Fox News featured a candidate for the Loudoun County school board who opposes 'critical race theory.'
As part of its ongoing campaign against anti-racist education in public schools, Fox News this week featured a Virginia school board candidate who once said it would be appropriate to "recreate 1776" if the government tried to take away his guns and called a school board statement acknowledging the history of segregation in American schools "an apology to Blacks."
On Tuesday, Virginia resident Michael Rivera announced during a "Fox & Friends" interview that he is running for the board of the Loudoun County Public Schools. On Wednesday, Rivera appeared on the program again to discuss his candidacy.
"Fox & Friends" host Ainsley Earhardt introduced the segment with Rivera on Wednesday by noting, "As the battle over critical race theory curriculum heats up in the state of Virginia, one dad has decided to throw his own hat in the ring for a school board seat."
Rivera said that he discussed his candidacy with his wife and that they'd agreed, "We've got to do something, this is the life of our child, this is the life of the children in Loudoun County, and, as you can see, this is a trend that is across the entire United States."
Rivera asserted that schools in the district are teaching "critical race theory," an academic approach to the role of racism as a pervasive force in the history and development of the United States that is almost exclusively used in higher education. Loudoun County school officials have repeatedly said that critical race theory is not a part of the county's K-12 curriculum.
The term, free of any specific content, has become a rallying cry for Republicans anxious to stir up their base against any teaching of the facts of structural racism in America and get them to the polls.
At the conclusion of the interview, Earhardt said, "We wish you all the best with the school board."
It is unclear what Rivera's current job is. A LinkedIn profile that appears to belong to Rivera lists him as a "Public Relations Specialist" employed by the "Loudoun County Government." Rivera has worked "closely with the citizens of Loudoun County to understand and improve quality of life issues" and has been in the position since 2016, according to that profile.
For the past year Rivera has been a prominent conservative activist who has made public attacks against the school board and advocated for right-wing issues.
On June 24, Rivera spoke to the Loudoun County Patriot Pub about his political beliefs.
While discussing the purported likelihood of government agents coming to take away his guns, Rivera said, "The Second Amendment is in place for a good reason. It was to protect the people from an oppressive government. That is what is happening today. And if we have to recreate 1776 and do it all over again, I'm ready to be doxxed. If they want to come to my house and do some dumb shit, I don't care anymore."
He added, "I have guns. So, a lot of people have guns, and we have guns for a reason."
After the Loudoun County School Board issued an apology in September 2020 for the county's documented history of segregation in its public schools and noted "the negative impact, damage, and disadvantages to Black students and families that were caused by decisions made by the Loudoun County School Board," Rivera wrote a letter to the Loudon Times-Mirror criticizing the statement.
In the letter to the editor, published on Oct. 15 of that year, Rivera wrote:
This "apology to Blacks" feeds into mob coercion and succumbs to the no-longer-peaceful protesters. We are experiencing a time where conservatives or any non-far-left liberals are not free to place in their yards political signs of their choosing because angry mobs will come to their homes and attack them. This is no way to live.
The School Board should be above this explosion of false and fabricated white guilt and not drag Loudoun County Public Schools into the madness occurring across the nation. This apology is akin to hoisting a Black Lives Matter sign in your town hoping BLM supporters will not destroy the town with "mostly peaceful protests."
Conservative activists have repeatedly attacked the county's school board over anti-racist curricula in a series of clashes that have been frequently promoted on Fox. The network has used stories about supposed "critical race theory" to attack Democrats, including Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe and President Joe Biden.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.