Walk the line: from JBS to Murdoch and to school shootings

Blurring one line between church and state America's founders extolled the virtue of education as local schools were run both by christian sects and by local municipalities under the Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution.

But it was not until 1867 and Reconstruction made public education a federal prerogative when President Andrew Johnson created a Department of Education as a proxy for race politics. Missionaries were hired then dispatched to the Deep South to provide schooling for whites and Negroes alike and Roman Catholics were enabled in the American West to assimilate Indigenous youth. Congress was incensed then demoted the Education Department after a year making it part of the Interior Department yet abuses continued

In the 1930s an American oligarch named Fred Koch became a close ally of the Soviet Union, trained Bolshevik engineers and helped the regime set up fifteen modern oil refineries then Stalin butchered Koch's proteges so Fred helped found the anti-communist John Birch Society. 

Fast-forward to the Red Scare, Brown vs. Board of Education, President Eisenhower then to the 1960s when the Elementary and Secondary Education Act was passed to relieve some of the effects of poverty and segregation despite Section 604 which forbade federal control of education. 

President Jimmy Carter created the modern Department of Education amidst the howls from Republicans who renounce the decision to integrate schools to the present day. Ronald Reagan moved to kill the Department of Education and when Republican Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House he was all about getting rid of DoE, too. Then came No Child Left Behind and a DoE budget that exceeds $70 billion annually. 

Now, police unions get the cash and teachers’ unions get the shaft.

Recall Republican former South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds won election to the US Senate for advocating the dissolution of the US Department of Education and in 2015 the state's legislature passed a resolution to abolish it. 

In 2018, a luncheon meeting in Vermillion hosted by the University of South Dakota Young Republicans went off the rails and off-script for then-Rep. Kristi Noem (earth hater-SD) who wanted to talk about her campaign to be a career politician but was overwhelmed by angry constituents abhorred by school gun violence and she blamed the victims! Today, Governor Noem is still planning to address the National Rifle Association in Texas after another murderous bloodbath there.

Until the Vietnam War school shootings were rare and scattered but after commercial teevee brought the carnage into every American living room something changed. School shootings spiked to seventeen in the 1960s. There were thirty school shootings in the 1970s, 39 in the 1980s, 62 in the 1990s, 64 in the 2000s and over 150 in the 2010s.

There have been 27 school shootings this year. There have been 119 school shootings since 2018, when Education Week began tracking such incidents. The highest number of shootings, 34, occurred last year. There were 10 shootings in 2020, and 24 each in 2019 and 2018. [Education Week]
Charles Whitman, Richard Speck, Timothy McVeigh, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, Dylann Roof, Adam Lanza, Robert Dear, James Holmes, Eric Rudolph, Jared Loughner, Wade Michael Page, Eric Frein, Stephen Paddock, Nickolas Cruz, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, Payton Gendron and Salvadore Ramos all are or were christians. All these men were victims of bullying, isolation and ostracism. All had histories of extensive teevee usage, many to video game exposure and easy access to firearms. Distrust of government and race hatred factored in most, if not all of the episodes for which they are infamous.

To this day reservation border towns are influenced by the Klan, John Birch Society, the TEA movement and now by the extreme white wing of the Republican Party. 

The Trump Organization was simply the latest obstacle to public education because it hates people of color and social equity, too. Add it all up: Rupert Murdoch, a a not-so-closeted racist himself, the Kochs, JBS, the Council for National Policy, the National Rifle Association, Fox News, Tucker Carlsontheir attacks on public education and their fear of the "Great Replacement."

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer accused Fox News of promoting White nationalist “Great Replacement” rhetoric and urged Fox Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch to end it. Schumer, in a letter Tuesday to Murdoch and other Fox executives, cited the racially motivated mass shooting in a Black neighborhood of Buffalo by an accused gunman who cited the idea of so-called ethnic replacement, as well as other mass shootings targeting minorities in recent years. [Bloomberg]
George Washington was a warlord because enslaved people afforded him cannon, muskets, powder and ball. And, if they were alive today he and President Jefferson would be horrified to learn the US is operating on a manual written in the Eighteenth Century. Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt would be putting American Indigenous in concentration camps arguing it’s for their own protection.

But prohibition won't work. Yes, bullying can lead to massacres but when the US ended the draft in 1973 the number of mass shootings began to rise. Compulsory military service or police training might indeed be one way to slow gun violence. Enlistment could look like the Swiss model where soon after high school eighteen year olds would join for two years then re-up or enroll in the college or vocational training of ones choosing. Raise the civilian age of possession, operation and ownership of all firearms to 21, levy 100% excise taxes on the sales of semi-automatic weapons then tag the revenue for Medicaid expansion so parents have the resources to address the devastating effects of Fox News on American youth.

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