IMPORTANT TOPIC: CRITICAL RACE THEORY IN MISSOURI
Last week the Creve Coeur and Maryland Heights Township Democratic Clubs conducted a zoom discussion on how the subject of Critical Race Theory is being used by the GOP majority in Jefferson City to attack public education in Missouri. Key speaker on the subject was educator and MO HD70 Representative Paula Brown. Following is a summary of important points.
What is Critical Race Theory?
First, Critical Race Theory is NOT part of the standard K-12 curriculum in public schools. Critical Race Theory (also referred to as CRT) is a very specific post-graduate-level elective study of systems within government that limit equal access to prosperity and wealth, preventing non-white citizens from thriving, and preventing marginalized groups from escaping their marginalized circumstances.
So, why is this a problem?
Republicans in Jefferson City are participating in a nationwide GOP messaging campaign crafted to whip people into a frenzy about critical race theory “doctrine,” with the goal of degrading the value of truth in history education and degrading confidence in public schools, and to build support for the privatization of education and the ability to censor what facts students can and cannot learn.
Two things playing out within this messaging campaign:
1) Demonizing the phrase “Critical Race Theory” and linking concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion to CRT, thus normalizing the gut feeling that diversity, equity, and inclusion are bad.
2) Building support for anti-CRT legislation which will include language preventing and even criminalizing the use of the concepts of diversity, equity and inclusion in lesson plans in public schools, should these concepts make someone “feel bad,” thus crippling educators’ freedom to make references to truthful, but less-than-glorious, parts of our history and current society.
What’s going on?
In July, a hearing of the Joint Committee on Education was held at the MO State Capitol, with invited speakers only, and no public testimony allowed. All of the speakers were anti-Critical Race Theory, supporting legislation to ban such ideas, and ideas they deemed related to CRT, from Missouri public schools.
Due to the amount of response to the one-sided July hearing of the Joint Committee on Education, a second hearing is being held Monday, Aug 23 at 1 p.m. in Rm 7. At this hearing, speakers with different views have been invited, including representatives from the ACLU, the NAACP, the Jewish League, the MO Equity Education Partnership, and others. It will be open to the public with limited space due to Covid-19 precautions, but testimony is by invitation only, and no public testimony will be allowed.
Meanwhile, last week in Kirkwood, the anti-Critical Race Theory parents group Missouri Prosper hosted a “community conversation” with anti-CRT speakers only. At this particular event they were met with and surprised by a majority pro-equity audience. But these disinformation mini-campaigns are popping up repeatedly in the greater St. Louis region, including St. Charles Co, and across the state.
So, what can you do?
1. Our legislators need to hear from you, to know that you support truth in teaching and truth in history education. Voices in support of uncensored public education need to be documented. The best method is to send an email to your legislators, relating your good experiences with public education, and how your family has benefited from truth in education. It is recommended that you do not even mentioning “Critical Race Theory” in your email message, since that has become a GOP buzz phrase. Now is the time to send a heartfelt email in support of your public schools and your public school educators. Use this link to find your legislators and their email addresses: https://fastdemocracy.com/find-your-legislators/
In your email, “cc” Rep. Paula Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org , so that there is a friendly backup of your communication.
2. Be on the lookout for community meetings/school district meetings promoting conversations such as “the pros and cons of diversity, equity and inclusion in our schools,” referred to as DEI, or even more direct subjects such as “the dangers of the agenda of critical race theory,” and attend these meetings. These are not harmless gatherings. The intent is to discuss the cons of diversity, equity and inclusion in schools, not the pros. These are planned anti-truth-in-education propaganda events. Make you support of truth in education known.
You can see the Creve Coeur and Maryland Heights Township Democratic Clubs meeting here, and skip forward to 15:00 on the recording to hear Rep. Brown’s discussion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xedIQG6jNsQ
Covid-19 Update: Booster Shots
The Center for Disease Control has begun the process of authorizing booster shots for those fully vaccinated with the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, potentially to begin in September. This authorization is not currently addressing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
From the Joint Statement from HHS Public Health and Medical Experts on COVID-19 Booster Shots: “We have developed a plan to begin offering these booster shots this fall subject to FDA conducting an independent evaluation and determination of the safety and effectiveness of a third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines and CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) issuing booster dose recommendations based on a thorough review of the evidence. We are prepared to offer booster shots for all Americans beginning the week of September 20 and starting 8 months after an individual’s second dose.”
For more information, and for the full statement, visit the Center for Disease Control website: https://www.cdc.gov/
Some local medical facilities are already offering the booster to those who are immunocompromised.
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN JEFFERSON CITY?
Join the Democratic Legislative Network!
The Democratic Legislative Network is building a community of dedicated activists to support our ideals, our message and our candidates in Missouri. Fill out this form to help us put more Democrats into office! Sign up for our concise and actionable weekly newsletter here: DLN Newsletter Sign Up
What you can do for Missourians this week:
Call Gov. Parson (573) 751-3222 and tell him to pardon wrongfully convicted Missourians Kevin Strickland and Lamar Johnson. The story of these wrongfully convicted Missourians has made national news, as Governor Parson prioritized the pardon of the McCloskeys, the gun-toting couple who pleaded guilty to assault just recently. Meanwhile, Kevin Strickland has maintained his innocence for 43 years. We cannot stop advocating for Mr. Strickland and Mr. Johnson’s freedom.
