In the vast majority of cases, I am staunchly live-and-let-live when it comes to people’s private lives. As long as you aren’t involving children or animals, wasting my tax dollars or hypocritically/ sanctimoniously moralizing against something you yourself are doing … I generally support your right to “do you.”
Because that means you should generally support my right to “do me.”
Unfortunately, South Carolina’s increasingly “woke” government-run education system is infringing on all of these areas at once … hypocritically and sanctimoniously seeking to impose its “new orthodoxy” on future generations of children while using ever-escalating denominations of your tax dollars to subsidize the indoctrination.
Oh, and anyone who dares to question the “woke” agenda gets cancelled … facts be damned.
Such a cancel campaign is in full force in Charleston County, South Carolina after newly elected school board member Ed Kelley was censured by his colleagues – and removed from his leadership positions on the board – following an unproven allegation of “threatening and transphobic” comments toward a teacher.
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Kelley is now being crucified by the “woke” mob – and has been forbidden from setting foot on Charleston County school grounds for the next ninety days as a result of his censure, which was spearheaded by board chairwoman Pamela McKinney.
What really happened, though? Well there’s the mainstream media narrative – which appears to have been based on one source – and the narrative of literally everyone else who attended the event in question. More importantly, there is an underlying indoctrination issue which is being completely ignored.
According to reporters Tim Renauld and Jordan Cioppa of WCBD TV-2 (NBC – Charleston, S.C.), Kelley attended a recent Moms for Liberty event in Charleston County where he allegedly “talked about a transgender teacher and showing up to their house with a gun.”
Yeah … that sounds ominous, right? And it would be ominous … if it were true.
Kelley’s alleged comments referred to a March 7, 2023 incident in which a female fourth-grade teacher in the Charleston County system announced to her eight- and nine-year-old students during class that she had decided to become a “he” – and would show up at school the next day in male clothing expecting to be called “mister.”
Understandably, several of the children in this class expressed confusion and concern about the teacher’s announcement to their parents – and one particularly concerned parent reached out to Kelley.
In recalling his conversation with the parent at the Moms for Liberty gathering, Kelley remarked he was glad this individual made “the right choice to write an email instead of picking up a gun.”
Is that the most artfully worded comment to make in this situation? Probably not. But it was clearly not a threat – it was actually a rebuke of violence. Kelley – according to numerous witnesses – stated he was glad the parent who called him about the controversial classroom reveal did not take matters into his own hands as far too many in our culture seem prone to do.
How did this remark get twisted into Kelley threatening violence against a teacher?
The only person at this gathering who heard Kelley make anything resembling a threat was Adrienne Lett, a Dorchester County government worker who has promoted multiple left-of-center causes on her social media. Certainly, Lett has the right to support whatever causes she wishes – and attend whatever public gatherings she wishes to attend. But the extent to which the mainstream media swallowed her narrative (apparently without any evidence to support it) is troubling.
Numerous others who attended the gathering – including state treasurer Curtis Loftis – rebuked Lett’s characterization of Kelley’s comments.
“The quote attributed to Mr. Kelley is not accurate,” Loftis told me this week. “Ms. Lett is factually and contextually incorrect.”
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Tara Wood – the chairwoman of Moms for Liberty – issued a statement affirming Loftis’ recollection of events, saying Kelley told the group “he was glad the parent did not pick up a gun, but instead expressed his concerns in an email wanting answers.”
Loftis and Wood weren’t the only ones who heard it that way, either.
“We actually reached out to multiple people who attended this meeting to get a better understanding of what happened,” noted Corey Allen of the right-leaning website The Overton Report. “Every single one of them refuted Lett’s claims.”
“I was in the front row as Ed was speaking,” Leber told Allen. “Ed said ‘I’m grateful that this parent did the right thing, instead of possibly doing something stupid like going and getting a gun,’ or something to that effect.”
As for Kelley, he addressed the issue on his Facebook page.
“False allegations only last so long,” he noted. “Eventually the truth comes out.”
But does it? In our agenda-driven, “post-truth” world … does it really come out?
Or have we reached a point where truth is nothing more than the shrill cry of the cancel mob …
Speaking of truth, I support everyone finding theirs on a personal level. If you are over eighteen, self-supporting and not using tax dollars to alter your hormones or, um, “amend” your genitalia … then feel free to call yourself whatever you want. And feel free to be whomever you want to be.
But know this: You cannot force others to accept your decision. Your expression of your new self does not allow you to infringe upon someone else’s liberties (any more than your old self was permitted to do so). And you absolutely cannot foist your views on children – on the government dime, no less – as part of some shock value stunt without expecting parents to push back.
Those are the truths we need to bear in mind in the aftermath of this incident … not the woke cancellation campaign being waged against Ed Kelley.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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