Wait, what?


, , , , , , ,

What about fluoridation? Micromanaging school sports participation? Diversity, equity, and inclusion? We can’t keep up.

Mark Alford @RepMarkAlford
If you’re not safe, then you’re not free.

That means securing our southern border and cleaning up our streets.
12:41 PM · Mar 26, 2023

Some of the responses:

How can I feel safe when the NRA writes our gun laws? Children are allowed open carry. Educators and librarians are threatened by hired thugs who hide behind parental rights. Nothing or no one is safe when republicans are in control.

What’s your plan to secure the border? Will you vote for increased funding?

Also, you need to secure money to updgrade Missouri Highway 7 from 24 Highway to Harrisonville. Let’s see if you can get some Federal funding to clean up 7 Highway!

At least some politics is local.

When will you care about keeping children safe from mass shootings in our schools ?

Donald J Trump stated Mitch McConnell is the greatest threat to National Security in America. Donald J Trump is never wrong.

When will the GOP, Fox News, Newsmax and OANN demand Mitch McConnell resign due to being the greatest threat to National Security in America?


Mark Alford (r) [2022 file photo].

Well, Mark (r)?

Is there a Louisiana, Missouri?*


, , ,

* Why, yes, there is!

Last week from a right wingnut republican member of Congress from the state of Louisiana:

Rep. Clay Higgins @RepClayHiggins
Over time, American communities will build beautiful, church owned public-access libraries. I’m going to help these churches get funding. We will change the whole public library paradigm.

The libraries regular Americans recall are gone. They’ve become liberal grooming centers.
12:53 PM · Mar 23, 2023

Clay Higgins (r) does not represent Missouri. I had to check, though. Heh.

Some of the responses:

Eat a roadkill armadillo, Clay.
When’s the last time you visited a library or read a book, ya doof?

Definitely never visited a public library.

have you considered seeing a therapist

Congrats man, you invented the dark ages

Heh. Someone just won the internets today.

What would you define as a “regular American?”

Dog whistle.

When was the last time you went to a library, or even read a book?

I love public and college libraries.
Have experienced zero grooming.
Stuffed my head full of facts & entertainment.
Ended up smarter than you.
(Grooming centers my ass. Went a couple days ago, & the librarian gave me a dirty look because my returned books had raindrops on them.)

Maybe you should’ve spent more time in libraries.
Might’ve ended up less dumb.

Rep. Higgins, I’m not sure “America but the Taliban are in charge” is quite the home run policy regime you seem to think it is.

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. An informed citizenry is at the heart of a dynamic democracy.” — Thomas Jefferson.

Awesome, my church, The Church Of Beezlebub at Beaver Lick , would like to be one of the first. Should I call your office Monday to discuss how we can get this going or do you prefer another way?

“Grooming center”… like a barbershop? [….] #HereForTheRatio

What tripe.
I am a retired school and public librarian. How dare you say defamatory and patently false things about my life’s work.
If you want a Christian library, go for it, but to say that we are ‘groomers’ because we don’t subscribe to YOUR religious viewpoint is outrageous.

If you don’t believe in separation of church and state then you clearly don’t believe in the Bill of rights, meaning you don’t believe in what this country stands for or what it was built on. Leave government.

We are not a christo fascist nation. Separation of church and state, bro — also, churches need to pay taxes. Thanks for playing.

Church controlled libraries. Now they wanna monitor what citizens can and cannot read. And tell me again how the Republican Party stands for freedom?

Tell me you haven’t been to a library without telling me you haven’t been to a library

HEY! This is not a police church state. I do not want religious zealots saying what is ok to read. What you find unacceptable, I call art. Some thing that a person poured their time and ideas into. I DO NOT WANT YOU BE A PART OF YOUR CHURCH STATE!

You are everything that’s wrong with this country.

The people complaining the most about libraries don’t actually read books.

which church will be the correct one? ?

The last library I went into was full of books that you could check out, and it was open to the public, and there was 0 grooming going on, there was however, a lot of people… wait for it… reading [….]

Thanks for being honest about your plan to steal federal funds for Christians, I guess

So you want to give churches my tax dollars to build public libraries?

Why wouldn’t we cut out the middle man and build public libraries ourselves?