Join the National Organization of Exonerees, clergy, and elected officials from across the state in Jefferson City, Monday August 30th, 12-4pm in front of the Supreme Court, to rally for justice. Attorney General Eric Schmitt (whose office is in the Supreme Court building), continues his fight against wrongfully convicted Missourians like Kevin Strickland and Lamar Johnson.
Join us, and invite others to join, as we gear up for voter registration drives this fall. With redistricting on the way there is a lot we don’t know about campaigning in 2022, but we do know that a concerted effort to register voters before the 2022 elections is a benefit to our candidates. If you would like to be a voter registration organizer or volunteer, CLICK HERE.
Let people in your network know, Medicaid has now been expanded in Missouri and they can now apply for MO Healthnet. You can be pre-approved regardless of the timeline the Governor is stating, and Federally Qualified Health Centers will/can pre-approve eligible individuals.
Missouri Jobs with Justice Press Release:
“Did Governor Parson block your Unemployment Benefits? Have you and your family otherwise been harmed during this pandemic? Share your story. Your story matters. Out of touch politicians are being manipulated by corporate lobbyists into believing that we don’t deserve support. By coming together, we can fight back and build a Missouri that works for all of us – no matter our zip code, race, or income. It is critical that they hear from real workers when making decisions that affect our lives.”
Share our story using this Story Collecting Link: https://www.mojwj.org/action/unemployment-story/ Please share the Story Collecting Link with anyone you know who has suffered from Governor Parson cutting off Unemployment Benefits in June.
MOJWJ is holding space for Story Circles on Monday, August 23, from 7:30 - 9:00 pm on Zoom. Unemployed Missourians who want to join Story Circles should contact me directly at 314-503-7415 or email@example.com
From Laborers Local 110,
with members in St. Louis, Jefferson and Washington Counties:
"The Senate recently passed a $1.2 trillion jobs bill called the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (BFI). It will create tens of thousands of good-paying Union construction jobs, grow our economy, and give American workers – Laborers and their families – the opportunity to succeed in 21st century. But it must be passed by the US House first. CLICK HERE , fill out a short form and a pre-written email will be sent automatically. It’s that simple. Then share this link with your family and friends. The more emails Congress gets, the louder our message will be."
DEMOCRATS ARE DOING GREAT THINGS
Stay up-to-date on what is happening with the Democratic Party in St. Charles County by liking the Face Book Page: https://www.facebook.com/stcdems and the St. Charles Co Progressive Democrats Club: https://www.facebook.com/SCCProDems
Ever thought about running for office?
Know someone who might be interested in being a candidate?
The St. Charles Dems are ready to help!
Call St. Charles Co Democratic Central Committee
Candidate advisory committee at 636-345-0256
What Else is Going On in & around St. Charles County?
Ongoing right now -
Indivisible We Will Persist St. Charles – Post Card Campaign
A NEW POSTCARD CAMPAIGN HAS STARTED!
We are now writing to inform voters in CA what the American Rescue Plan does and that it only exists because Senate and Congressional Democrats voted for it. Cards are in batches of 25 and must be mailed by 9/3.
Note: ► Rate Increase: On August 29, Postcard Stamps will go from 36 cents to 40 Cents. Get your Forever stamps before the 29th!
All our postcard campaigns are focused on Dems winning the US House and Senate in 2022.
During these financially stressful times, if you need assistance with postage costs, we can help.
If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Linda Scroggin, Co-Leader Indivisible We Will Persist, at Lescrog@aol.com.
Sun Aug 22 – A Day of Solidarity with Afghans for Afghanistan – 5 p.m.
In front of City Hall in St. Louis
This event will include an Interfaith Prayer Vigil. The St. Louis Afghan community invites you to stand in solidarity and support for those struggling in Afghanistan.
Mon Aug 23 - Joint Committee on Education Hearing on Critical Race Theory – 1 p.m.
Location: State Capitol Hearing Rm 7, 201 W Capitol Ave, Jefferson City, MO
This is the 2nd hearing on the subject of Critical Race Theory, Missouri’s contribution to the nationwide Republican war on public education. At this hearing, invited speakers in favor of Truth in Education will be allowed to testify. Open to the public with limited space due to Covid-19, hearing is expected to also be piped into the hallway gathering areas with CCTV.
Fri Aug 27 – 58th Commemorative of the Jefferson Bank Demonstration – 4-5 p.m.
At the Jefferson Bank, 2301 Market St, Saint Louis
Demonstration sponsored by the Organization for Black Struggle, MOJWJ, APRI, CBTU and other groups.
For more information, please call 314-367-5959 or visit www.obs-stl.org.
Mon Aug 30 – Rally for Justice – 1-4 p.m.
Supreme Court Building, 207 W High St, Jefferson City, MO
Hosted by the National Organization of Exonerees
Join the National Organization of Exonerees, clergy, and elected officials from across Missouri for a rally to support wrongfully convicted prisoners Kevin Strickland and Lamar Johnson.
For more information: Rally for Justice
Thu Sep 9 – League of Women Voters St. Charles Unit meeting – 6:30 p.m.
Virtual meeting via zoom, details to come.
Thu Sep 16 – Indivisible We Will Persist informal get-together – 7-8:30 p.m.
Location: Cuivre River Electric Coop, LSL Branch, 8757 Hwy N, Lake Saint Louis, MO
At this informal gathering, you’ll be able to meet other Indivisible members from our area and provide input on future program needs. Water and light (after-dinner) snacks will be provided.