A Twitter user, one who seems immature with regard to education and a respect for the sanctity of life, given the use of language replete with violence, posted the following tweet calling on citizens to “lay siege” to universities:
It's time to clean house in America: remove the attorney general, lay siege to the universities, abolish the teachers unions, and overturn the school boards.
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) November 16, 2021
The user appears to be parroting a hard conservative line regarding education, and I’ve heard that before. I cannot, however, let other aspects of this message go without rebuttal.
Although the author mixes up the Constitution somewhat—some of his calls are at the national level, others at the state level—we can forgive the lack of understanding of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.
But to suggest citizens “lay siege” to universities is threatening in tone and calls on Americans to squelch free speech. That is a direct violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution, of course, but the hurt goes far deeper. To kill the university system would be to rid the world of something that is much older than democracy itself, much older than the United States itself—and more sacred.
To overturn (elected-by-the-people) school boards at the local and state level is like promoting anarchy or even tyranny. If we are not mindful of history, then we cannot learn from it. If we are not mindful of science, we cannot build great things. If we are not mindful of literature, we cannot love as deeply. If we lack understanding of art, we cannot create.
Such calls go far beyond political differences of opinion and actually infringe on the rights of everybody. Congress can debate how much to spend on a bill and how to pay for it, and I don’t necessarily agree with either side. And I don’t necessarily support or abhor decisions made by school boards, either, depending on the decision.
But what we have in this author’s words is a communication tactic that employs words of violence and warfare to make a political point. It’s no wonder kids are bringing guns to school in Colorado.
Everything has its place. There’s a place for warfare and a place for peace. There’s a place for aggression and a place to sit back, roll up your sleeves, and get to work in order to accomplish something, to build things, to create, to love.
I cannot be sure how representative this user is of a certain segment of the US population, and please take my words to reflect my lack of understanding of how widespread such anti-democracy viewpoints may be.