Loudoun County parents opposed to the use of Critical Race Theory in the curriculum of the county’s public school system had a fundraiser terminated by GoFundMe after complaints and coordination to report the campaign.
The campaign was terminated on March 25 after it had raised nearly $4,000. The site declined to explain precisely which policies were violated by the group nor give reason for the shutdown.
The crowdfunding site’s Terms of Service states that users agree that GoFundMe “in its sole discretion, may suspend or terminate your account (or any part thereof) or your access to the Services and remove and discard any User Content or data at any time and for any reason, with or without notice.”
Scott Mineo, the president of a parents’ group called Parents Against Critical Theory (PACT), was the creator of the fundraising campaign, and believes that GoFundMe pulled it for political reasons.
“[The site] cancelled my campaign because they are weak, afraid to push back, and are unwilling to reach out to the very people running campaigns they shut down because of hysterical Chardonnay Antifa or the Loudoun Schools Equity Committee,” Mineo told the Daily Caller.
Mineo characterized the shutdown as part of an ongoing attack by those who wanted to suppress opposition to the use of Critical Race Theory in the Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS).
Critical Race Theory (CRT) holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet it teaches people to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.
The acting superintendent of LCPS has claimed that CRT is not being taught in the system’s classrooms, but video and screenshots obtained by the Daily Caller appear to contradict this assertion.
Other efforts to shut down opposition to the use of CRT in the Loudoun public school system have included a blacklisting and doxxing campaign run via a secret Facebook group titled “Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County” and explicit efforts to “silence the opposition” posted on the social media account of a LCPS advisory committee.
These practices have sparked a recall campaign against members of the school board. (RELATED: REPORT: School Committee Chair Says Teachers Against Critical Race Theory ‘Cannot And Should Not Be Tolerated’)
“This was not a spur of the moment decision of the Loudoun County School Board members,” Mineo claimed, saying he had obtained Facebook Messenger conversations filled with “their celebratory comments after achieving victory” in getting the fundraiser shut down.
Mineo provided screenshots of those messages to the Daily Caller, in which Charlotte McConnell, who identified herself on her Twitter biography as a former member of the LCPS Equity Committee, called for people to report the GoFundMe fundraiser.
Georgetown University professor Jonathan Turley criticized the shutdown in a post on his website, saying, “If GoFundMe is going to shutdown political campaigns, it should at least shoulder the burden of explaining to the campaign or page how it violated the guidelines. Otherwise, the sense of utter impunity in censoring pages on magnifies concerns for the future of free speech on the Internet.”
David Gordon of the Virginia Project, a PAC that has become involved in the ongoing LCPS civil war, told the Daily Caller, “As an organization in a position to recommend fundraising vehicles to many campaigns and political actions committees that need them, we will be recommending against using GoFundMe due to the risk inherent in being subject to biased or flawed business processes. There are many competitors, for what is essentially an online commodity service, who do excellent work without the same risk.”
When questioned on a tweet from McConnell that seemed to threaten an effort to get the Virginia Project similarly banned from Twitter, Gordon stated, “I have no idea who that is, but both our legal counsel and law enforcement are now aware of this threat.”
Gordon added, “There are 1st, 4th, and 14th amendment issues up the wazoo here. We’re watching an open Conspiracy Against Rights in action.”
PACT was able to launch a new fundraiser on GiveSendGo, in which it stated plans to build a second website and to assist some LCPS students in “sharing their firsthand experiences of; classroom materials being taught, interaction with other students, their plight to fight back against Critical Race Theory, and the threats they endure for not praying to the CRT and Equity ‘God’s’.”