Thanks for your steadfast work and your steadfast love of The Lord! We have a chance with men like you willing to step into the gap.

Fewer than 50% of Louisiana students read at grade level. Maybe focus on that.

That’s considered a feature, not a bug.

You can build all the private Christofascist grooming book deposits you want…it will never happen with public funds because we have a constitution. Or, you could all move to an island and start your own Christian theocracy. We’d help you all pack.

WTF are you talking about? Churches are free to have their own libraries, most do. Federal funding for that is a big NO NO. We like our public libraries just the way they are.

Publicly funded libraries have always been a point of pride for America. It’s insanity to suggest that this should be abolished and replaced with church libraries. Unpatriotic.

Which churches are to get funding?

Just purely as a nonsensical and useless hypothetical for you to consider when asked.

Just churches.

Shouldn’t you consider maybe reading a book first?

Baby steps. Chunk it out.

And then we’ll put these private libraries in castles with moats, and we’ll have wealthy people, we’ll call them “lords” who’ll oversee them and have the uneducated masses, “serfs” you might call them, work the land. It will be just like the good old days. [….]

Gated communities would work, too.

It’s almost as if libraries are places of learning, and their open-minded and accessible values threaten those who would thrive in a society that increases their privilege…

I’d much rather see you invest in a Time Machine so you can go back to the Middle Ages you long for.

How many books are you going to ban? How much art?

Most of it.

“Church-owned library” would be the most boring place ever, though. You’d limit the selections so tightly that it wouldn’t be worth visiting. You’d populate it with anti-history and anti-science horsepucky. No, thank you.

Christofascist flex, but ok.

This is the most offensive and vapid tweet I have seen in a long time. Nobody cares about your idea of a library. We want religion out of politics and libraries where anyone is welcomed! Go away!

No we will not. Churches have and will continue to have private libraries but they will not replace our public libraries ever.
Those I know about have almost exclusively religious texts, usually with an emphasis on those significant to beliefs.

Sounds like you want to restrict information.

Nothing like a religious institution moderating knowledge

You should pick up a book sometime and read about what happens when churches control the books.

Please, as if you even know what a library is.

So will these libraries of your fantasy adequately represent the non-Christians in our nation or are they fresh out of luck?

That’s considered a feature, not a bug.

Keep your church out of my books!

Campaign Finance: your penny can make a difference


, , ,

“…There’s got to be one more…”

Yesterday at the Missouri Ethics Committee:

222300 03/24/2023 Citizens for Callie Carroll Springfield Good Government Committee PO Box 1681 Springfield MO 65801 3/23/2023 $6,666.67

[emphasis added]

That makes it even.


Campaign Finance: the committee likes you more (March 24, 2023)

Keep government out of our Medicare and Social Security


, , , , , , , ,

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Martin Niemöller

On social media:

Well, another loud dog whistle.

Turning Point USA Activism Hubs for Johnson County and Cass County, Missouri:

Mark Alford (r) [2022 file photo].

Interestingly, Mark Alford (r) has yet to hold an open public town hall in the 4th Congressional District.


“Parking Tickets” – Is that what they now call spending $130,000.00 for the silence of a Porn Star? (March 20, 2023)

Campaign Finance: the committee likes you more


, , ,

By a penny.

Today at the Missouri Ethics Commission:

C141587 03/24/2023 Citizens For Ken McClure Springfield Good Government Committee PO Box 1681 SPRINGFIELD MO 65801 3/23/2023 $6,666.66

C222284 03/24/2023 Derek Lee for Council Springfield Good Government Committee PO Box 1681 Springfield MO 65801 3/23/2023 $6,666.67

[emphasis added]

Because a bad government committee just wouldn’t do?

There’s got to be one more just to make it an even $20,000.00 from the committee.

Campaign Finance: begging the question


, , ,

It must depend on who you ask.

