Domestic Terrorists Are Afoot in Dearborn
Muslim parents are fed up with the local school district's insistence on making sexually explicit content available to kids.
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Domestic terrorists are running wild these days.
Turns out that it’s not just “conservative Christians” who don’t worship at the Church of Woke: Muslim parents are not interested in that bull, either, and they happen to have standards and values that transcend petty political interests. That’s the conclusion one must draw from recent events in Dearborn, Michigan, which isn’t far from where I grew up. Known as the “Arab capital of North America,” the city is home to the largest Muslim population in the United States and one of the most morally conservative cultures.
Over the past couple of weeks, hundreds of (mostly) Muslim parents concerned about sexually explicit LGBTQ books in Dearborn Public Schools, the state’s third-largest district, have taken to protesting at school board meetings.
The initial hullabaloo took place last Monday during a regularly scheduled board meeting that was only supposed to involve your standard minutiae, including approving contracts for classroom projectors and asbestos removal and such and such. But that meeting devolved into pandemonium when hundreds of pissed off parents flash-mobbed what had been a quiet and painfully boring affair, with many of the protesters carrying signs in English and Arabic like, “Keep Your Dirty Books in the Closet” and “Stop Grooming Our Kids.”
Things escalated quickly when one Roxanne McDonald, chair of the board, took to banging her gavel like a low-rent Judge Judy, shouting, “No, I am board president. I have the right to…to…set the time limits…I have the floor!”
Her attempts to impose said time limits did not sit well with parents, who booed raucously and ignored the requests of police officers to stop interrupting. The proceedings were eventually halted due to fears that the growing crowd violated the fire code. Shouts of “Vote them out!” commenced as people left.
The meeting was rescheduled for Thursday, and part deux did not disappoint. It took place in the Stout Middle School auditorium, where the 600 seats were filled to capacity and an overflow crowd watched on a large-screen TV in the cafeteria. Reductio ad Hitlerum was even featured thanks to one particularly flustered mask-equipped woman who might well be the apotheosis of that most contemporary archetype: The neurotic progressive.1
Dozens of police officers and private security were present to help keep the peace during the hours-long affair, to mixed results, primarily because this time some Lefty types were there to argue the importance of creating an inclusive, safe environment for LGBTQ students and offering books that open the minds of kids to stories and people different from themselves. Which sounds innocent enough and is certainly something I’d support, but which is a gross use of pathos based on some of the content we’re dealing with here.
Speaking of content, let’s take a gander at some, lest you should think these parents are overreacting:
Harry Potter this is not. Is it any wonder that this “literature,” as the Guardian calls it, has created what might be conservatively termed a climate of concern among parents?
But just like we saw in Virginia with parents being demonized for opposing curricula filtered through the pedagogy of critical race theory, the Left is accusing Dearborn parents of bigotry and homophobia. Several speakers protesting the books rightly bridled at being dismissed as unwitting pawns of a Trump-inspired, right-wing push to divide people and banish gay folks from public life—a very simple-minded take, to put it mildly, and one that’s easily debunked after listening to some of these parents’ concerns.
“We are not here to attack the LGBTQ community,” said Amro Hizam, a Dearborn local. But “the blatantly inappropriate content has no place in our public schools. It is normalizing sexual content.”
“You looked at us like we were crazy people,” Nagi Almudhegi told the board. “We are a compassionate people, a tolerant people. [But] does anyone need a PhD to know this book is not appropriate for kids? This is common sense. How did we get to this point?”
One of Michigan’s most prominent faith leaders, Imam Hassan Al-Qazwini of the Islamic Institute of America, urged his congregation to attend future school board meetings. “They are proponents of democracy, but only if it supports liberal values,” he said of proponents of the books. “The moment it goes against liberal values, they are authoritarian, and they want to impose their own values on people.”
Parents are now organizing a recall effort similar to that of the San Francisco Board of Education, which saw voters remove each of three progressive commissioners in a landslide victory on February 15, 2022.
