On Oct. 24 2021, former Portage County Chief Deputy Sheriff Dan Kontos (retired) published a letter of insult to non-conservative people of Stevens Point and the County at large: “I tell you this because I love you.” He goes on, in psychological abuser style, to post several dozen insults to the residents, repeatedly calling them “Useful Idiots” (UIs).
In Part One we laid out 16 “Questions” (attacks) on Portage County residents, calling them “Useful Idiots” if they believed these points were true, and we offered a short refutation on each one, coming from the cosmology of Reality A in the USA today. We’ll refer to the School Board Disruptors/Anti-Diversity movement throughout this part as “Reality B” in keeping with the Atlantic piece we cited before: “Our Consensus Reality has Shattered.”
Here’s Part One of our Screed
Now Part One wasn’t a formal “Deconstruction” in the sense that Jacques Derrida may have used the term.
“Deconstruction may be seen as a means to understand the relationship between text and meaning, institution and nature, dichotomies and the hierarchies created by language. It stands as a form of literary and philosophical analysis that has been derived from the works of the post-structuralist philosopher Jacques Derrida. His work asserts that meaning is not static and instead continually evolves and varies across time and space. Furthermore, he maintains that language is derivative, i.e., words derive meaning from other words rather than from some absolute truth.”
Moving into the real meat of the “Freedom Fighters” and “Liberty Leaders” groups which Kontos is seeking to assert leadership over…He moves into Insult Question 17 in our numbering system:
Q 17: Add one point if you believe that school boards have the children’s best interest at heart more than their parents do.
The meaning in Kontos’s text here is that school boards have become antithetical to the parents of the schools over whom the boards have jurisdiction. The meaning is that the voters who went to the polls and elected these school board members are “useful idiots” in Kontos’s worldview. (Please note that only a small minority of voters even know anything about the persons running for school boards when they go to the polls.)
Over the past many months, a nationwide movement which we’ll call here the “School Board Disruption” movement has been crafted by the remnants, the leftovers, the residue, of the President 45 administration. The intent is to take over as many school boards nationwide as possible and run them under Trump Cosmology.
Here are some cites to back up this assertion.
National Public Radio reporter Anya Kamenetz, on October 26, 2021, has this piece to share:
As national and Trump affiliated forces, she cites:
“The Manhattan Institute, one of the most established conservative think tanks, and Citizens Renewing America, founded by President Trump’s former budget director Russell Vought,”
among the national drivers of these Disruptors’ school buses. She further notes
“Parents Defending Education, founded earlier this year, provides resources to activists, pursues litigation, and publishes “incident reports” on districts around the country. President Nicole Neily previously worked at the libertarian Cato Institute.”
“Turning Point USA, a group closely allied with Trump through its leader, Charlie Kirk, started School Board Watchlist,”
“The Proud Boys, which the Southern Poverty Law Center calls an extremist hate group.”
“PragerU is a nonprofit media company founded by the conservative radio host Dennis Prager.”
Unicorn Riot Ninja has this up on their website:
School Board Disruptions Escalate, Funded By Conservative Dark Money
by Jordan Hopkins, Contributor September 27, 2021
Some journalists have been poking around in the activities of a January 6 co-conspirator, Scott Presler, who has recently morphed from a “Stop the Steal” organizer into a Stop the School Boards organizer, apparently.
Sidney Blumenthal, in The Guardian, had this piece
What did Jim Jordan know about the insurrection and when did he know it?
In the piece, Blumenthal makes these mentions of Presler’s activities around Jan. 6Th
“Two days after the election, Jordan was a speaker of a “Stop the Steal” rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, before the state capitol. The rally was organized by Scott Presler, a former field director for the Virginia Republican party, speaker at the 2020 Conservative Political Action Conference, and activist for ACT for America, cited by the Anti-Defamation League as an anti-Muslim hate group and labeled an “extremist hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.”
“The private Facebook page used to organize the events was full of extreme anti-Muslim and white nationalist rhetoric and went unpoliced despite the fact that new ACT hire Scott Presler was an administrator for the group,” the SPLC reported.
Presler mobilized support for the 6 January “Stop the Steal” rally. “I will 100% be in DC on January 6th to support President Trump. Who’s going?” he posted on his Facebook page on 22 December. He tweeted a video showing his presence in the crowd on 6 January before the Capitol.
Who funded the Harrisburg rally? What is Jordan’s relationship to Scott Presler? What are the communications between Jordan, his staff and Presler?