This month, so far, at the Missouri Ethics Commission:

C180684 03/03/2023 American Dream PAC Site Improvement Association of MO-PAC 2071 Exchange Drive Saint Charles MO 63303 3/2/2023 $15,000.00

[emphasis added]

C180684 03/08/2023 American Dream PAC Tom Prater 11335 Weller Ave. Springfield MO 65804 MNP Eye Center Physician 3/7/2023 $5,650.00

C180684 03/08/2023 American Dream PAC Tom Prater 11335 Weller Ave. Springfield MO 65804 MNP Eye Center Physician 3/7/2023 $5,650.00

[emphasis added]

C180684 03/20/2023 American Dream PAC John Schicker 6490 Rhodes Ave. Saint Louis MO 63109 Schicker Ford Auto Sales 3/20/2023 $5,650.00

[emphasis added]

C180684 03/21/2023 American Dream PAC Beau Reinberg 3167 Fee Fee Road Bridgeton MO 63044 DSS-BCM Principal 3/21/2023 $5,650.00

C180684 03/21/2023 American Dream PAC BMJC Management LLC 759 Gravois Bluffs Rd. Fenton MO 63025 3/21/2023 $25,000.00

C180684 03/22/2023 American Dream PAC Matthew Gornet 9900 Litzsinger Rd. Ladue MO 63124 Medical Doctor 3/22/2023 $10,000.00

C180684 03/23/2023 American Dream PAC Scott Engelbrecht 701 Haverford Road 9900 Litzsinger Rd. Saint Louis MO 63124 Clifton Larson Allen LLP CGO 3/22/2023 $25,000.00

[emphasis added]

What happens to a dream deferred? – Langston Hughes

All Josh Hawley (r) needed to know about international relations he learned by playing simple board games in junior high school


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What a putz.

Josh Hawley (r) [2016 file photo].

This morning:

Josh Hawley @HawleyMO
Three-quarters of NATO members aren’t meeting their basic commitments—which are already too low—but they want the U.S. to spend more on Ukraine. No.
8:51 AM · Mar 22, 2023

Some of the responses:

Sit down, traitor.

Putin is a tyrant. One who meddles in elections around the world and wants to expand his control by invading other nations. If he is not stopped, Ukraine will be the first, not the last.

Now is not the time to quibble over budget commitments from other NATO allies.

ok insurrectionist

Pardon, Traitor?

Your a good Senator.

Consider the source.

You do realize that Ukraine is not part of NATO?

Ummmmm yes. The lousy Trump Trash NATO rhetoric.

Sounds like Vlad is sending his assets new talking points to distract.

“Россия” (Russia) – a variant of the Russian presidential flag.

I’d say 50% of your time is spent trying to look like you’re doing your job. And the other 50% lying about it.

Adopting Chamberlain’s policy of appeasing Hitler fits your persona.

Congress must expose who has dual citizenship with Israel immediately

Josh Hawley’s (r) base, apparently.

So now you’re doing Putin’s bidding? The things you won’t do for a little bit of attention. Loser.

Why do you hate #Democracy ?

Any politician lobbying against NATO is in the pocket of Putin. It’s that simple.

We all know you are a traitor to democracy and a Putin apologist.

Pushing Putin’s propaganda again Josh ??

What Is ‘A Fundamental Misunderstanding of How NATO Monetary Commitments Work?’ I’ll take “Things the Fucking Russians Want US Senators to Say” for $800, LeVar

Russian Asset says…

Where do I mail the rubles, Comrade?

It’s what’s expected from the greatest nation on the planet. The rest of us don’t run away.

This is a totally irrelevant arguments to threats to world safety. You’re unfit to serve a hamburger let alone this great nation. Resign, traitor.

stfu trump fluffer.

So you are ok with mass abduction of children, bombing of civilian housing and infrastructure, and invasion of a sovereign state for no reason. Cool cool


Nothing much has changed in 84 years (February 24, 2023)

Because Ukraine should just throw sticks and rocks to dismantle the Russian invasion (February 27, 2023)

Irredeemably stupid


, , , , , , , , , , ,

Mark Alford (r) [2022 file photo].

Yesterday afternoon, Mark Alford (r) continued recycling right wingnut spin:

Jim Jordan (r) is chairing what committee, Mark? Focused on groceries? Really? Maroon.

Mark Alford @RepMarkAlford
Alvin Bragg would dig up old parking tickets if it means Trump can’t run for President again.
3:55 PM · Mar 21, 2023

Some of the responses:

Imaging carry water for a lifelong grifting con man. You should be embarrassed.

