Following in her father’s footsteps, Sarah Huckabee Sanders is the new governor of Arkansas. Which really sucks for the people of Arkansas and isn’t good for the rest of the country, either.
You’ll remember that her dad, Mike Huckabee, was Arkansas governor from 1996-2007. He also ran for president a couple of times. He had a reputation, for quite a long time, that he was a cool and nice guy, a hipper, less hateful politician. More than once I read an article in which he was referred to as just so darn nice.
And maybe he was. For a time. He’s since become a right-wing media staple and a Ron DeSantis sycophant producing indoctrination materials for children. So, gross.
But being nice has nothing to do with being a bigot. There are a lot of nice bigots out there.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who does not share her father’s affability, is not one of them. She’s a bigot, sure, but she’s not known for being nice. She is most well known for being Donald Trump’s press secretary, standing in front of TV cameras giving a master class in outright lies and obfuscation.
So, yeah, definitely, perfectly qualified to run a whole state!
And she’s off to a great start! One of her first orders of business was to accomplish VERY IMPORTANT THINGS like “banning the teaching of CRT in schools, the use of the term ‘Latinx’ in government, and dismantling five committees created by her GOP predecessor to advise on managing the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to The New Civil Rights Movement (NCRM).
NCRM also points out that Arkansas “has the sixth-highest per-capita COVID death rate and the fifteenth-highest per-capita COVID case rate.”
Now that’s what I call pro-life!
As for banning CRT (something that is not taught in American grade schools but has come to be an umbrella term for anything that acknowledges racism in our country), well, you’ve got to protect the children, she says.
“It’s incredibly important that we do things to protect the students in our state,” Huckabee Sanders says in an interview with Fox News’ Shannon Bream. “We have to make sure that we are not indoctrinating our kids and that these policies and these ideas never see the light of day. We should never teach our kids to hate America or that America is a racist and evil country. In fact, it should be the exact opposite.”
If only the exact opposite were true! But it isn’t. The United States was built on slavery and continues to systemically oppress BIPOC people. It isn’t evil to teach about, say, slavery or the violent opposition to the Civil Rights Act. It’s evil not to. It lets racism win.
But Huckabee Sanders and conservatives like her believe that white children are just too fragile and must be protected from the truth.
These are same people who called us snowflakes and wore “fuck your feelings” shirts because we were “triggered” by Trump’s complete and utter disrespect and disdain for, well, everyone, and his rampant lawlessness. Which Huckabee Sanders was tasked with spinning for the public.
“As long as I am governor, our schools will focus on the skills our children need to get ahead in the modern world, not brainwashing our children with a left-wing political agenda,” she said during her inaugural address.
That left-wing political agenda includes LGBTQ+ people, too. There is already legislation that I bet Huckabee Sanders would be all too thrilled to support pending in the legislature that would basically criminalize drag shows.
“Laws like SB43 are a red herring and more broadly attempt to erase LGBTQ people from public life by forcing gender norms onto private businesses and individuals,” read a statement from the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas and other groups opposing the law.
Hatred and bigotry are not “the skills our children need to get ahead in the modern world.” They are what will leave them behind.
D’Anne Witkowski is a writer living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBTQ+ politics for nearly two decades. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.
Photo by Gage Skidmore