We’ve received quite a few inquiries asking for a summary of the Godwin decision at last Wednesday’s School Board meeting. As our “About Us” page notes, we’re more about pointing out hypocrisy, corruption, bigotry and the like, as opposed to reporting on the outcome of specific events. For an excellent summary of recent School Board matters, including the Godwin decision, we recommend you check out the concise and accurate report on the Counts of Monte Cristo blog. We agree with everything in it. Here are our closing remarks on the subject relevant to our prior posts.
Willie Deutsch demonstrated how completely he is controlled by the Haddow-Candland cabal. He employed quite a few of their dishonest tactics, most notably mischaracterizing the words of a speaker who highlighted that the Hampton advocates were willing to accept a struggling school, rather than a new one. The speaker was clearly making the point that Hampton advocates were frustrated that now they were facing even an old school being taken away from them, yet Deutsch, in true Candland fashion, tried to imply this was a selfish complaint by Hampton advocates.
Alyson Satterwhite, to her credit, appeared to try to recognize the merits of the Hampton advocates’ position. Unfortunately, she appears to have been part of the political theater orchestrated by the Haddow-Candland cabal by virtue of admitting during her comments that she knew the reversal of the name change would not pass. This seemed to confirm that this painful revisiting of the issue was all about Republicans on the School Board having been taken to the woodshed by the Haddow-Candland cabal after originally casting a vote without the cabal’s approval. They all appeared now to have marching orders.
Gil Trenum may actually have provided a service by bringing the issue up again, since it gave the Godwin community several weeks to organize and make their views known. This thus addressed the major complaint against the School Board’s prior action, and the comments at the meeting were overwhelmingly in favor of the name change. Trenum himself, however, blundered. First, he seemed to completely miss the inconsistency of having voted for school names in the past without any community input. In addition, he, as well as Deutsch and Satterwhite, were stuck embracing a fundamentally flawed position. They claimed they wanted to name a new school after Hampton, but this was something they couldn’t guarantee while also honoring their supposed commitment to community input. What if other communities came out against honoring Hampton? Would Trenum, Deutsch and Satterwhite just ignore them? It was a position whose fundamental flaw was glaring. Last, Trenum took an ill-advised and inaccurate cheap shot at Potomac School Board member Justin Wilk by claiming that Wilk had injected race into the discussion by referring to Godwin as a segregationist (we addressed this notion in an earlier post). The result was a series of strong and accurate denunciations by Wilk, Occoquan School Board Member Lillie Jessie, and Chair Ryan Sawyers.
Some of us at the Muckraker are skeptical that Trenum is as directly influenced by Haddow as others, and similarly doubt that he’s a racist. Unfortunately, with this last comment he exhibited exactly the sort of ignorance at best, and bigotry at worst, often attributed to white conservatives when it comes to race. To paraphrase one of the responding School Board members, it’s not “injecting” race for blacks or anyone to complain about honoring a segregationist leader. The fact that he is being honored at all means the issue of race is already there.
One of the ancillary positive outcomes of the meeting was that opponents of the name change concentrated on the issue of community input. Unlike Delegate Rich Anderson (R-51) had done a few weeks before, few, if any, substantively tried to argue that the unrepentant segregationist Godwin deserved to be honored with a school name. That, in itself, was progress in the struggle against racism and bigotry.