The latter would require a modicum of self-awareness.

Technically there’s nothing stopping Trump from running for president from prison, so you’ve got that going for you!

But would he dig up old porn star payoff reimbursement checks, that’s the question.

Bless your heart 😂

Can’t wait for your hot take when Trump gets indicted for election interference in Georgia. Is that a parking ticket too?

Americans want people in congress who don’t beg for pardons!

There is a difference between what we want and what we Gaetz.

Why would the party of rule of law and checks and balances want this man to run/be president? The hypocrisy and corruption run deep! Justice is coming:) which should be what you want.. only it’s not locking her up…

So what’s your point?

Mark wouldn’t know that.

Trump parked something else –

Heh. We see what you did there.

Trump probably doesn’t even know how to drive.

My guess is that he has had a driver his entire life just like he does now.

All while you guys complain about the “elites”.

So, what’s the problem?

What kind of lawmaker doesn’t care about breaking the law? A Republican.

Asked. And answered.

Does Trump drive? Bet not

He shoulda paid the parking tickets and not Stormy Daniels

Well that didn’t take long. You went from news anchor to tRump’s colon cleaner in record time. Not surprising though…

Trump can run for President from prison if he wants to. Stop talking out of your hat.

If he broke the law, he must be held accountable like the rest of us.

Anyone saying otherwise is anti American.

Has he tried not committing any crimes?

A crook is a crook.

Hmm, parking tickets or insurrection? I guess six of one, half dozen of the other

Shame on you. You know damn well that Bragg is in the right. You don’t get to use your campaign money to pay off porn stars. And if you do, then you don’t try to claim the same money off of your taxes. No one is above the law.

If he broke the law, he should be held accountable, no?

Thankfully, 45 has committed enough felonies that Bragg doesn’t have to worry about parking tickets.

As a resident of Lee’s Summit who has spent many years watching you on our local news, I’m thoroughly disgusted with your statement. No one is above the law, even a former President.

Reminds me of the bible passages where the crowd is demanding Pontius Pilate to crucify Jesus.

Oh, really?

Not paying them is still illegal. Are you saying misdemeanors don’t matter at all and should not be followed? Can I use your statement as my defense for not paying old parking tickets?

People get bench warrants all the time for unpaid tickets. Are you saying that they should stop that practice? If so, don’t ever issue parking tickets ever again. But why stop there? Just eliminate all laws that way Trump can never be found guilty of anything.

You’re really that silly? [….]

Mark Alford would say anything to kiss Trumps orange ass.

We definitely want him prosecuted for sedition and treason, you weasel.

Have you been born that stupid or did you work hard for it?

Bad combover. Check. Too long red tie. Check. Orange spray tan. Check. Tiny hands. Check. Cluelessness. Check…


“Parking Tickets” – Is that what they now call spending $130,000.00 for the silence of a Porn Star? (March 20, 2023)


Eric Schmitt (r) has a thought…this, too, shall pass


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Eric Schmitt (r) [2022 file photo}.

This morning, from Eric Schmitt (r):

Eric Schmitt @Eric_Schmitt
There is simply no room in our justice system for political prosecutions in search of crimes.
8:26 AM · Mar 21, 2023

Irony impaired.

Some of the responses:

I’m sorry, I can’t understand you. I was too distracted by the massive plank in your eye.

You should go tend to that.

There is simply no room in the Senate for apologists of the criminally indicted.

Anti-American extremist Eric Schmitt hits his corrupt successor @AGAndrewBailey with a broadside.

Oh goodness Eric, we all heard and saw his crimes. We’re you not listening?

You mean like you suing multiple MO public school districts over masking orders, costing them thousands to defend and then dropping the cases but not suing 1 private school for same. Sidebar his kids in private school all masked up. You mean that kind of political persecution

Yep. illegalmandates@ago.mo.gov – RSMo § 610 – Missouri Sunshine Law – email submissions – part 8 (January 13, 2022)

Eric, the fact that you are a sitting US Senator is in fact criminal.

Yet we still have you.

You mean like you investigating #Missouri schools for no reason and costing #Missouri taxpayers thousands of $$?

Would you share with us your reaction to the chants of “Lock her up” in 2016?

Hillary Clinton (D )[2016 file photo].

