Right-wing loonies who targeted an accomplished black educator whom they baselessly described as teaching Critical Race Theory appear to have lost their elections.
ProPublica has been following this story closely:
Two Georgia school board candidates who criticized the hiring of a Black educator focused on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives lost their runoff elections this week. Meanwhile, a person who helped organize the effort to push educator Cecelia Lewis out of her job is narrowly losing her bid for a seat in the state House of Representatives.
The three were described in a ProPublica story last week that detailed how Lewis was attacked in both Cherokee County and neighboring Cobb County by white parents making baseless claims that she was bringing critical race theory to both school districts. (CRT maintains that racial bias is embedded in America’s laws and institutions and has caused disproportionate harm to people of color; it’s rarely if ever taught in K-12 public school systems.)
State House candidate Noelle Kahaian, a paralegal and conservative nonprofit leader, is trailing her opponent by 23 votes. The state has until July 1 to certify results, and candidates who come within half a percentage point of their opponent can request a recount.
The two Cherokee County school board candidates, Sean Kaufman and Ray Lynch, were defeated by wide margins on Tuesday. They were part of a four-candidate slate attempting to gain a majority for a more conservative school board. That collective effort, dubbed 4CanDoMore, was endorsed by the 1776 Project PAC, a new super PAC that touted victories of far-right school board candidates it had backed in multiple states. The two other 4CanDoMore candidates, Michael “Cam” Waters and Chris Gregory, had lost to incumbents in the May 24 primary.
In a statement to ProPublica, Cherokee County School District Chief Communications Officer Barbara Jacoby said that the group of people who targeted Lewis “do not speak for our community, as was illustrated when their candidates failed in their recent attempt to win a majority on the School Board. We do not support hate, and we are deeply sorry for how Ms. Lewis and her family were treated by these members of our community.”
Stacey Abrams has been organizing the state of Georgia in ways that nobody thought possible, and her efforts are thought to be spilling over into these local races. In any case, with races this close, a single vote can mean the difference between holding off the forces of darkness — or not.
Here is a link to ProPublica’s original reporting about this crazy case of white parents chasing a black educator out of town.