Former presidential candidate and ex-representative Tulsi Gabbard is speaking out against a Democrat-introduced bill to combat “domestic terrorism.” She warns that it might be used to label everyday Christian conservatives and other right-wingers as “extremists” who ought to be monitored.
Speaking with Brian Kilmeade on “Fox News Primetime” Friday evening, Gabbard criticized the bill introduced by Democratic representative Brad Schneider (IL-10). Officially known as H.R.350, it seeks “to authorize dedicated domestic terrorism offices within the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to analyze and monitor domestic terrorist activity and require the Federal Government to take steps to prevent domestic terrorism.”
If passed, the bill would in theory give the DHS, DOJ, and FBI more tools and resources to monitor certain groups and individuals they consider to be potential domestic terrorists. But Gabbard, a Democrat, worries that it could be used in practice to cast a wide net and label almost half the country as extremists or potential extremists.
“When you look at their process and they start looking at what characteristics we’re looking for as we are building this profile of a potential ‘extremist,’ what are we talking about?” Gabbard inquired. “Religious extremists, are we talking about Christians? Evangelical Christians? What is a religious extremist? Is it somebody who is pro-life? Where do you take this?
“You start looking at, obviously, has to be a white person, obviously likely male, libertarians, anybody who loves freedom, liberty, maybe has an American flag outside their house, or people who attended a Trump rally,” she continued. “Once you start walking this down the path, you see where it leads: to a very dangerous undermining of our civil liberties, our freedoms in our Constitution, and a targeting of almost half of the country.”
Her remarks come not just in response to Representative Schneider’s bill, but also to the comments by ex-CIA Director John Brennan in which he said that Joe Biden’s administration is “moving in laser-like fashion” to combat something he claims is “very similar to insurgency movements that we’ve seen overseas,” something in the United States that’s akin to an “unholy alliance” of “religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, nativists, and even libertarians.”
Gabbard also called on President Biden to disavow Brennan’s remarks and work to build the “unity” he so often stressed during his presidential campaign.
“This whole effort, whether you’re talking about this bill or people saying that we have to deprogram these Trump cultists […] all of this just goes to further tear our country apart. And it moves towards what Joe Biden said in his inauguration speech that shouldn’t happen, which is a dehumanization of your opponent. […] He needs to denounce people like John Brennan and their statements, bills like the one Adam Schiff put forward, and truly speak to the American people about how we must come together around the Constitution and around our Bill of Rights, around these rights that have been endowed to us by our Creator,” she said.
Boston Public Schools Suspend Advanced Classes for Fourth Through Sixth Graders Because of “Racial Inequities”
70 percent of the students enrolled in the program were either white or Asian.
Citing the pandemic and “racial inequities,” Boston Public Schools has suspended enrollment in an advanced class program for fourth, fifth, and sixth graders.
The program is called Advanced Work Classes, and superintendent Brenda Cassellius has said it will go on a one-year hiatus.
“There’s been a lot of inequities that have been brought to the light in the pandemic that we have to address,” Cassellius told GBH News. “There’s a lot of work we have to do in the district to be anti-racist and have policies where all of our students have a fair shot at an equitable and excellent education.”
Students already in Advanced Work Classes will be able to stay enrolled and continue their work, but for at least one year there will be no new fifth- or sixth-grade students admitted to the program. Fourth-grade students will be admitted “by standards to be determined at the school level.”
80 percent of all Boston public school students are either Hispanic or black, but 70 percent of the students enrolled in Advanced Work Classes are either white or Asian.
School Committee member Lorna Rivera was quoted as saying “this is just not acceptable,” adding that she’s “never heard these statistics before” and is “very, very disturbed by them.”
Superintendent Cassellius also claims that interest in Advanced Work Classes has waned over the years and that only five schools in the district had been offering them.
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