Stephen Miller comes to Skokie.
Miller was Trump's brain and architect of his anti-immigrant policies.
Stephen Miller is back making news again.
You remember Miller. He was Trump’s brain when it came to immigration and separating families at the border.
Kids in cages.
Rolling Stone recently reported:
Miller, a racist anti-immigration hawk who served as a policy adviser and speechwriter in Trump’s first administration has reportedly been floated as a pick for high-level positions, including attorney general. Such an elevation would place the mastermind behind the Trump administration’s most draconian immigration policies, including family separation and the Muslim ban, in control of the Justice Department.
Since leaving the White House, Miller has been involved in America First Legal.
America First Legal is headed by Stephen Miller, the architect of President Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigrants. While AFL lacks the name recognition and financial heft of many conservative counterparts, it has racked up notable court victories over the Biden administration. Casting itself as “the long-awaited answer to the ACLU,” AFL has weaponized the grievance politics embodied by Trump’s “Make America Great Again” movement through dozens of federal lawsuits, challenging efforts to remedy racial disparities, support LGBTQ students and expand the pool of early voters. (Washington Post)
Now AFL and Stephen Miller have come after an outspoken African American teacher in suburban Skokie.
The attack on Jasmine Sebaggala, a District 65 teacher, is being spearheaded by our local Moms for Liberty chapter, backed with legal assistance from Stephen Miller and AFL.
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I’ve heard from local supporters of Ms Sebaggala and they point out that as hate groups like Moms for Liberty and Awake, IL continue to intimidate teachers and school boards, threatening the safety of BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ students, teachers and activists like Ms. Sebaggala are paying the price for having the courage to stand against them.
Sebaggala has been an outspoken advocate for students in District 65.
On August 31, 2021, Helen Levinson, Chapter Chair of Moms for Liberty of Cook County and Vice President of Awake, IL, sent a letter of complaint to the employers of Jasmine Sebaggala. Ms Sebaggala has spent years working with other Black families and families of color to organize for racial equity, anti-racist curriculum, and policies against exclusionary discipline in Niles Township school districts. She is a 2022 recipient of the NAACP Community Service Award.
After repeatedly attacking Ms Sebaggala on social media, including doxing the Black educator and making allegations of abuse against white students, Ms Levinson, a leader of Moms for Liberty, threatened Ms Sebaggala’s livelihood by sending a letter of complaint to the District 65 superintendent and union leadership, demanding that the letter be shared with the board of education, administration, and all district teachers and be permanently added to Ms Sebaggala’s employee file.
Segaggala filed a law suit against Leninson and Moms for Liberty.
The lawsuit has been dismissed by Judge Kubasiak, who called it a “disagreement between board members,” thus erroneously treating Ms Levinson’s defamatory statements as political protected speech. However, neither plaintiff nor defendant are board members and his ruling sets a dangerous legal standard placing teachers in the same category as politicians and public figures - with no recourse when someone makes false statements to threaten their reputations and jobs.
I resonate with Ms Sebaggala’s situation since I too was the subject of an attack as a teacher by a right-wing political group.
After Ms Sebaggala’s appeal was filed, Judge Kubasiak ruled to award Ms. Levinson $38,000 in lawyer fees, which Ms Sebaggala is expected to pay by January 13, 2024.
Supporters argue that Ms Sebaggala is being penalized for fighting back against powerful far-right extremists by the judge.
That’s where Miller and AFL enters the picture.
They are the legal minds advising Levinson and Moms for Liberty.
In their recent report: “A Year in Hate and Extremism,” the Southern Poverty Law Center said of the group: “Moms for Liberty and its nationwide chapters combat what they consider the “woke indoctrination” of children by advocating for book bans in school libraries and endorsing candidates for public office that align with the group's views. They also use their multiple social media platforms to target teachers and school officials, advocate for the abolition of the Department of Education, advance a conspiracy propaganda, and spread hateful imagery and rhetoric against the LGBTQ community.”
In Skokie and across Illinois, Moms For Liberty and Awake, IL are organizing to influence school board elections, spread their far-right agenda, and support attacks on a local Black teacher, mother, and social justice advocate.
Without justice for Ms. Sebaggala, far-right hate groups will be able to target Illinois teachers with impunity, pushing their extremist agendas throughout the state.
Ms. Sebaggala has appealed the ruling and her fellow organizers have launched a fundraiser to cover legal fees.