Imagine being a governor who is so staunchly against teaching diversity and inclusion that you forget you have a diversity and inclusion council and sign legislation that causes more than half of said council’s members to bounce on your ass.
Such is the case for Republican New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, who signed a bill last week that restricts the way public school teachers and government employees can talk about things like racism, diversity and other subjects that make white people experience psychosomatic symptoms of cooties and hives. As a result of him signing the bill, ten out of the 17 members of the council resigned.
HuffPost reports that Sununu created the council in 2017 in order to “combat discrimination and advance the ends of diversity and inclusion,” but it appears he has reversed the positions of the words “combat” and “advance” in that sentence now that he has signed House Bill 2, which, among other things, prohibits educators from acknowledging the existence of structural racism. (It doesn’t specifically mention Critical Race Theory, but we all know what brought this on.)
Last week, he signed House Bill 2, a policy-focused “trailer bill” that passed along party lines in the GOP-controlled legislature. Among other provisions, the legislation bars public schools and government employees from teaching about systemic racism and bias. It also bans abortions beyond 24 weeks gestation, with exceptions only to save the life of the mother. Doctors who perform those abortions could face up to seven years in prison.
State Rep. Jim Maggiore (D) told HuffPost that he voted against the bill because he “could not in good conscience support language restricting the free speech of Granite Staters.” He was one of the 10 council members who quit Tuesday.
The resigning members of the governor’s council called HB2 an attempt to “censor conversations essential to advancing equity and inclusion in our state, specifically for those within our public education systems, and all state employees,” saying it will “directly impact those who are working with some of our state’s most vulnerable populations, including educators, child welfare workers, and law enforcement.”
So this legislation is basically making it rain conservatism by doubling as an anti-abortion bill and an anti-hurting-white-people’s-feelings bill.
Remember when conservatives used to pretend to be afraid of government overreach? I mean, they still do, but, as usual, they’re only all “down with big government” when it comes to the regulation of guns or measures meant to protect and preserve the environment. When it comes to regulating women’s bodies or an educator’s ability to teach honestly about racism in America, Republicans are suddenly OK with government presence where it clearly doesn’t belong.
Then there’s the free speech aspect that the council mentioned. Republicans cry “cancel culture” every time a celebrity gets booted from a TV show for posting right-wing ridiculousness on Twitter, and they call it an attack on the First Amendment even though the government isn’t involved. HB 2 is a literal instance of government deciding what can be said publicly (albeit, for other government workers), and conservatives don’t even blink.
Anyway, Sununu appeared to be trying to save face by responding to the news of the resignations of most of his council by saying that it had been going through a “transition” anyway after the council’s former chairman, Rogers Johnson, died last year.
“There are many individuals who have expressed a willingness to join these efforts as we come out of the pandemic, and we have already started filling these vacancies with representatives from all walks of life,” he said.
Riiiiiight—the council is more than half gone because members were going to be replaced anyway, and not because whiny white people and their fragile-ass feelings were catered to through legislation.
The power of whiteness, I tell ya.