PEN America describes these bills as “educational gag orders.” Ten of these bills have already become law.
Last week, a constellation of dark money groups released a public letter calling for more legislation in 2022.
This year, ten states passed legislation to reject CRT. In 2022, state lawmakers should continue to protect teachers and students from bigotry and consider proposals that reject the application of CRT in K-12 schools…
The letter called on states to pass laws banning “any idea that violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” The Civil Rights Act of 1964, of course, does not ban ideas. It bans actual discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Court rulings extended these protections to sexual orientation and gender identity. The anti-CRT movement is misrepresenting the meaning of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to suggest it bans certain kinds of discussions about racism and discrimination.
According to the signatories of the letter, “America should be defined as a nation that offers freedom and opportunity for everyone, regardless of the color of their skin.” In other words, teachers should be required to define America as a place where racism and discrimination are no longer a salient factor in people’s lives.
The letter was released by the Heritage Foundation and signed by representatives from the Manhattan Institute, the Claremont Institute, Parents Defending Education, the Goldwater Institute, and Independent Women’s Voice. One thing these institutions all have in common is that they do not disclose their donors.
In a Virginia courthouse this week, a historic trial will begin that aims to unravel the real motivations of the far-right activists behind the 2017 Charlottesville riot.
There are 24 defendants. Some of them are names you probably know already, like Richard Spencer, president of the white nationalist conspiracy group National Policy Institute, or Charlottesville’s hometown racist, Jason Kessler. Others you may not know by name, but may have heard of their groups: Identity Evropa, League of the South, the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. All are accused of organizing a motley collection of white supremacists into a violent mob.
For the entire summer, Charlottesville residents had been threatened and harassed. White supremacists wore swastika symbols and chanted Nazi slogans in streets. Counterprotesters reported getting phone calls from white supremacists and receiving online harassment after their pictures and home addresses were posted on Discord and Twitter. Stores and restaurants that posted signs showing support for diversity were mailed threats: “Death to all black devils” and “Heil Hitler” and “Go Donald Trump!”
When around 600 of them showed up on Aug. 12, the town was primed for an explosion. They yelled Nazi chants and lifted Nazi salutes and insignia. They barked like dogs and made monkey sounds at Black counterprotesters. They marched the streets, many of them armed with guns and wearing body armor. But so many more just dressed not in military cosplay, but as themselves: white men in khakis and white polo shirts.
It doesn’t take much to build a white nationalist. One angry man. Access to social media, maybe a Discord account. The ability to instantaneously connect with other far-right internet dwellers, until he’s replicated himself a thousand times over ― a hunched mass of white nationalists and Nazis, their faces aglow in the light of computer screens.
Featuring candidates for the 30th District of Virginia House of Delegates and Culpeper Mayoral races.