The far-right’s push to make America the Wild West again continues.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) signed a bill into law this summer that is, essentially, the legal manifestation of right-wing efforts to intimidate educators away from teaching students about issues like systemic racism and modern racial tensions in public schools. After the law passed, the New Hampshire Department Of Education launched a new website for parents and students to file complaints against teachers for alleged discriminatory curriculum, according to New Hampshire Public Radio.
The website has been in place since shortly after the bill was signed into law. But a prominent right-wing mothers group recently upped the ante.
The New Hampshire chapter of the conservative group Moms For Liberty recently tweeted out a statement, encouraging people to use the state tool to report teachers and even offered a bounty to the first person to lodge a successful complaints against an educator. And it comes at a time when certain Lone Star State citizens are being offered something similar — cash rewards for snitching on anyone involved in the process of getting an abortion post-six weeks of pregnancy.
“We’ve got $500 for the person that first successfully catches a public school teacher breaking this law,” Moms for Liberty’s New Hampshire chapter tweeted a few days ago. “Students, parents, teachers, school staff… We want to know! We will pledge anonymity if you want.”
The New Hampshire state legislature passed House Bill 2, the Right to Freedom from Discrimination in Public Workplaces and Education, earlier this year and Sununu signed it into law in June. The bill text says the law “prohibits the dissemination of certain divisive concepts related to sex and race in state contracts, grants, and training programs.” It goes on to describe “divisive concepts” as a number of different things, including ideas like New Hampshire or the United States being “fundamentally racist or sexist” or anything that indicates “an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.” The passage of the New Hampshire law was part of a broader trend that’s been playing out in red states as Republicans fear-monger about the academic framework called Critical Race Theory, manufacturing outrage about the concept for the better part of the past year.
It’s a theme we’ve been covering for some time, especially as GOP-fueled outrage over the issue plays out at the local level, from chaotic protests at school board meetings to threats against teachers. The DOJ even recently launched a new commission aimed at helping local law enforcement report and investigate violent threats against school personnel over Critical Race Theory and COVID-19 mitigation policies.
The New Hampshire Department of Education describes the law as an attempt to encourage teachers to teach students to “treat all of those with whom they may come into contact equally and with dignity and respect.” It’s a buzzword-y spin on a law that’s really dripping with undertones of GOP talking points and nativist rhetoric.
And the New Hampshire moms, for one, are bravely taking it upon themselves to enforce it.
The Best Of TPM Today
Here’s what you should read this evening:
Catch up on our live coverage of the Rittenhouse trial as the jury began deliberations this morning: Jury Deliberations Begin In Rittenhouse Trial
If you missed Josh Marshall’s piece last week on the Rittenhouse case and its ties to the far-right’s broader Big Gun Parading movement, check it out here: Thinking about Rittenhouse and Right Wing Murder Safaris
Drip-drip: Flynn And Powell Tried To Get DoD To Overturn Election, Book Says
An audit that actually found something worth criticism: Iowa Guv Used COVID Money To Pay Her Own Staff, Audit Reveals
Yesterday’s Most Read Story
Finally The Attorney General We’ve Been Waiting For — David Kurtz
What We Are Reading
In Another Trump Book, a Journalist’s Belated Awareness Steals the Show — Jennifer Szalai
‘They See Us as the Enemy’: School Nurses Battle Covid-19, and Angry Parents — Emily Anthes
UFOs, cannon fire and 184-mph winds: Life gets weird atop this California volcano — Los Angeles Times