In tweets Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott revived his messaging against “critical race theory” in his latest confrontation with the Joe Biden administration.
Scott lambasted U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland‘s call to have federal law enforcement take a look at parents who take issue with “radical curriculum,” including so-called critical race theory, which spotlights structural racism as a persistent problem in American institutions.
“Joe Biden’s attorney general wants the FBI to go after parents for speaking out at school board meetings to protect kids from radical curriculum like critical race theory,” Scott tweeted. “Biden’s disgusting socialist agenda must end. We won’t let him intimidate & silence parents.”
The Senator returned to the theme some minutes later, in a second tweet placing the critical race theory position in a larger context of global totalitarianism.
“Biden’s Treasury Secretary wants to monitor Americans’ financial transactions. Biden’s AG wants to silence opponents of Critical Race Theory. This is what the Chinese, Russian & Cuban regimes currently do: snoop on their citizens & squash dissent. Biden = Systemic Socialism,” Scott said.
Scott’s strong words come almost a day after Garland issued a memorandum calling for the FBI and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to meet in the next 30 days with federal, state, Tribal, territorial and local law enforcement leaders regarding the “disturbing trend” of threats against school board members, teachers and workers in public schools.
“Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation’s core values,” Garland wrote. “Those who dedicate their time and energy to ensuring that our children receive a proper education in a safe environment deserve to be able to do their work without fear for their safety.”
Garland envisions a task force, in which representatives from the department’s Criminal Division, National Security Division, Civil Rights Division, the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, the FBI, the Community Relations Service and the Office of Justice Programs will search for federal enforcement mechanisms, even when the threats made don’t rise to the level of federal crimes.
Threats against board members are not hypotheticals. As the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported, School Board Chair Shirley Brown has had protesters outside her home, calling her a “tyrant” for backing a mask rule and calling for her resignation.
Scott’s concern about critical race theory is well-documented. Earlier this year, Scott filed a Senate resolution condemning it. He has predicted the issue will change school boards as well.
Scott isn’t the only Florida leader to deride the Biden administration’s moves to protect school board members from threats at meetings, which have become front lines in the pandemic’s version of the culture wars. Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose administration has banned critical race theory officially, promised to fight the feds in a tweet Tuesday also.
“Attorney General Garland is weaponizing the DOJ by using the FBI to pursue concerned parents and silence them through intimidation. Florida will defend the free speech rights of its citizens and will not allow federal agents to squelch dissent,” DeSantis vowed.
As is the case with Scott, DeSantis thinks school boards are in play. He vowed this summer to involve his “political apparatus” in those races, which are bound to be high-profile going forward.