Hillary (D) would like a word.

Lock him up!

Lock him up!

Lock him up!

Lock him up!

Lock him up!

Lock him up!

Lock him up!

Lock him up!

Lock him up!

Lock him up!

Lock him up!

Lock him up!

Lock him up!

Lock him up!

Lock him up!

Lock him up!

Lock him up!

Lock him up!

Lock him up!

Lock him up!

I agree. As soon as it starts happening I’ll oppose it. For now, paying off a porn star and lying about it to advance your political career SHOULd be an end to your Republican power. But no more. Character doesn’t matter. Integrity means nothing. Power is the only currency.

you did it! Making it a crime for a woman to get an abortion is a political prosecution. Suing school districts who want to keep kids healthy is political prosecution. You slimy hypocrite!

Explain this to me: Mueller didn’t indict him because DOJ says no for a sitting President. Second Impeachment and GOPers acquit because he was out of office. Now he’s about to be charged with a crime but that shouldn’t happen because he’s a FORMER President.


*it’s okay if you’re a republican

No need to search. The crimes are in plain view. Once again, you are on the wrong side of history.

How many lawsuits as attorney general did you file then ultimately drop just to get name recognition

Hmmmm … Tell me more about your time as Missouri AG.


You sir are a hypocrite of the highest order.

How do you say this kinda stuff with a straight face? Also, how do you sleep at night?

And yet you made it a habit to file frivolous lawsuits wasting Missouri taxpayers dollars simply to advance your own political career. Hypocrite, unethical, and without any integrity.

And there is no room for thinking that politicians are above the law.

You are a joke. #LockHimUp

You are an embarrassment. Try being an actual senator.

You’ve got it wrong. Criminals get prosecuted regardless of their connection to politics, just as the founding fathers intended. YOU creating a false narrative abt crim investigations involving a former president is the politicization of the rule of law and abuse of your office.

Such as what?

Sorry, no one is above the law.

Oh, Eric, here in Missouri we still remember all the times you filed lawsuits over GOP political grievances.

You need to stay out of this.

You are a disgrace

No one is above the law, not even you.

Reference YOUR position as RAGA treasurer- robocalls & buses in support of 1/6. You’re a seditious traitor too.

Like dozens of lawsuits filed against MO schools, many not even served on the defendants & then dismissed? Playing politics with the justice system?

Sell Missouri to China!


Wow. You have zero self-awareness, huh? I mean, none at all

Is there room for prosecutions of actual crimes? Because using campaign money as hush money for illicit affairs is … a crime.


Shut your sycophantic, ladder-climbing yap, you disgustingly corrupt twatwaffle.

Fucking what? This from the bullshit artist that sued school districts in his own state firing sv pandemic?

You’re pathetic. You are even worse than hawley, and that’s saying something.

Kind of like the ones you filed against Missouri school districts. You are a disgusting pig.

I am baffled by all these low brow and poorly educated people who still do everything Trump tells them too. Unbelievable. You are drunk on ignorance and gullibility. Haven’t you learned yet?!? My God!!!

“…There are many copies, and they have a plan.”

There is simply no room in our justice system for someone like you to be this stupid AND BRAG ABOUT IT!

His co-conspirator served months in federal prison for the same crime- the crime was already found, dumbass.


Bad combover. Check. Too long red tie. Check. Orange spray tan. Check. Tiny hands. Check. Cluelessness. Check…


Remember those hearings on Bengha….oh, wait (March 19, 2023)

“Parking Tickets” – Is that what they now call spending $130,000.00 for the silence of a Porn Star? (March 20, 2023)

HB 1196: if we close our eyes, cover our ears, and say nothing it doesn’t exist and never did


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A bill:

HB 1196
Provides protections against ideological discrimination in postsecondary education
Sponsor: Richey, Doug (039)
Proposed Effective Date: 8/28/2023
LR Number: 2452H.01I
Last Action: 03/20/2023 – HCS Voted Do Pass (H)
Bill String: HB 1196
Next House Hearing: Hearing not scheduled
Calendar: Bill currently not on a House calendar

The bill summary as introduced [pdf]:


This bill provides definitions for “discriminatory ideology” which includes any ideology that promotes the differential treatment of any individual or group of individuals based on characteristics of race, color, religion, sex, gender, ethnicity, national origin, or ancestry. The bill prohibits any public institution of post secondary education from requiring any applicant, employee, student or contractor to endorse such discriminatory ideology. The bill also prevents institutions from requiring a “diversity, equity, and inclusion statement” as defined in the bill from such individuals.

