Republicans are just soooo oversensitive these days. They storm school board meetings, post vitriolic rants on Facebook, and generally act like a 2-year-old who had their favorite toy taken away whenever the topic of critical race theory (CRT) is brought up. Michelle Leete, the Virginia PTA vice president of Training, was asked to resign after white people got in their feelings over comments she made calling out racists and transphobes during a school board meeting.
CNN reports that Leete made her comments last Thursday during a vote by the Fairfax County School Board on providing equitable rights for transgender students. CNN notes the board voted unanimously to allow trans students “access to restroom and locker room facilities consistent with their gender identity, the right to non-disclosure of their gender identity and/or sexual orientation and the right to be called by their chosen names and pronouns.” For some reason, a group of anti-CRT protesters gathered at the meeting which had nothing to do with CRT at all.
Leete gave a stirring speech to the parents and protesters in the crowd. “So let’s meet and remain steadfast in speaking truth, tearing down double standards, and refuting double talk. Let’s not allow any double-downing on lies. Let’s prepare our children for a world they deserve,” Leete said.
“Let’s deny this off-key band of people that are anti-education, anti-teacher, anti-equity, anti-history, anti-racial reckoning, anti-opportunities, anti-help people, anti-diversity, anti-platform, anti-science, anti-change agent, anti-social justice, anti-healthcare, anti-worker, anti-LGBTQ+, anti-children, anti-healthcare, anti-worker, anti-environment, anti-admissions policy change, anti-inclusion, anti-live-and-let live people. Let them die.”
People cheered after the speech because “fuck racist, transphobic assholes,” is a pretty easy message to get behind. Unless, of course, you’re a racist, transphobic asshole who’d rather children be indoctrinated with the mythic approach to history that public schools have used for so long.
The video of Leete’s speech was recorded by Asra Nomani, vice president at Parents Defending Education. The group claims it’s a “national grassroots organization working to reclaim our schools from activists promoting harmful agendas.” A cursory look at Nomani’s Twitter feed gives the impression of a person who has too much time on their hands and uses it to actively make humanity worse.
Anyway, as a result of the video going viral among the worst people, Leete was asked to resign from her position. “As the commonwealth’s largest nonpartisan, volunteer child advocacy association, Virginia PTA upholds values of respect, collaboration, and accountability,” the Virginia PTA said in a statement.
Leete defended herself in a statement sent to CNN, saying her words weren’t directed at the protesters. “I will certainly admit, it was ineloquently stated and with a pause for the applause, the timing was off, but ‘Let them die’ was referring to the ideals that show a disregard and lack of support for our teachers who have a truly difficult job to do even without a pandemic,” Leete explained.
Leete is first vice president of the Fairfax County NAACP, and the organization said in a statement they stood by her and her comments. They said that a look at her speech in its entirety, as opposed to focusing on three words like some people, reveals she was trying to prepare “our children for a better world by denying space to rhetoric, ideas or narratives that threaten the world we want to leave our next generation. This is abundantly clear when you consider the entirety of her speech, instead of simply the last seconds of it.”
I’m annoyed I’ve had to live through five years of proudly ignorant people using racist rhetoric, advocating violence and engaging in violence and the only people who are consistently punished are those who speak out against them.