A search string on your search engine “Scott Presler involvement in school board disruption” will turn up over ten thousand citations. Take all the time you need.
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The “text” which Chief Deputy Kontos and his “Freedom Fighters” are proselytizing, is devoid of “meaning” in the sense of “normal” school board practice, and indeed, in the sense of the field of education for Reality A in the USA. Their crew inhabit Reality B, in which the text has meaning, to them. Kontos continues with another insult:
Q18: Add one point if you believe that people should be treated differently merely because of the color of their skin, rather than what they actually do.
Here we see Kontos moving into the meat of the White Supremacist Canon, particularly as it impacts on school boards: The attempt to block Critical Race Theory being taught in K-12 schools, despite the glaring fact that it is a college-level curriculum piece.
The “meaning” which the “Freedom Fighters” think the “text” of Critical Race Theory carries, is that “black people should be treated differently” (that is, BETTER than white school kids) “merely because of the color of their skin.” The is the construction over in Reality B. Now, let’s examine the reality of the construct, over in Reality A, where the majority of us Americans dwell.
What Is Critical Race Theory, and Why Is Everyone Talking About It?
Columbia Law School professors explain this method of research for legal scholars and how it’s being misunderstood.
July 01, 2021
Critical race theory was a movement that initially started at Harvard under Professor Derrick Bell in the 1980s. It evolved in reaction to critical legal studies, which came about in the 70s and dissected the idea that law was just and neutral. Over time, the movement grew among legal scholars, mostly of color, at law schools across the country, including at UCLA, where Crenshaw lectured on critical race theory, civil rights, and constitutional law, and later at Columbia, where she was appointed a full professor in 1995, alongside Williams, a former student, research assistant, and lifelong mentee of Bell’s, and who is now professor of law emerita.
Although the scholarship differs in emphasis and discipline, it is united by an interest in understanding and rectifying the ways in which a regime of white supremacy and its subordination of people of color in America has had an impact on the relationship between social structure and professed ideals such as “the rule of law” and “equal protection.”
Q 19: Add another point if you think that minorities can’t make it without governmental help, except for Asians trying to get into college.
Aside from the clever effort to divide minority peoples (cleaving off “Asians trying to get into college” from “regular minorities who can’t make it without governmental help,”) this is not very original “text,” but is the same tired old stuff that has been bombarding America’s working class, from the top-down, since the Nixon years and Nixon’s “southern strategy” to divide the white working class against the black working class. Nothing original in this “cute question.”
You will often hear us use the phrase “xenophobic-nationalist-populist-white supremacy” here on the blog to describe the form of fascism growing in these United States, and in many of the nations of the world, and Question 19 above has that sort of meaning behind the text. Because, you see, if minority folks cannot make it in the Peak Inequality nation which the white-supremacist U.S. ruling class has built (or call them the “1%” or “the billionaire class” as Senator Sanders calls them) then they don’t deserve to “make it,” because the intent is to cut “governmental help” to the bone–in fact, down to zero.
It’s called the Austerity Juggernaut, and is the machine that the USA’s plutocrats are gearing up to let loose on our working-class and permanently poor people –whether minority or white.
Q20: Add one point if you think the United States is a systemically racist nation.
Here we have Kontos “dispensing text” which flies in the face of tens of thousands of pieces of *peer reviewed* social science and academic literature. It’s pretty hard to assign meaning to words so far divorced from consensus reality, isn’t it?
Let’s get ourselves ridiculed by Sheriff Kontos for using Google Scholar (because only HE and the “Freedom Fighters” know where the peer reviewed social science lit. is stashed, we suppose) as the search engine on this search string-this turns up over 17,000 results–on merely ONE aspect of “systemic racism” in the U.S. political ecosystem.
Q21: Add one point if you believe the United States was founded on slavery.
Again, this is the (red) meat of the matter for the white supremacists of Kontos’s clique.
As Anya Kamenetz, in the NPR story cited above, notes this:
“Constitutionalism” is a far-right ideology that means, in essence, that people don’t have to recognize any laws or authorities that they don’t like beyond the Constitution itself. The video continues at a local restaurant, where Greco and some of the others who had just declared themselves the new school board explain that they then “voted” to remove Critical Race Theory from the school — though it is not being taught — and to stop requiring masks. Later, Greco and four others filed notarized oaths of office with the San Diego County Clerk.