Any individual that is determined to have been compelled to endorse a discriminatory ideology or submit a diversity, equity, and inclusion statement, or that is adversely affected by preferential considerations provided to any individual that endorses such ideology or submits such statement may pursue an action for injunctive or declaratory relief as outlined against such institution.

The bill provides for discipline procedures to be taken by the institution for any individual that violates the provisions outlined by first being placed on unpaid leave for an academic year, and being ineligible for employment by another institution in the state, any subsequent offense would result in termination and ineligibility for employment for five years.

The bill requires each institution to annually submit a written report of compliance to the Speaker of the House and the Senate’s President Pro Tem.

Some of the submitted testimony:

I support this bill and its protection of students, staff and contractors/employees at Missouri post-secondary education schools from unproven discriminatory ideology. I am concerned about such discrimination at all levels of the Missouri school systems. I find the use of my tax dollars to support these discriminatory policies and their lack of accountability to the taxpayer offensive and fear that such policies will undermine the foundations of Missouri and our nation.

I support this bill and its protection of students, staff and contractors/employees at Missouri post-secondary education schools from unproven discriminatory ideology. I am concerned about such discrimination at all levels of the Missouri school systems. I find the use of my tax dollars to support these discriminatory policies and their lack of accountability to the taxpayer offensive and fear that such policies will undermine the foundations of Missouri and our nation.

Two different submissions. Apparently, supporters of the bill are lazy.

Mr. Vice-Chair, I grew up not far from where you did in St. Charles. I daresay you might have met one of my older siblings at a football game in high school as you were in the same graduating class. I am sad to say I no longer live near my family in Missouri. Like so many people of the great Show-Me state, I left and took my business with me. For fifteen years, I have made a point of spending as little money as possible in my beloved home state because of bills like this. I refused to attend college in Missouri because of the ridicule and baseless accusations of “reverse racism” that politicians complain about while obviously ignoring real problems in our land. Instead, I spent my money attending colleges in Washington, DC and in Illinois. I contributed to their economies, both by paying tuition and by living and working in these other places. How much money do you think this fear-mongering has cost the beautiful souls of Missouri? How many more taxpayers will you shove out, depleting Missouri’s government funds for the sake of a racist, bigoted falsehood. How impoverished will you make your state? What’s worse, I left Missouri to become a mental health counselor – those are skills I know for a fact Missourians desperately need. But how many of us Missourians refuse to return with our training to save lives because we see how politicians such as yourself use fear mongering to stay in power, rather than actually help people. Consider for a moment the millions or even billions of dollars you are robbing yourself and your government and your people of by supporting discriminatory bills like HB 1196. I urge all committee members to question whether this bill’s costs are really worth some likes on Facebook and Twitter. Oppose HB 1196, if only to satisfy your own greed

Stop the attacks on our LGBTQ community. We are tired of having to fight for the rights of our friends and family every week. Just stop. Stop trying to ruin our educational systems even more than you already have.

I oppose this bill without reservation.

My name is [….], I am a Black pediatric cardiologist living and working in KCMO. I am testifying on the necessity of diversity-equity-inclusion education and training in Missouri hospitals, clinics, and healthcare academic programs. I staunchly oppose HB 489 and HB 1196. When I first started working at my current hospital here in Missouri, there was a Black mother who had a chronically ill child admitted to the hospital. She previously had been labeled as “difficult” and “resisting treatment” for her child. But after instilling unconscious bias training, and DEI efforts that have been adopted in the hospital, the relationship between the mother and the hospital staff, and her mistrust of the medical staff significantly improved. DEI training and initiatives are imperative to ensure that all patients receive equitable treatment and care and aren’t just broadly deemed as “difficult” without trying to understand their perspective. Thank you for reading my testimony. Your consideration of these matters and solutions is very much appreciated.

