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A "Woke Agenda" Burned in Effigy by Missouri Senators
I did not see that coming...
“Those who don’t build must burn. It’s as old as history and juvenile delinquents.”
~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
This image popped up on my Facebook feed this weekend, and well, I audibly sighed and thought…here we go.
The photo was posted by Missouri State Senator Nick Schroer on Facebook. He is the man with the flamethrower in the foreground. The other man spitting flames and attempting to not cross the streams is State Senator Bill Eigel, who is also a candidate for Missouri Governor.
The Senators claim there were no books in the boxes they torched in front of a mob of “Freedom Fest” goers in St Charles, Mo, who can be heard laughing and cheering while chanting “Let’s go Brandon.” But, an X account run by Jake Jackson (@realjakejacks) of Missouri, claimed to be at the event and posted a video of the fire with the caption “…torched the woke liberal agenda.”
You should know both Schroer and Eigel have been in Jefferson City for years and are elected to the GOP supermajority—the swamp that they so often refer to. They are not the outsiders they pretend to be. They are both responsible for voting to pass an abortion ban, limit health care access for trans youth, and limit trans youth participation in sports. They both are in favor of sending taxpayer money to private schools, and both have attacked teachers and Missouri public schools for being “woke” or teaching “CRT”.
The fiery picture was accompanied by this caption by Schroer, “This is how we roll in St. Charles County! Burning down the swamp at St Charles GOP Freedom Fest with our grassroots bad to the bone fam…”
There is absolutely nothing “grassroots” about Sen Schroer. The Senator also provided the internet with photos from a Florida trip a few weeks back sponsored by the dark money group ALEC. ALEC supplies elected Representatives with expenses paid trips to give lawmakers corporate bills to pass in their states—corporate bills that often harm folks. The scheme is incredibly effective in red states like Missouri where our GOP legislators sponsor bills that they can’t even explain because they don’t write their own bills…ALEC does. Grassroots my ass.
Here’s the thing, I live in Missouri and bear witness to the damage done by a GOP supermajority so drunk on power that they think WWII Nazi-like images will go unnoticed, or worse, cheered.
How can we pay attention to flamethrowers when our starting teachers are the lowest paid in the entire nation and our schools rank 49th in funding? When our AG attacks libraries and Missouri becomes the first in the nation to cut ties with the American Library Association.
Why would we even blink as Senators torch “agendas” when at least a dozen rural hospitals have closed in the last two decades leaving many Missourians to drive 1.5 hours to access health care.
How can we be expected to care about burning boxes while our roads crumble and 30% of our schools are on a 4-day schedule…when our kids receive textbooks that were published two decades ago?
Why would I think about flamethrowers when trans kids and bodily autonomy are under attack.
Our sitting lawmakers burned boxes with flamethrowers in effigy of those different from them — those who hold a different worldview — in front of a screaming and frantic crowd. To take time to speak on this is important. We have to realize the imagery we are seeing is meant to promote an air of violence and dread—it is also is meant to conjure images of book burnings
As Conner Kerrigan, a Missouri resident, said on the topic of the video, “ This is actually such a good allegory for Missouri politics as a whole. The GOP has had control of the state for decades, but instead of helping anyone, they use their power to continue to set whatever they can on fire.”