Archives for category: Racism

It is surprising that a city with an African-American Mayor, who controls the city school system, and an African-American schools Chancellor, would revive screened admissions for the city’s middle schools and high schools. Some high schools have competitive admissions that are mandated by the state legislature. Most admission screens, however, are a matter of policy. They exist because of decisions by the Mayor and the Chancellor.

Just in from the New York Civil Liberties Union:

NYCLU Statement on Screening in NYC Schools

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 30, 2022

MEDIA CONTACT: Mohamed Taguine, 212-607-3372, media@nyclu.org

NEW YORK – New York City’s school chancellor David C. Banks announced on Thursday the City’s selective middle and high schools can once again use grades to choose which students to admit. In response, the New York Civil Liberties Union issued the following statement from Education Policy Center’s director Johanna Miller:

“Screening props up a separate and unequal school system and feeds the notion that only some students deserve a great education. Allowing middle and high school screens is a step backward that will increase the exclusion of Black, Latinx and lower-income students from our city’s best educational opportunities.

“In the most segregated school system in the country, we will never make progress without intentional measures. Instead of using precious education dollars to discriminate, we urge this administration to center racial equity, advance inclusion, and help our students heal and grow together.”

***

Polymath Bob Shepherd, a frequent contributor to this blog, lives in Florida. He recently received a survey from his member of Congress. He shows how deeply deceptive such a survey can be.

He writes:

I received in my email yesterday yet another transparently biased “survey” from my Flor-uh-duh Congressman Scott Franklin. It read as follows:

Do you support a Parents’ Bill of Rights to increase transparency on what children are being taught in school and how tax dollars are being spent? (yes/no)

Note that the survey DOES NOT ask,

Do you support allowing a handful of backward, provincial, undemocratic, authoritarian, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, white supremacist, Christian nationalist, fundamentalist wackjobs from among the parents in your community to decide what will be taught in your kids’ schools, what books can be in their library, who can teach, and what teachers can and cannot say? (yes/no)

These two questions are in fact equivalent.

Conservative activists in Texas are ready to fight for changes in the social studies standards because they smell “critical race theory” (I.e., any reference to racism in the past or present), and they are hopping mad that the standards refer to the gay rights movement. Apparently, they want a deletion of any standards that refer to racism or the existence of gay people.

The Houston Chronicle describes disagreement among rightwing extremists about whether to revise the standards now, in response to angry parents, or wait until 2023, when three new rightwing extremists join the state board. One of the new members participated in the January 6 insurrection.

The board is already controlled by Republicans. After January, it will shift even farther right into extremist territory. One sane Republican, Matt Robinson, lost his re-election to the far-right insurrectionist because he refused to support the MAGA love for charter expansion.

Conservative education activists are accusing the Republican-controlled State Board of Education of helping liberals smuggle bits of Critical Race Theory into social studies standards that were expected to be up for an initial vote next week.

But the vote is conspicuously absent from the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting, as a faction on the board calls for delaying them into next year, when 3 current GOP members are expected to be replaced by new members who lean more to the right…

Their frustrations with the early drafts of the standards included: the inclusion of LGTBQ activism alongside civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, a requirement for students to define “sexual orientation,” non inclusion of Moses as a historical figure, supposed inclusion of Critical Race Theory in ethnic studies courses and the lack of a requirement for history students to learn the U.S. motto, “In God We Trust.”

The George Dawson Middle School in the Carroll Independent School District in Texas is named for a man who was enslaved, learned to read at the age of 98, and died at 103.

The school board is now reviewing whether Dawson’s biography should be read by students at the school. After all, its references to slavery and segregation might defy the state law against teaching “critical race theory.”

When Dawson’s book was published, it was hailed as an inspiring story. Its title: “Life Is So Good.”

A book about the grandson of a slave who learned to read when he was 98 years old is currently under review for use in the school named after him in Southlake.

The book, “Life is So Good,” tells the story of George Dawson’s life, from segregation and the civil rights movement to learning to read at 98. It’s one of about 10 under review by Carroll ISD….

Dawson gained worldwide attention for his 2000 memoir and was profiled on the Discovery Channel, Oprah, Nightline, and in People magazine. A grandson of slaves, he become a face for literacy before his death in 2001 at age 103.

The district insists that the book has not been banned…yet.