The meaning, to the “Freedom Fighters”, of Kontos’s Q 21 insult above, is that the United States was founded on words, on ideas, rather than upon an economic foundation, the expenditure of energy in the form of work, first by human beings, enslaved on plantations, then soon in U.S. History, by this slave labor vastly amplified by the work done by machines burning coal.
As we noted in Part I of this take-down of the Kontos letter, to the “Freedom Fighters,” the Constitution is a “dead document,” not a “living” document. The “original intent” is all that matters today in the 21st century, 230 years after the ratification process. That intent was that the USA be ruled by white males, predominantly the plantation-owner class owning vast tracts of land in the deep southern U.S. States, who also were the human-owner class of slavemasters.
That, my friends, was the “originalist” Constitution.
What was the originalist economy of the early United States like? The base, the foundation for the “immense superstructure” of the new nation’s politics, society, culture?
The U.S. economy was primarily agricultural in the early 19th century. Westward expansion plus the building of canals and the introduction of steamboats opened up new areas for agriculture. Much land was cleared and put into growing cotton in the Mississippi valley and in Alabama, and new grain growing areas were brought into production in the Midwest. Eventually this put severe downward pressure on prices, particularly of cotton, first from 1820 to 1823 and again from 1840 to 1843.
Before the Industrial Revolution most cotton was spun and woven near where it was grown, leaving little raw cotton for the international marketplace. World cotton demand experienced strong growth due to mechanized spinning and weaving technologies of the Industrial Revolution. Although cotton was grown in India, China, Egypt, the Middle East and other tropical and subtropical areas, the Americas, particularly the U.S., had sufficient suitable land available to support large scale cotton plantations, which were highly profitable. A strain of cotton seed brought from Mexico to Natchez, Mississippi in 1806 would become the parent genetic material for over 90% of world cotton production today; it produced bolls that were three to four times faster to pick.: 114 The cotton trade, excluding financing, transport and marketing, was 6 percent or less of national income in the 1830s. Cotton became the United States’ largest export.
Sugarcane was being grown in Louisiana, where it was refined into granular sugar. Growing and refining sugar required a large amount of capital. Some of the nation’s wealthiest people owned sugar plantations, which often had their own sugar mills.
Southern plantations, which grew cotton, sugarcane and tobacco, used African slave labor. Per capita food production did not keep pace with the rapidly expanding urban population and industrial labor force in the Antebellum decades. (Cited from Wikipedia, for which Mr. Kontos will no doubt assign us a “Useful Idiot” trophy. Also, we’ve donated to keep Wikipedia going. Add another point).
We’ll close out this diatribe with an insult/question taken out of order, but which highlights the White Supremacist doctrine espoused by Mr. Kontos quite clearly.
Q22: Add one point if you believed the 2020 riots committed by BLM and Antifa were either mostly peaceful or were in some way justified.
Here we can really get down to some “deconstructing.” The meaning of Kontos’s text here is that Black Lives Don’t Matter. That the whole Black Lives Matter movement was naught but unjustified riots committed by black thugs, and that the on-video murder of George Floyd was just, well, nothing.
Kontos may have missed the point that Stevens Point, Wisconsin, hosted a Black Lives Matter vigil/march, totally peaceful except for some rightie-tightie kids in pickup trucks who showed up on the public square to make some sort of conservative “point” in Point.
Nationwide, the narrative that Black Lives Matter was nothing but a set of riots, looting and arson events, and that indeed, no protests were needed, whatsoever. That Derrick Chauvin should have walked free. You could call that “White Chauvin-ism” if you like. Not nearly enough investigative journalism has been done with regard to how many of the arson and looting events were instigated by POLICE agents-provocateurs, who have been around protest movements for centuries now, in nations large and small. The term itself is from France, if that gives you a hint.
The “meaning” behind Kontos’s text is described above as it is understood by Reality B dwellers in the USA.
On the other hand, those of us living in Reality A believe that indeed, black lives matter and that the movement will continue, until the raging inequality conditions in the USA are finally abolished.That is our meaning, behind the text “Black Lives Matter.”
Thanks for dragging your brain all the way through this! Disclaimer: The author is an old retired machinist/CAD-CAM designer, former member of the industrial proletariat, a critically-endangered class in the U.S. industrial ecosystem. Not a Master’s in Sociology nor Political Science, nor Philosophy (apologies to Jacques Derrida).