More than 200 death threats and threats of violence sent to school board members across the country have been documented, including one sent over the Christmas holidays last year to the adult child of Brenda Sheridan in Loudoun County, Virginia.
“It is too bad that your mother is an ugly communist whore,” Reuters reports the hand-written note read. “If she doesn’t quit or resign before the end of the year, we will kill her, but first, we will kill you!”
Reuters calls the missives "a rash of terroristic threats and hostile messages ignited by roiling controversies over policies on curtailing the coronavirus, bathroom access for transgender students and the teaching of America’s racial history."
The Christmas death threat was just one of 22 sent to Sheridan or all her fellow Loudon County school board members.
“Brenda, I am going to gut you like the fat f‑‑‑ing pig you are when I find you,” read another threat.
The 220 threats Reuters documented were only the ones reported to police.
In Pennsylvania’s Pennsbury school district school board members received a message that read: “This why hitler threw you c‑‑ts in a gas chamber.”
And in Dublin, Ohio a note to the school board president read, “You have become our enemies and you will be removed one way or the other.”
Last fall the National School Board Association (NSBA) wrote to the White House to ask President Joe Biden to take action to protect local elected officials, sparking a wave of right-wing outrage from conservatives, Fox News, and other far-right outlets.
“As these acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials have increased,” the letter from the NSBA read, “the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”
Conservatives latched on to that letter, falsely claiming parents calmly voicing concerns at school board meetings were being called domestic terrorists, and claiming also that Attorney General Merrick Garland had agreed to spy on parents.
None of that was true.
Those false claims forced the NSBA to retract the letter and apologize, in an act eerily similar to a 2009 report from the Obama administration's Dept. of Homeland Security that warned of the potential for a rise in right-wing extremism.
That classified report sparked outrage from conservatives, forcing it to be withdrawn and the work of a DHS intelligence unit created to combat domestic terrorism "stopped."
The report sounds like it could have been written today.
"Many right-wing extremists are antagonistic toward the new presidential administration and its perceived stance on a range of issues, including immigration and citizenship, the expansion of social programs to minorities, and restrictions on firearm ownership and use," the 2009 report said, as CNN noted at the time.
The report was titled, "Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment."
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