Last night I noticed a post on our sister site Twitchy about the 2019 Teacher of the Year tweeting what appeared to be a call for violence against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Needless to say, there were plenty of responses to that tweet, especially given that this person influences the lives of young people. Adults, certainly teachers, are supposed to lead by example.
Rodney Robinson must not have been pleased with how Mitch McConnell is handling legislation that provides Americans with some relief from the financial devastation brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Wednesday afternoon Robinson tweeted out an ugly thought that can easily be construed as a call for violence against the Senate Majority Leader. I would post it but he has deleted it. He called out for McConnell’s neighbors to violently attack him as Senator Rand Paul’s neighbor did to him.
“Who are Mitch McConnell’s neighbors? I’m just saying Rand Paul’s neighbor did what a true Kentucky hero should do. It’s your turn to step up.”
Does that look like a joke to you? Robinson deleted the tweet when people, rightly, responded with disgust to such a post. He blamed those responding in a negative way for not understanding that hey, he’s just joking. Someone not at all amused was Rand Paul’s wife, Kelley. She reminded people of the physical damage done to her husband and tagged the CEO of Twitter.
I am so disgusted by this I have no words. The 2019 “National Teacher Of The Year” is celebrating the violent assault on my husband that resulted in 6 broken ribs and part of his lung being removed. This hateful thug is calling for more violence on Sen McConnell. @jack https://t.co/JLraxwLaZD
— Kelley Paul (@KelleyAshbyPaul) December 31, 2020
Did @jack suspend Robinson’s Twitter account, as he surely would have done to a conservative? Nope. Robinson’s account is now a private one and his tweets are not available to be viewed by the general public. Before he locked his Twitter account, Robinson lamely blamed the angry responses to his fever dream of physical injury toward Senator McConnell on – wait for it – yes, racism. You have got to be kidding.
I made a Mitch McConnell joke today and the conservative bots are real angry. It’s funny because the joke was made early today and no one said a thing until I promoted black medical awareness.
— Rodney Robinson (@RodRobinsonRVA) December 31, 2020
There was no mention of “black medical awareness” in this fiasco. This is what social justice warriors do, though, in 2020. When they have to go into clean-up mode, the easiest thing to do is to blame any objections to ugly speech or actions on conservatives and particularly on racism. The claim of racism shuts down discussions, it doesn’t allow discussions to continue in any meaningful way. There was nothing funny about his tweet, especially since he references explicitly the criminal assault against the junior senator from Kentucky as an example of what he’d like to see play out on McConnell. The only reference to anything medical around the tweet was posted a couple of hours after the McConnell tweet. It referenced an oral surgery appointment and his search for a black oral surgeon to do it.
“Went to a new dentist yesterday and he referred me to oral surgeon network. I asked the black dental assistant in front of the others in the office to circle the black surgeons in the network. She said I already did. Others looked confused but if you don’t know you don’t know.”
Robinson has been teaching for about 20 years, so he’s not some rookie teacher who is unaware of the full scope of his influence on young people. He currently teaches at a juvenile detention center in Richmond, Virginia. In April 2019 he explained his job during an interview with NPR.
I work in a juvenile jail. My students range in age from 12 to 19 — from, on average, sixth grade up to 12th grade. They’re on varying levels. My facility has a capacity of 60 students. I’d say about a third have been sentenced, and the other two-thirds are being tried or awaiting sentencing. I could have a student who’s only there for two days sitting next to a student who’s been waiting two years for trial.
It’s my job to fit the needs of each and every student no matter what they bring to the table and make them feel loved and appreciated and inspire them to do whatever they want to be.
He teaches troubled teens. Robinson calls what he does “culturally relevant teaching”. He teaches them about the prison system and how to advocate for themselves, he said. A piece in The Spectator suggests Robinson has racial issues as seen in a tweet from Tuesday. It quotes Robinson’s Wikipedia page which shows he debated about meeting with President Trump after he received the award. Traditionally presidents present the award to the Teacher of the Year in a ceremony at the White House. Robinson, who was Virginia Teacher of the Year in 2018, decided to go to the White House. He met with Trump in the Oval Office, but no formal presentation was delivered.
Robinson has racial issues against “old white men” like the 78-year-old McConnell, as seen by this tweet from Tuesday, “I would say the government is broken but it’s doing exactly what it was designed to do which is maintain power and privilege for old white men.”
…After teaching for over a decade in middle and high schools in Richmond, Virginia, he became a social studies and history teacher for grades 6 through 12 at the Virgie Binford Education Center, located inside the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center. He was named Virginia Teacher of the Year in 2018 and National Teacher of the Year in 2019…
…Robinson received the R.E.B. Award for Teaching Excellence in 2012. In 2018, he was named Virginia Teacher of the Year and in 2019 he was recognized as National Teacher of the Year. He described his reaction to winning the national award as humbling and noted: “as a black male educator, we’re put in this box where we’re told to only coach, only deal with difficult kids, only do discipline, and we fight to try to escape that box, and now here I was being chosen to represent all teachers and students in America. It was validating”.
There was some controversy over whether Robinson would decide to visit the White House to be honored, but eventually he decided to go. He met with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office after Trump broke with tradition by not personally presenting the award to Robinson. Robinson planned to use his platform as National Teacher of the Year to advocate for more even funding of schools between rich and poor and to increase the number of minority men who become teachers.
This is the latest example of how teachers, and specifically teacher unions, have lowered the bar for public education. Today it is more important to preach social justice and activism than it is the basics of education. Look no further than their own Teacher of the Year.