Note well that Muslim parents in Dearborn aren’t the only ones upset about this sort of content:
It’s not “anti-LGBTQ” or a “book ban” to say this stuff isn’t appropriate for kids, and parents are fully within their rights to tell local schools that it shouldn’t be in library circulation. If a student really wants to read one of these books, or if a parent really wants their child to do so, then order the damn thing on Amazon.
Christopher Rufo points out that public schools are not host to a “free marketplace of ideas.” The public school system is actually a government-run monopoly with an extraordinary degree of power and influence over children, but it’s the public that gets to decide which values and texts are inculcated. Schools have always had to work within federal and state law, but even more importantly, they must also consider the attitudes, beliefs, and customs of the local community they serve.
This is why it’s neither here nor there that the internet is teeming with infinitely worse content than what these parents are upset about. The Dearborn school district has an obligation to take culture into consideration when determining what is and isn’t appropriate in the classroom.
And consider: School is often treated as a sanctuary of sorts by parents. Many of these folks are thoroughly married and suburbanized and have enough children to populate a string quartet. When the kids are at school, that’s supposed to be a part of the day that parents needn’t worry about whether little Billy is surfing PornHub. So, if they discover that little Billy has been frequenting a discrete, dimly-lit corner of the library and reading up on dudes getting “a willy up their bum” and becoming well-versed in wild and anatomically diverse sex then of course the reaction will be one of outrage.
As Rufo also notes, under the First Amendment, left-wing activists can publish whatever they want—but voters and taxpayers are not obligated to subsidize and promote that content to their children.
As to the question of a school district’s legislative authority to restrict or ban books, the U.S. Supreme Court permits it under specific conditions. In the Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School District No. 26 v. Pico, SCOTUS ruled that if there exists any political, social, or religious reason behind a book’s ban, this is a violation of First Amendment rights; but if the motivation is nondiscriminatory — like, say, concerns about the obscenity of texts and the question of their educational value — then the school district is granted discretion to decide whether or not that text should be made available to students.
Frankly, I find this all very funny. You really think one of the most deeply religious, pro-family cultures in America is going to be okay with you exposing their children to this kind of stuff?
Moreover, at what point will the Left realize that it’s extremely ill-advised to mess around with people’s kids? Spend ten minutes watching Planet Earth and you’ll come away with a keen sense of what happens when someone or something comes between parents and their brood.2 For those who insist that grooming and indoctrination aren’t happening, you are woefully mistaken. In fact, a bombshell study just came out in which 93% of recent high school graduates surveyed said that they were taught at least one of the basic principles of critical race theory and radical gender theory.
The toxic critical race theory claptrap in K-12 schools, needless pandemic school closures and learning loss, and now this radical gender theory-type indoctrination—a three-part recipe for the parental Red pill if there ever was. And we haven’t even mentioned the irreversible damage being done to dysphoric children through “gender-affirming care,” or the Left’s extremely weird, morally perverse desire to subject toddlers to “family-friendly drag shows” and to even feature little kids in the shows.3
I fail to see how anyone could be confused by the moral calculus at play here (or lack thereof). Democrats are being obtuse, and that’s on them. It is not some divine insoluble epistemological mystery as to whether or not all of the above might push ordinary, non-political Americans who normally vote Democrat toward the Republican Party, which is a veritable Doric column of stability and an oasis of sanity by comparison and actually prioritizes real issues like the economy and crime as opposed to things like “disrupting the binary between womanhood and manhood,” and infusing public school curricula with “gender-transgressive themes,” and “fighting the oppressive system of the nuclear family.” My hope is that November smacks Democrats in the face. 🤞
Note that this woman is decrying the foisting of one’s views onto others. Lady, that is literally all the Left is about. Their entire political project is centered on upending age-old verities. If progressives had their way, pronouns would be mandatory, gender would be treated as a social construct, and the 1619 project would be required reading in K-12 schools. Indeed, in many parts of the country this is already the case!
One of my rules for a successful life is that there are two things you should really under no circumstances ever mess with: Nature and the U.S. military. Both will put the fear of God into you.