Donald Trump is calling on his followers to "lay down their very lives" to defend the United States against critical race theory. The disgraced former president delivered that dangerous call to arms at his "Save America" rally Saturday night in Florence, South Carolina.
"Getting critical race theory out of our schools is not just a matter of values, it's also a matter of national survival," Trump told his MAGA supporters. So-called critical race theory is not something that is taught in K-12 grades, it is a college-level interdisciplinary means to examine social and institutional constructs surrounding race.
"We have no choice," Trump continued, a claim he often makes when speaking falsely.
That's when he laid the groundwork for weaponizing his followers in the racist battle inside his mind that one day may erupt in physical war on our streets.
"The fate of any nation depends upon the willingness of its citizens to lay down – and they must do this – lay down their very lives to defend their country. If we allow the Marxists and communists and socialists to teach our children to hate America there will be no one left to defend our flag or to protect our great country or its freedom."
Backlash was strong and swift.
"Calling for political violence to stop the teaching of accurate history in our schools is what fascism looks like," commented Indivisible's Sarah Dohl.
"Trump doesn’t want a political party. He wants an army. He’s a TV terrorist yes. But he’s also a real fascist," wrote Condé Nast Legal Affairs Editor Luke Zaleski. "Attacking the Capitol, waiting, calling it off, then telling them he loved them after they terrorized the country and got his message across was a kind of a hint, folks."
Zaleski later added: "Trump is a traitor and political mob boss."
Civil-rights lawyer Subodh Chandra described Trump's remarks as a "call to a violent race war. Over nothing but the teaching of our actual history. (CRT is not taught in public schools.)"
"Donald Trump," said Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts, "who seems to be in the running for 2024, tells a nation awash in guns to kill or be killed in order to stop anyone from 'hating our country.'"
"Scenes from a slow civil war," observed Vanity Fair contributing editor Jeff Sharlet, who exposed the international right-wing Christian fundamentalist theocratic organization known as The Family.
"What does this mean?" asked Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy professor Don Moynihan. "If you are a teacher in a state you probably feel less and less safe by the extremist nature of this rhetoric."
"Encouraging his fanboys to commit political violence again. Why is he still at large?" asked Salon's Bob Cesca.
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