Rantz: Seattle-area school district showed anti-cop BLM video for Black History Month

Feb 6, 2022, 11:30 AM | Updated: Feb 7, 2022, 12:42 pm
Mercer Island, video...
(Taken from the Black Lives Matter video shown to Mercer Island School District students)
(Taken from the Black Lives Matter video shown to Mercer Island School District students)

A Seattle-area school district showed middle school students an anti-police video celebrating Black Lives Matter for Black History Month. Using purposefully misleading statistics, the video implied police are murdering Black Americans. The video is appalling, and some parents and community members are upset.

Jeff Geoghagan is a 30-year veteran in law enforcement with two kids in the Mercer Island School District. He was disgusted when he discovered the video had been shown to students districtwide. It prompted him to complain to the school district.

“The video makes several claims about the use of force by police officers that are blatantly false,” Geoghagan complained via email, which he shared with the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “The entire video has an extreme anti-police view. It is woefully inappropriate material for students.”

Video sends the wrong message

School districts across the state endorsed the radical BLM movement, with many teachers pretending the course material is apolitical or simply fighting racism. It’s not.

The intent is to demonize police and claim officers are wantonly murdering Black Americans. The only way you can make that absurd point is to purposefully misrepresent the data. The BLM video that the Mercer Island School District showed did just that. It was shown to social studies students on Feb. 1, a day before the memorial for murdered NYPD officer Wilbert Mora.

The video comes from Channel 4 News presenter Ayshah Tull. It’s meant to explain the origins of the BLM movement, which she explains “comes from the urgent need to address police brutality.” The video then takes stats from Mapping Police Violence, co-run by police abolitionist DeRay Mckesson.

Tull says “police kill more than 1,000 people a year,” along with a graphic showing “1,098 people in America killed by police (2019).” This is roughly 100 more police killings than the Washington Post reports. She then shows a statistic claiming that “99% of killed by police don’t result in criminal charges.”

Tull claims “the statistics are stark.” But they’re not.

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The stats are nothing but propaganda

Tull doesn’t aim to put the stats in context because the point of the video is to imply the police are murdering Black people. She immediately turns to the case of George Zimmerman (who isn’t an officer) killing Trayvon Martin.

Perhaps she skipped the context of the stats — as does Mapping Police Violence — because it doesn’t tell you that police were shooting armed and/or dangerous suspects.

Included in the 1,098 instances of “police violence” is an incident from Renton.

According to KOMO TV, a surveillance video showed Mantry Norris moments before lunging at a restaurant patron with a kitchen knife. The victim was stabbed in the arm. Police then shot and killed him.

Deangelo Rashad Martin of South Fulton, Georgia, was accused of stealing a car, taking law enforcement on a vehicular chase, and then driving toward them. He was shot and killed. In St. Louis, Cortez Bufford was shot and killed after police noted he pulled out a semi-automatic gun with an extended magazine. In Omaha, Terry Hudson reportedly ran toward cops while raising his gun at them and screaming, “Kill me.”

Of the 251 Black people shot and killed by police in 2019, only 19 were unarmed, though some still fought officers who used their firearms for protection.

The students who watched the video wouldn’t get this context from the video. They weren’t meant to.

Parent takes on the video

Geoghagan took his disgust with the video to his kids’ principal and the school board. He noted the mischaracterized statistics and expressed concern about how students would take it.

“As a former police officer, a parent, and a member of this community, I am extremely concerned about the content and misrepresentations in this video,” the dad wrote the Islander Middle School co-principal. “As a parent, coach, and as an emergency substitute teacher, I am in regular and routine contact with school-aged children on Mercer Island. The characterization and blatant misstatements of fact directly impact my interaction with these children and any interactions that these children have with police officers they may come in contact with.”

The co-principal responded to confirm the video was shown, but did not offer any response to the criticism.

Geoghagan also reached out to the school board after hearing other schools showed the video, too.

“Imagine the reaction of the impressionable children watching the video and the skewed perspective they may have of me, my family, and the extraordinary men and women with whom I proudly served,” he said.

According to an email Geoghagan shared with the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH, School Board President Maggie Tai Tucker responded by noting the issue is with the schools, not the board.

“MISD has celebrated Black History Month for many years now; the schools themselves decide what supplemental materials to use,” Tucker wrote in the email shared by Geoghagan. “Each school is advised on this topic by an Equity Team composed of staff members. I understand that you may have a different perspective on some of the statements made in the video and would encourage you to continue communicating with your school’s leadership. I appreciate your letting us know of your concerns as well.”

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This is nothing more than anti-police propaganda

The video wasn’t actually in support of Black History Month. It’s meant to portray cops as racist murderers. Even worse, the video teaches kids of all races to distrust the cops.

When you tell young Black boys and girls that cops are looking to murder them, any time they interact with an officer will be more dangerous because they will see the officers through a lens that was shaped by radical educators. They will be tenser, or perhaps aggressive, in front of cops, making the cops respond in kind for fear of a threat.

Black History Month used to be about celebrating Black achievement while noting the sins of our past. It’s now almost solely about shaming police, presenting all Black Americans as victims, and portraying America as a nearly-irredeemable country — unless students “dismantle systems of oppression” and install new systems based in far-left ideology.

Parents should counter the left-wing propaganda in schools. They are better off presenting more appropriate, non-partisan material to their kids on their own.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3–6 pm on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz  on  Twitter,  Instagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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Rantz: Seattle-area school district showed anti-cop BLM video for Black History Month