In the runup to the May primary, Cora Landis presented a new self, at least on Facebook. There are no references to Qanon, Q or WWG1WGA, Where We Go 1 We Go All.
She attends the same church, but now she sits in a different pew. She is a public person these days. On December 6 she will attend the “reorganization” meeting, to elect the president and vice president of the school board. She has an official board email, email@example.com. So it makes sense to tone down her references to Hollywood stars drinking the blood of babies.
Instead she says, “In my world, ‘Q’ stands for question,” as in students should question things. Qanon is too easy to point at. Instead people have to spend time researching posts to understand her sources, which are rightwing sites based in conspiracy, misinformation and quack science (she was once a believer in hydroxychloroquine).
And who has time to do that? We do.
Her preferred sources of information these days are the Epoch Times, Townhall, which was started by the ultra conservative Heritage Foundation, Fox43 and a “grassroots” group called Parents Defending Education.
There is big money these days behind Epoch TImes. It was once a scrappy anti-China, pro Falun Gong, meditative Qigong newspaper with a weak online presence and a wacky, secretive headquarters in Upstate New York. Simultaneously it got behind Trump and figured out Facebook. Money poured in and it became a rightwing pet. Now it churns out stories based on hearsay, or less, always with a rightward slant. This makes it a perfect source for Landis to promote. The story below emphasizes the Republican idea that you start with the schools, stupid.
As with most tabloid stories, those smiling blondes are not the main players. The real complainant is an Asian woman who doesn’t want schools in Loudoun to fritter school time away that could be used to teach science and math by talking about equality and diversity. Instead, just teach more science and math. But, you know, power to the parents.
Or, as an article in Politico put it, It’s not the Democratic dream of helping all students, but the Republican promise of helping your student.
Next: Another story from Epoch Times, this one about LGBT interests. As it turns out, the story isn’t what the headline says. Instead it is teachers talking about a parent who cannot understand the LGBT program.
Let’s move on to “Parents” Defending Education.
We are going to quote here: “Parents Defending Education is corporate school privatizers going hard right to attack school boards, superintendents, principals, and teachers.” Parents Defending Education is one of a dozen groups, including Moms4Liberty and FightforSchools and NoLeftTurn, that seem to be well funded rightwing attack machines. The issue in Ames, Iowa, was consultants with PhDs called in to evaluate the system’s teaching of inclusion and diversity.
One lesson to be learned here is that Critical Race Theory does not have to be taught under that term, since it is not taught in any public school in America. But, right wing arguments go, the same ideas are taught using different words. Apparently any discussion of slavery, race, the Black experience, even immigration, falls into what these word-mongers argue must not be taught in school, because it “teaches racism” and “makes white people feel guilty for being white.”
Cora Landis’s fellow board members from Springfield, Region 3 are both Democrats. Dawn Grochowiak has been a social worker at the Penn Foundation in Sellersville, which offers counseling to those with addiction and other mental health problems. Cora will also be serving with Robert S. Musantry, who has been board president and vice president. We know they will be polite.
We wish Cora Landis an enlightening time serving her four years on the Palisades School Board.