Others in the district say it has already been banned and the “administrative discussion” is a cover.

Federal Judge David Walker in Florida blocked the part of Governor DeSantis’s WOKE Act that prevents private employers from teaching their employees about equity, diversity and inclusion, saying it violates First Amendment protections. The ACLU is also suing to protect the rights of educators.

The Hill reports:

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida Chief Judge Mark Walker issued a preliminary injunction blocking the private employer provisions in the law, known as the “Stop WOKE Act,” saying it violates free speech protections under the First Amendment and that it violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause for being impermissibly vague.

“Recently, Florida has seemed like a First Amendment upside down,” Walker wrote in the ruling, comparing the law to the fictional “upside down” in the Netflix series “Stranger Things.”

“Normally, the First Amendment bars the state from burdening speech, while private actors may burden speech freely,” the Obama-appointed judge continued. “But in Florida, the First Amendment apparently bars private actors from burdening speech, while the state may burden speech freely.”

DeSantis’s office said it will appeal the decision.

“Judge Walker has effectively ruled that companies have a First Amendment right to instruct their employees in white supremacy,” said Taryn Feske, DeSantis’s communications director. “We disagree and will be appealing his decision.”

The law prevents workplaces from requiring employees to attend any activity that violates any of eight concepts, like instilling that someone bears “personal responsibility” for historic wrongdoings because of their race, color, sex or national origin.

DeSantis believes that teaching against racism means teaching white supremacy, which makes no sense at all.

The Deseret News has addditional details.

Using the acronym WOKE for Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees, the law was designed to combat “woke indoctrination” in Florida businesses and schools by prohibiting instruction that could make some people feel they bear “personal responsibility” for historic wrongdoings because of their race, sex or national origin, according to The New York Times.

The law, championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, prohibits employers in Florida from forcing workers to attend diversity training that would make them feel uncomfortable or guilty about their race because of historical events. It also bans any talk of advantages or disadvantages based on race….

What a constitutional scholar says:“Constitutional scholars like myself warned Florida that this had so many constitutional problems, even in drafting,” Stetson University law professor Ciara Torres-Spelliscy told ABC Action News in Florida. “Under the First Amendment, the government doesn’t get to tell us what to think and this was couched in language that sounds as if it was about individual choice but it actually stops people from saying and learning certain concepts.

Torres-Spelliscy said she hopes the ruling discourages the governor and future governors from enacting “thought-control laws” the way DeSantis has.

In the previous post, educator Byron James Henry described the election of three Christian nationalists to the board of the Ct-Fair District in Texas. He hoped for the best and hoped they would put the needs of students before their religious agenda. In this post, he describes what they did after their election.

“Something is rotten” in Cy-Fair ISD. Christian Nationalism first reared its ignorant and intolerant head in Cy-Fair ISD at school board meetings during the summer of 2021 when a loud minority of extremists began denouncing the fake threat of Critical Race Theory (CRT). For example, one resident stated that “true Christ followers are horrified to learn how the CRT ideology and BLM have infiltrated many of our schools” and insisted that “things won’t improve until we are more concerned about God’s approval than the approval of the cult of CRT.” Many of the attendees, duped into believing that young white children are being taught to see themselves as “oppressors” and feel ashamed of their race, gave her a standing ovation. It is almost impossible to reason with misinformed, self-righteous people who believe they are engaged in a battle of good vs. evil. In their quest to “save” Cy-Fair ISD students from the “threat” of CRT, these residents helped fuel an extremist movement that threatens the foundational values of the public school system: diversity, toleration, pluralism, equal treatment, and equal opportunity. Note: If you or someone you care about has succumbed to Christian Nationalism, then Christians Against Christian Nationalism can help.

Contrary to the extremist argument that public schools have a liberal bias or indoctrinate children with “woke” ideas, the public school system prepares all children for participation in our diverse, pluralistic society. Christian Nationalists oppose the civic mission of public schools if it means promoting toleration and equality for marginalized groups or affirming religious pluralism and cultural diversity. They want the public schools to promote a conservative Christian worldview that reinforces their own political and religious agenda and ignores the historical legacy of racism and discrimination. In Cy-Fair ISD, three extremist candidates harnessed this Christian Nationalist energy in the November 2021 school board election: Scott Henry, Natalie Blasingame, and Lucas Scanlon.

