Another Big Win

We forced the NSBA to apologize for its letter labeling parent protests "domestic terrorism."

The National School Boards Association’s gambit to label parent protests “domestic terroriism” has collapsed. The organization has splintered, its strategy has backfired, and its board of directors has been forced to apologize.

I’m going to explain exactly how we did it.

First, when the initial NSBA and Department of Justice letters came out, we immediately framed the narrative on social media that the NSBA and Attorney General Garland wanted to “label parents domestic terrorists.” My initial tweet did 14 million impressions, sparking a week-long media cycle that exploited their reckless language.

We then deployed a rhetorical ju-jitsu move, debunking the false claim that parents had been violent against school officials and recasting the dynamic as the Biden Administration using the FBI to suppress parents and criminalize dissent. Suddenly, they were on the defensive.

Next, the incredible teams at Open The Books and Parents Defending Education did the Freedom of Information Act research to uncover that Attorney General Garland’s son-in-law was benefitting from critical race theory consulting and that the NSBA and DOJ had been secretly colluding on the original letter. We caught them in a double-corruption.

Meanwhile, the outrage inspired parents to double-down. The leaders of grassroots groups including Moms for Liberty, No Left Turn in Education, and Fight for Schools rallied parents to peacefully protest as “Moms vs. FBI,” which framed the conflict on our terms and cast the Administration as repressive and anti-democratic.

In the political arena, elected officials including Senator Josh Hawley and Representative Burgess Owens hauled Biden Administration officials in for testimony and grilled them on both counts: the suppression of parents and the corruption within the Attorney General’s office. The Biden officials stumbled and were forced into a humiliating retreat.

We also started putting pressure on state NSBA chapters, with activists such as Corey DeAngelis reporting that 20+ state associations were revolting against the national organization. We hammered at them until the national board of directors was forced to apologize, blowing up the rationale for the entire campaign.

Our strategy was successful for the following reasons: we framed the narrative early, exploited their mistakes, generated hundreds of millions of media impressions, and rallied the entire movement together, including journalists, activists, parents, and political officials who have been fighting critical race theory.

The next step is to turn the screws on Attorney General Garland, who secretly conspired with outside groups to mobilize the FBI against political opponents and whose family benefits financially from critical race theory in schools.

We have the momentum: the public hates CRT, parents are mobilized nationwide, the NSBA is in shambles, and the DOJ is on the ropes. We must press forward with all of our strength, to protect parents from political suppression and protect kids from state-sanctioned racism. Onward.

First published as a viral Twitter thread.

Christopher F. Rufo is a writer, filmmaker, and senior fellow of Manhattan Institute. He has directed four documentaries for PBS and is currently a contributing editor of City Journal, where he covers critical race theory, homelessness, addiction, crime, and other afflictions.

Menu