DEI allows our state to progress with the rest of the world. We celebrate that we are the “great American melting pot” yet try to erase parts of our history, culture and background. I firmly stand in opposition to these bills that will encourage racism

This proposed bill undermines democratic discourse, deprives students of a true understanding of history and deeper learning, and likely abridges rights guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. By seeking to prescribe what parts of our nation’s history -checkered with discrimination and oppression – can be taught to today’s multiracial students, they intend to deny students the right to receive information and ideas that cultivate deeper thinking and learning. Urge you to vote no.

It is disingenuous and harmful to call diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives “discriminatory.” In fact the existence of such rhetoric demonstrates the need for increasing access to DEI education. To do the opposite, as HB 1196 does by banning DEI statements and practices, is authoritarian and shameful. Why are some of our state representatives so afraid of Missouri residents learning accurate history and practicing ways to improve equity for all? It seems honest and reasonable legislatures would want to increase learning and equity for the benefit of all Missourians. I fully oppose HB 1196.

It is a mistake to penalize institutions of higher education for emphasizing the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Education is a community value and needs to be supported by the community and made accessible to people of all backgrounds.

As a proud fourth generation Missourian, I am disappointed to the marrow of my bones that in the year 2023 these are the hills our leaders are choosing to die on. I was raised in rural south Missouri in an openly racist and oppressive household. I am only the person I am today because teachers in my secondary education settings helped to broaden my understanding of the world and helped me to see the ways willful ignorance of our history perpetuates systems of oppression. I am able to be a free thinking, considerate, and evolving human being because teachers devoted to making the world a better place were given the freedom to tell me the truth after living in a setting that fed me a lifetime of lies. White supremacy is a lie and to usurp it’s stranglehold on our nation we must empower the truth tellers.

I am a Missouri citizen and longtime voter and taxpayer. I am appalled at the ridiculous nature and content of this bill. It’s part of the ongoing witch hunt by Missouri Republicans to attack anyone and everyone who isn’t a straight, white, cis, conservative Christian — all to appeal to an extremist base. The very title of this bill is also ridiculous, because the bill sponsors have every intention of hurting people with this legislation: people of color, queer people, trans people, and everyone else who does not fit the description above. Missouri is an embarrassment, with a long list of real life problems that affect us citizens every single day: #44 for maternal mortality rates, #42 in health care, #40 in health care access, #41 in public health, #30 in education (and failing fast), #45 in crime, etc etc. etc. Diversity, equity and inclusion work improves health care outcomes, according to the National Institutes of Health. DEI improves employee engagement, improves hiring and retention, and drives growth. Why do you think every major corporation dedicates substantial resources to DEI? It’s also the right thing to do, in the spirit of respecting and including people from a diverse range of backgrounds, identities, and abilities.I oppose this harmful bill and urge this committee to stop its progress

These bills reduce learning, hurt patients, and contribute to negative health outcomes and health disparities. If a bill like this passes, it will set a precedent that your peers in higher ed programs in Missouri will have a significantly lesser education everyone else. It will make our state less competitive if curriculum requirements across the board ban teaching the diversity of humanity and how to treat or care for diverse bodies. I have two children remaining at home, both are looking at out-of-state colleges, and never looking back at Missouri.

I support diversity, equity and inclusion like Jesus would do. WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?

This bill is a direct attack on diversity, inclusion and equity in Missouri. Though the sponsor said in the hearing that it is to promote diverse dialogue and ideologies on campus, it is absolutely not this at all. It is a knee-jerk reactionary bill to stop “wokeism” in Missouri. This tired, phony straw man certainly has folks worried. It’s almost as if we want to stop new ideas from coming into Missouri to preserve the status quo of the last 200 years. The status quo is a system created by, and therefore for, white privileged males. They are so afraid of the idea of losing grasp on their perceived power that they are afraid to even use the words diversity and equity. Make no mistake. This is NOT about diversity of ideologies. It is about one specific ideology, a tired, old and dangerous one that is about limiting people. It is a vehicle to promote just that tiresome ignorance. Ignorance is the tool of authoritarians and fascists. We should not be that!The young med student who testified had it right: the time to find out you’re hiring someone whose bigotry is so entrenched that they will be unable to keep it from covering their interactions with students through micro- or macro-aggressions is before they are hired. Having a campus dedicated to diversity in thought and practice, to including safe spaces for everyone, and providing equitable opportunities and practices is vital for us to move forward as a state rather than retreating to a past. The national concerns that are promoting these bills have been doing so slowly but surely for 50 years, and it is no coincidence that it started after the Civil Rights Bill of 1964, VRA of 1965 and the proposal of the ERA in the 1970s, when marginalized groups like racial minorities and women began to be able to affect real and lasting change on the status quo. The Gay Rights movement of the last 30 years has supercharged the idea that some need to hold on to their systemic power by returning to the rigged systems of the past. So here’s what I have to say to that: Stop it. You cannot stop an idea whose time has come. So I’ll take the idea of “woke” and run with it. I’d rather be awake, aware and adaptable than seek frightened refuge in archaic ideology.