These board members oppose anything the schools do to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Natalie Blasingame stated on the campaign trail that teachers in Cy-Fair ISD “shouldn’t have to check their faith at the door” and pushing a conservative, Christian agenda in Texas public schools has been her motivation for seeking public office for years. We’ve known since 2015 that Blasingame doesn’t support the separation of church and state, believes that God called her to run for school board to promote Christianity in public schools, and by her own admission stated, “I have no politics but obedience.” Obedience? To what, exactly? The U.S. Constitution? To her interpretation of the Bible? Is Natalie Blasingame, like her donor Steven Hotze, a supporter of Dominion Theology that insists Christians must take over all elements of society, government, and culture to impose a Biblical worldview on everyone? Christian Nationalists are opposed to the idea of a pluralistic, multicultural republic if it means a conservative Christian worldview cannot be imposed on all of society. Should someone with such an extremist agenda be making policy for our public schools?

Alarmed by the rise of political and religious extremism in my community, I founded the Cy-Fair Civic Alliance in November 2021. We started out as a Facebook group and quickly grew to approximately 400 followers in a few weeks. Residents responded to the notion that Cy-Fair ISD needed a non-partisan group that would promote strong, inclusive public schools that serve everyone. The values of diversity, toleration, pluralism, equal treatment, and equal opportunity resonated with the community, and we started organizing on behalf of Cy-Fair ISD students, teachers, and families.

We spoke at school board meetings, wrote emails to the district about important education issues, raised money to award a scholarship to a Cy-Fair ISD graduate who planned to become a teacher, and delivered gifts to all librarians in the district when their professionalism and integrity was being attacked by everyone from Governor Abbott to members of the Texas legislature to the Texas Education Agency. The supporters of the new extremist board members called us, in public at school board meetings, “groomers” for rejecting their calls to pull books off library shelves. They said that we were supporting the “sexualization” of young children and wanted to have “pornography” available in the school libraries. They even created a hateful, anonymous sewer of a blog that somehow manages to combine the stupidity of Marjorie Taylor Greene and the misogyny of Matt Gaetz.

Our non-partisan, grassroots organization always took the high road and remained focused on our mission. Then, to our surprise, a bizarre turn of events took place. Bethany Scanlon, the wife of Cy-Fair ISD trustee Lucas Scanlon, helped create an LLC using our organization’s name and even filed federal trademark paperwork to prevent us from using it. We first learned of the creation of the faux Cy-Fair Civic Alliance when it was announced during the “Citizen Participation” portion of the June 2022 school board meeting. We were, to say the least, a little perplexed that the same crowd of people who had called us “groomers” and constantly denounced our group decided to take our organization’s name! What could possibly be their motivation? Was this supposed to prevent us from doing our activism? And, why of all people, was a school board trustee’s spouse involved in this? What was Christian Nationalist Lady Macbeth up to? A quick glance at the internet revealed that her new organization was a self-described “Conservative Christian group that believes the Bible is the Word of God, Jesus Christ is Lord, and free volunteer service to others is a constructive way to help the community.”

Read on. The takeover of school boards by those who want to destroy public schools is a frightening development.

Byron James Henry is an educator in Texas. He writes here about a bitter school board election in the Cy-Fair District in Texas, the third largest in the state, where three Christian Nationalists ran a campaign based on fear, lies, and exaggeration and won.

He writes:

What began as a relatively predictable conservative opposition to mask mandates and vaccines morphed into an often-incomprehensible obsession with the “threat” of Critical Race Theory. The parents who initially disrupted school board meetings to question the recommendations of public health experts became consumed by the prospect, always ridiculous and unfounded, that their children were being indoctrinated by progressive and “woke” ideas that all White people are “oppressors” and that they should feel shame and guilt for being White. This notion, that children were being made to feel bad about the color of their skin, became the genesis of a groundswell of opposition to “CRT,” which became the term for anything that discussed concepts of white privilege, systemic racism, or the legacy of white supremacy.

