After DOJ Memo On Violent Threats, This Republican Is Telling Parents To “Double Down”
The United States Department of Justice issued a memo expressing concerns after a series of incidents in which people have threatened school boards and employees. A handful of Republican legislators seem to have decided to treat these incidents like the attempted coup by Trump supporters in January — that is, they’re pretending it hasn’t happened.
Several of these incidents have been caught on video and gone viral — for example, here are board meeting attendees in a parking lot threatening medical professionals who came to a meeting to share health information, screaming, “We will find you!” Here’s another, with a near-identical threat made inside the meeting. Then there’s this compilation of generally unhinged and alarming behavior at these meetings.
So, why doesn’t Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) believe that there have been any incidents?
In the Fox News clip below, via The Recount, he asks, “What threats of violence?” and challenges the hosts to name one (they don’t, but these are available to view with minimal effort, if Crenshaw is actually interested), then instructs parents to “double-down” and keep it up.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) to parents at school board meetings, where officials have received threats of violence:
“They wanna paint you as violent … What threats of violence? Name one … You should double down and keep doing what you’re doing.” pic.twitter.com/gAIKeOFxUX
— The Recount (@therecount) October 28, 2021
Attorney General Merrick Garland has made very clear that this memo is not about parents who are exercising a protected right to voice concerns, and the memo itself addresses this right and differentiates it from threatening behavior.
AG Garland shuts down Sen. Mike Lee’s suggestion that school board violence is free speech, “Senator, the memo is aimed only at violence and threats of violence. It states on its face the vigorous debate is protected. That is what this is about. This is all this is about.” pic.twitter.com/Bl7EtzI2vy
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) October 27, 2021
The clip above is from a hearing this week in which Garland answered questions about his oversight of the Justice Department. As seen in the clip, another Republican, Senator Mike Lee of Utah, puts forward the claim that the DOJ is trying to stifle protected speech, and Garland makes it very clear that this is not so.