This legislation will exclude an entire population and bind the ability of educators to address current issues and society as it is currently stands. This bill will not represent me and I therefore oppose it. This legislation will not represent progress but a return to discriminatory past that as a Missourian I hope we can move past.

As a lifelong educator in language and literature, I find the way in which authors of bills such as HB1196 have taken the notion of discrimination against marginalized people and turned it on its head to be both disingenuous and dangerous.We live in a multiracial democracy with a history of shutting whole populations out of certain levels of education. It’s not discriminatory to learn about past discrimination and collaborate in a thoughtful way about continually moving forward. Thus I strongly oppose HB1196.

I am educated as a speech-language pathologist (both of my degrees were earned in Missouri) and one of the requirements for graduation from an American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) accredited program – which is required to pursue licensure for speech pathology – is that we learn about DEI topics in the classroom to prepare us for the culturally diverse patients we will see in our clinical rotations and professional practice. It would be a disservice to both the students and the people they will serve in the future to prevent them from learning about topics that will help them to be better clinicians in our schools, clinics, nursing homes, and hospitals. I can’t imagine how I would have possibly provided appropriate and efficacious services to my clients if I had been prohibited from learning about cultural-linguistic groups and gender studies – because I would not have been able to do so except for my majority culture (white) clients. This bill will place Missouri students at a disadvantage compared to those in other states; degrees from Missouri institutions both public and private will not be viewed as sufficient preparation to enter the workforce.

Distinguished Committee Members: [….] the Associated Students of the University of Missouri (ASUM), [is] a non-partisan advocacy organization that represents the 75,000+ students across the University of Missouri System. ASUM stands in opposition to House Bill 1196 for a variety of reasons. First, we are concerned that some of the bill language is written in such a way that it leaves room for possible abuse in interpretation. The prohibition of “DEI-related topics” creates a scope so large that almost any unique characteristic of the human experience could be challenged under this term. One such potential interpretation of “DEI-related topics” that may be of interest to members of this committee is the sincerely held beliefs of both political and religious student groups. This bill would prohibit preferential treatment for these groups and undermine any attempt to recognize their marginalization. However, that directly conflicts with another bill proposed by the General Assembly, HB136, that does just that for belief-based student organizations. The term “Discriminatory ideology” is also misleading in its definition. DEI is not the preferential treatment of people based on these characteristics, but creating an understanding that historical and generational hardships exist as a result of these differences while working to create a more inclusive and equitable society for future generations. Students entering the workforce post-graduation will meet all kinds of different people. The restriction of DEI on college campuses will inhibit students’ ability to properly function and perform in diverse workplace settings by not preparing them for these situations. This would reflect poorly on not only postsecondary institutions, but the state of Missouri as a whole.Finally, in lines 76 and 77, the bill language states there are no legal or financial protections for institutions who institute DEI policies. This leaves institutions of higher education in a gray area where state and federal funding requirements could conflict. Losing funding from either level of government could greatly affect the quality of higher education in the State of Missouri and the size of our workforce.

These bills are government overreach.

Please do not do this.

I am writing as a Missouri citizen in opposition to HB 1196. Changing a narrative or trying to eliminate a relevant conversation does not support our kids. Exposure to different ideas, cultures and narratives is what makes for well rounded future adults. Adults who can think for themselves and makes up their own minds. Censorship does not allow for critical thinking.

“…Censorship does not allow for critical thinking.”

It never has.