In truth, the analytical framework known as “Critical Race Theory” is not being taught in any K-12 schools, but discussions about privilege and systemic racism had begun to show up, appropriately, in some high school settings within the context of the nation’s collective reckoning with racial injustice after George Floyd’s murder. The propagandists of the GOP saw an opportunity to stoke White insecurity and inflame White resentment toward society’s attempt to wrestle with deep questions about race. They funneled money into a faux grassroots or “AstroTurf” movement against CRT in the hopes that it would inspire higher turnout of conservative voters at the polls. Their campaign of lies, as with previous warnings about the threat of “socialism” or “illegal immigrants” or “Ebola” or “health care death panels,” succeeded. What is somewhat different, and more troubling, about the anti-CRT movement’s success is that it is laced with Christian Nationalism and poses a direct threat to our local schools as the site where the principles and practices of pluralistic, democratic self-government are taught….

Christian Nationalists are opposed to the idea of a pluralistic, multicultural republic if it means a conservative Christian worldview is on par with other world-views in the public sphere. Christian Nationalists want their worldview to be dominant. Christian Nationalists want their religious beliefs to override secular laws. They believe their religious liberty should permit them to discriminate against people and receive exemptions from mandates others are expected to follow. They claim to believe deeply in “choice” when they don’t want to do something, but they believe just as firmly in forced compliance to promote their beliefs. For example, they believe that schools should be forced to teach a mythical version of American history that presents conservative Christians as the nation’s founders, sustainers, and heirs. They believe that a woman should be forced to carry a pregnancy to term against her will.

Not satisfied, as in the past, to retreat from the public schools to private Christian schools, they are now engaged in a total war with the public-school system. The Texas legislature has passed legislation, HB 3979, preventing teachers from discussing the truth about the role of white supremacy, and how Christians used the Bible to justify it, in the nation’s founding and early history….

Their campaign literature, sent to me by the “Conservative Republicans of Harris County,” declares that, “We must take back the school boards that are controlled by the radical pro-Communist, anti-American leftists who are indoctrinating our children in Critical Race Theory and sexual perversion.” The piece then says, “We can change the direction of public education by electing conservative American Patriots to the school boards.”

The campaign literature then encourages the reader to “sign the Christian Patriot Declaration” at www.crtpac.com, which states, “Stouthearted Christian Patriots must rise up to boldly oppose and defeat the domestic enemy forces of evil, the atheistic pro-Communist Democrats, the despicable baby killers, pornographers, pedophiles, sodomites, transgenders, Antifa, and the BLM that have infiltrated our civil government and threaten to destroy all vestiges of Biblical morality and U.S. Constitutional principles. These domestic enemies are traitors to God and country.” The statement concludes: “Patriots, let’s press this battle to restore our nation to its Christian heritage to its successful conclusion!”

Can American public schools teach honest and truthful history when faced with this onslaught?

The Oklahoma State Board of Education lowered the rating of two districts—Tulsa and Mustang—for offering lessons or training that violated state bans on “critical race theory.”

Let’s be clear: hardly anyone in the state of Oklahoma knows what “critical race theory” is.

The board punished the two districts because they asked students or teachers to reflect on the meaning of racism.

In Mustang, one teacher complained.

Tulsa is a majority-minority district, but it made the mistake of teaching something other than lily-white stories about America., where racism might have long ago existed. Teaching about racism today is intolerable.

Representatives for the Tulsa and Mustang school districts did not immediately respond to requests for comment Saturday. In a statement to the Oklahoman, Tulsa Public Schools denied that the training stated that people of a certain race were inherently racist, saying it would “never support such a training,” but the system defended the need for implicit bias training.


“In Tulsa, we are teaching our children an accurate — and at times painful, difficult, and uncomfortable — history about our shared human experience,” the district told the newspaper. “We also teach in a beautifully diverse community and need our team to work together to be prepared to do that well.”


Charles Bradley, the superintendent of Mustang Public Schools, said in a statement published by News 9 that he was “shocked” by the board’s demotion, which he called a “harsh action.”


H.B. 1775 prohibits teaching that any individual “bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.” It also bans any course material that would make a student “feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex.”

Message: Never teach the truth!

Kathryn Joyce writes in Salon about a new “patriotic” social studies curriculum that celebrates rightwing ideology and deletes social justice from American history. The goal of the new curriculum is to fight “critical race theory” and “wokeness,” which are allegedly trying to “overthrow America.”

