Just a couple of months ago the Johnston Community School District hired Louis Fountain as its director of equity, inclusion and belonging despite controversial social media posts. Fountain, for example, wrote that Herschel Walker didn’t forget he was black, he just doesn’t want to be black.
Some parents expressed concern over the proposed hiring of Fountain. Others rallied behind him.
One of the most supportive parents was Luana Nelson-Brown. In fact, according to the Des Moines Register, Nelson-Brown suggested the director of equity, inclusion and belonging position about a year ago in a proposal to the board.
Clearly, Nelson-Brown has the ear of the Johnston Community School District.
And she also had a captive audience on Independence Day at the Iowa Capitol during a Des Moines BLM protest.
Nelson-Brown spoke as the executive director of the Iowa Coalition for Collective Change.
Right away she told the crowd that one “violent crime” they’re all experiencing is “standing underneath this damn statute right here” outside the Capitol building.
She said Independence Day has “nothing to do with our independence.”
“It only has to do with white independence, and then only for those people who were considered white at the time that was written,” she said. “Because you know there’s a whole lot of folks walking around here right now who are thinking they’re white, but they weren’t considered white back then — I’m looking at my Irish friends right now. I’m also looking at my friends who mark white Hispanic on their census. Because, you know, deep down inside this isn’t your holiday either.”
Nelson-Brown said when we think about how “fluid whiteness is” — how people can come into and move out of whiteness depending on what works politically — “we get a glimpse into the deliberate dishonesty these United States were founded on.”
She added that America has “always had a problem with honesty.”
“If you don’t know that the words in the Declaration of Independence that say, ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, blah, blah, blah, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,'” she said. “If you don’t know that that’s a lie, then you’re either completely invested into white supremacy culture or you’re comfortable with telling and upholding lies.
“How in the hell can you believe the self-evident truth that all men are created equal with God-given rights, it says, to live, be liberated and pursue happiness when you’re holding an entire population of people hostage in the country you’re writing the declaration about? It’s a lie.”
Nelson-Brown said the next time someone asks about slavery, they are supposed to look at them and say their ancestors were not slaves, they were hostages.
“And we continue to be held hostage in a country that lies to our face,” she said.
She took aim at Christopher Columbus who is credited with discovering America.
“Even kindergartners know that’s a lie,” she said. “And then, you ban Critical Race Theory, why? Because we don’t want kids to feel bad. But we’re perfectly happy to have indigenous children walk past this shit right here every day on field trips — somebody say you lie.”
She said the statue outside the Capitol is not a mistake — “it’s a direct way of telling you — black and brown folks — in this state, that you have no right to any input into any law that governs your life. Because if we did, then we would be able to teach our children the truth. Instead, right in this building, it became against the law to tell our children the exact things I’m telling you right now in this speech.”
Nelson-Brown said it is time to stop the “whitewashing.”
“You know you’re lying when in this building you’ve got a mural at the top of the staircase that shows white pioneers being guided by angels,” she said. “You’re not being guided by angels and f*ck you.”
She was interrupted by counter-protestors driving by with Trump flags.
Nelson-Brown said they were not guided by angels, they were attempting to wipe an entire nation of people from the face of the Earth so they could take the land.
“It’s time for us to leave here today and really tell the truth,” she said.
Nelson-Brown called on those in attendance to stop being accommodating and to start saying the words “you lie.”
She said those in attendance will say you lie when someone says:
*Christopher Columbus discovered America;
*Critical Race Theory is harmful
*Manifest destiny and doesn’t mention the word genocide
*When you walk past the mural in the Capitol
*When someone tells you slavery is over
*When someone tells you all lives matter
*When someone wishes you a Happy Fourth, you’re going to look them dead in the face and you’re going to calmly say to them:
“Happy Fourth of You Lie.”