Just to be clear, the goal of the new curriculum is to delete the accurate and tragic facts about racism, past and present. They want teachers to stuff children’s heads with fake history. They assume that if students learn the truth about slavery, the Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow, segregation, redlining, and the unfinished struggle for equal rights for all, they will not have faith in America. If they learn the truth, they think, they will want to “overthrow” the government. This is almost too insane to write or repeat, but it’s happening. Crazy people want teachers of social studies and history to teach lies.

We used to teach children that it was wrong to tell lies. But these extremists want the entire education system to embrace lies. The danger is that students will watch documentaries on television and discover that everything they learned in social studies was a pack of lies. What then? Who will they want to overthrow?

Joyce writes:

In late June, a conservative education coalition called the Civics Alliance released a new set of social studies standards for K-12 schools, with the intention of promoting it as a model for states nationwide. These standards, entitled “American Birthright,” are framed as yet another corrective to supposedly “woke” public schools, where, according to Republicans, theoretical frameworks like critical race theory are only one part of a larger attack on the foundations of American democracy. 

“Too many Americans have emerged from our schools ignorant of America’s history, indifferent to liberty, filled with animus against their ancestors and their fellow Americans, and estranged from their country,” reads the introduction to “American Birthright.” (The “birthright” here refers to “freedom.”) And the fields of history and civics, it suggests, exemplify the worst of that trend. “The warping of American social studies instruction has created a corps of activists dedicated to the overthrow of America and its freedoms, larger numbers of Americans indifferent to the steady whittling away of American liberty, and many more who are so ignorant of the past they cannot use our heritage of freedom to judge contemporary debates.” 

While it claims to represent an ideologically neutral, apolitical history, the document holds that most instruction that references “diversity, equity and inclusion” or “social justice” amounts to “vocational training in progressive activism” and “actively promote[s] disaffection from our country.” It heralds Ronald Reagan as a “hero of liberty” alongside Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. Its proposed lessons in contemporary U.S. history include Reagan’s revitalization of the conservative movement, Bill Clinton’s impeachment, “Executive amnesties for illegal aliens” and the “George Floyd Riots.”  

American Birthright is just one of numerous recent right-wing efforts to overhaul public K-12 curricula to align with the dictates of current conservative ideology. 

Last week, the Miami Herald reported that Florida’s Department of Education has begun holding three-day training sessions for public school teachers around the state to prepare them to implement the state’s new Civics Literacy Excellence Initiative, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ flagship effort to create a more “patriotic” civics curriculum. The new Florida standards were created in consultation with Hillsdale College, a small Christian college that has become a guiding force on the right, and the Charles Koch-founded Bill of Rights Institute. 


These new rightwing curriculum writers want to impose the evangelical Christian worldview on America’s children. They want to force their fundamentalists ideology on everyone. Once they have gained control of the Governor’s office, they want to gain control of the schools and use them as centers of indoctrination. You may believe, with some evidence, that public schools have always taught American history with the atrocities edited out. But not even the bowdlerized textbooks were as audacious as the outright lies that the fundies are pushing now.

Mainstream textbook editors might balk at portraying Ronald Reagan as the equal of Abraham Lincoln. If so, the states that want anti-woke (i.e., unconscious) accounts of history can always purchase the texts produced by the publishers that supply Christian fundamentalist schools and Bob Jones University. The Abeka curriculum, written for homeschoolers and Christian schools, might become the official textbooks of Florida and other red states.

Who needs an educated citizenry? Apparently the educated are a threat to the indoctrinated.

Robert Hubbell blogs about the frightening new face of the GOP and an important reason for the surprising victory of reproductive rights forces in Kansas.

He writes:

The GOP is rapidly embracing autocracy and white Christian nationalism as its rallying cry. That rightward drift is anxiety-producing and creates the understandable urge to look away. We cannot do so. However painful or revolting it is to watch the descent of the GOP into madness and hate, if we hope to defeat the anti-democratic forces animating the Republican Party, we must be clear-eyed about the threat the party poses to American democracy.

We must be explicit in naming and describing the threat. We must identify and defeat every foot-solider and sympathizer who promotes or excuses tyranny and white nationalism. If we do so, we will preserve democracy. We can win. We will win. But only if we fight from a position firmly rooted in reality. From that vantage, let’s look at the GOP’s latest flirtations with white nationalism and despotism.

The influential and ultraconservative Conservative Political Action Conference is holding its latest meeting in Dallas, Texas. (Where else?) CPAC’s two keynote speakers are Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Donald Trump. Both are wannabe dictators, though Orbán has made more progress towards that goal than Trump.

Orbán promotes an ugly brand of politics based on hate and racial superiority (for whites, of course). He has recently saidthat Hungarians “do not want to become peoples of mixed race,” causing one of his cabinet members to resign, saying Orbán’s remarks were “a pure Nazi speech worthy of Goebbels.” He blames much of the world’s troubles on George Soros—an attack line that is a dog-whistle for antisemites. Indeed, he went so far at the CPAC conference to claim that “a Christian politician cannot be racist” because . . . well, because they are Christian. And like the Nazis, Orbán has led a national crusade of discrimination against LGBTQ people.

In most of the world, an audience would recoil in horror at remarks that explicitly invoked the Nazi ideologies of antisemitism, racial superiority, and discrimination against LGBTQ people. Not at the CPAC convention in Texas. Orbán received multiple standing ovations as he delivered remarks that could have easily been delivered in Nazi Germany in 1935. See The Independent, Fresh from furor over ‘Nazi’ speech, Hungarian PM Viktor Orban welcomed by American conservatives.

Notably, no Republican politician has condemned Orbán’s remarks. Instead, they are lining up to speak at CPAC. Other speakers comfortable sharing the podium with a “Nazi-curious” dictator include Trump, Ted Cruz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jim Jordan, and Sean Hannity. No surprises there.

The despotic yearnings of CPAC are not an aberration. They have become part of the GOP DNA. Charles M. Blow addresses this trend in his column in the NYTimes on Thursday: Opinion | The Republican Party Is the Anti-Democracy Party. Blow notes that The Heritage Foundation (self-described as “the most influential conservative group in America) is actively promoting the idea that “America is not a democracy,” but a “republic.”

While that statement is a truism (there are no pure democracies in the world), The Heritage Foundation uses the term “republic” to mean “white nationalist patriarchy.” Strong words, I know, but here is what The Heritage Foundation wrote in 2020:

America is threatened by an egalitarianism that undermines the social, familial, religious, and economic distinctions and inequalities that undergird our political liberty.

That passage deserves re-reading. The Heritage Foundation claims that America is threatened by “egalitarianism.” What?! Egalitarianism is defined as “the doctrine that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.” So, the Heritage Foundation is against “equal rights and opportunities for all??

Yes, it is! The Heritage Foundation goes on to say that “inequalities undergird ourpolitical liberty.” Re-read the preceding phrase—twice! It is breathtaking. In that phrase, “our” can only refer to the privileged, white elite that has ruled America since its founding. For The Heritage Foundation, “our political liberty” is based on “inequality.” Unbelievable.

So, the two leading Republican advocacy groups are actively promoting a white, Christian nationalism that is antithetical to the declaration that created America: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal . . . .

If we can get past the grievance mentality that Trump manipulates to his advantage, the positions embraced by CPAC and The Heritage Foundation are repugnant to most Americans. We need only articulate that truth in a way that resonates with their inherent belief in the American promise of equality. If we can do that, we have a fighting chance to turn the GOP’s message of hate against its most ardent promoters. The victory in Kansas points the way. Read on!

Messaging in Kansas.

With the benefit of 48 hours hindsight, it is becoming clear that a critical component of the victory in Kansas was messaging (a fact noted by dozens of readers in Comments and emails today). Charlie Sykes does an excellent job of reviewing the commentary on this issue in his Morning Shots newsletter. From WaPo,

Abortion rights supporters used conservative-sounding language about government mandates and personal freedom in their pitch to voters, and made a point of reaching out to independents, Libertarians and moderate Republicans.

And check out this television ad that describes the anti-abortion effort as an attempt to impose “a strict government mandate” that was “a slippery slope that would put more of your individual rights at risk.”

Messaging wasn’t the only reason that reproductive choice won in Kansas on Tuesday, but it was undoubtedly one of the reasons that a majority of persuadable Independents and some Republicans voted “No” on the anti-choice measure.

It will not require an advertising genius to draft ads demonstrating that the ugly ideologies of CPAC and The Heritage Group are antithetical to America’s founding ideals.

We can do that. We did it. In Kansas.