No Left Turn in Education has become one of the leading groups fearmongering about the teaching of critical race theory in schools. The group and its founder Elana Yaron Fishbein have frequently used toxic and bigoted rhetoric on social media and in right-wing media, including comparing the efforts of educators to that of Pol Pot, Vladimir Lenin, and Adolf Hitler; claiming that “black bigotry towards whites'' is a “very real problem”; complaining that an educational video doesn’t cover violence by Black people; and promoting anti-LGBTQ rhetoric such as telling people to go “back to Trans-sylvania.”
Right-wing media outlets have become obsessed with the teaching of critical race theory as it looks for an issue to weaponize against Democrats ahead of the 2022 elections. Media Matters recently found that Fox News, which has promoted No Left Turn in Education, has mentioned critical race theory nearly 1,300 times in the past three and a half months.
NBC News’ Tyler Kingkade, Brandy Zadrozny and Ben Collins reported on June 15 that No Left Turn in Education has become “one of the largest groups targeting school boards” regarding critical race theory. Broadly speaking, critical race theory is an academic examination of the systemic effects of racism in society. The group was founded last summer and remained in relative obscurity until Elana Yaron Fishbein appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight.
Fishbein’s endeavor received a significant boost in September, when she appeared on Tucker Carlson’s prime-time Fox News show. By the next day, No Left Turn’s Facebook page had shot up from fewer than 200 followers to over 30,000. The group now has 30 chapters in 23 states, a rapid expansion Fishbein credits to Carlson’s show.
“He launched our movements — he doesn't know it, but he did,” Fishbein said.
Fishbein recently appeared on the June 15 edition of The Ingraham Angle, where she complained about “people who hijacked the school and took our kids as hostages and pushed the parents out of the involvement in their kids' education.”
She and her group have been active on social media and in right-wing media since their founding. Fishbein has complained that “black bigotry towards whites'' is a “very real problem” and wrote that white people don't march “in the streets declaring ‘White Lives Matter’, much less loot and vandalize their communities to bring attention to this issue." Her group's Facebook page complained about an educational video that held up George Floyd “as a martyr and hero" while he “was resisting arrest" and “overlooks the fact that most of [the violence against Black people is] caused by .....black people.”
They have also posted anti-LGBTQ material, including telling activists to go “back to Trans-sylvania ... and stay away from our kids” and suggested that accepting LGBTQ children represents the “dismantling of the family unit!"
Fishbein and her organization have also compared the efforts of public school educators to that of Pol Pot, Vladimir Lenin, and Adolf Hitler. In one instance, the group posted a meme stating that sending your children to public schools means “you handed them over to the enemy to be raised and indoctrinated in the ways of the state.”
Fishbein wrote that “black bigotry towards whites'' is a “very real problem” and added: “White students who attend pre-dominantly black inner-city high schools fear for their lives daily, but no one marches in the streets declaring ‘White Lives Matter’, much less loot and vandalize their communities to bring attention to this issue.” Fishbein said that the idea to launch her group started after she received a “large groundswell of support” after she posted on Facebook a June 18, 2020, letter to a school superintendent outlining her curriculum complaints. During one section of the letter, she complained (emphasis added):
What particularly outrages me is that the “Cultural Proficiency Committee” (which sounds like something out of Maoist China) imposed a lesson plan to indoctrinate the children into the “woke” culture, using reprehensible resources designed to inoculate Caucasian children with feelings of guilt for the color of their skin and the “sins” of their forefathers. The material selected for this indoctrination pumps their brains with LIES that puts unbearable emotional burdens on them for years to come. Why must our kids feel like villains and hate themselves for something they had no control over – the color/pigmentation of their skin?!? Whatever the school’s intentions are, this “proficiency” program threatens to unleash hate upon white children. My nine-year-old very perceptively commented: “They are doing to us what they told us not to do to others.” In other words, this cultural proficiency lesson completely flips the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King (judge people by the content of their character and NOT by the color of their skin) on its head! Why has the school so dramatically deviated from the philosophy of this great American which you taught the children earlier in the school year? Dr. King is probably rolling over in his grave now!!!
At the same time the messages the school is conveying instills a sense of victimhood and lack of responsibility into black children. Your cultural proficiency program assures them that they are not responsible for their actions or lack of achievement (in cases where they do) since after all, everything that has gone wrong in their lives (in cases where it did) is the fault of the so called “white privilege.” Your approach promotes and instills anger and hate in their hearts and minds rather than responsibility, ambition and hope because they are EQUAL to any other kid!
What does “cultural proficiency” exactly mean? Is it like “math proficiency” or “English proficiency”? Does it have a set of skills and knowledge and the kids will be tested and given a score? How would you benchmark cultural proficiency? Will the test be standardized and administered to kids of all skin colors/pigmentations or only to the “white” kids? What about the kids who are mixed race? Maybe these kids will undergo skin pigmentation test prior to taking the test to determine their level of dark pigmentation and the “eligibility” to take the test. Does it address black bigotry towards whites? Nothing in the “proficiency” materials addressed this very real problem. White students who attend pre-dominantly black inner-city high schools fear for their lives daily, but no one marches in the streets declaring “White Lives Matter”, much less loot and vandalize their communities to bring attention to this issue. Why does LMSD give its students the perception that bigotry is only a “white” problem? In fact, did you know that anti-Semitism has been on the rise in the U.S.? According to a 2018 FBI data, Jews were 2.7 X more likely than blacks, and 2.2 X more likely than Muslims to be victims of hate crimes (“…the hate crime victimization rate per 100,00 population of each group were 14.8 for Jews, 6.6 for Muslims and 5.5 for blacks”). But there is no “Jewish History Month,” no riots of any kind (violent or otherwise) by Jews” and you haven’t implemented any lesson or program to address it.
No Left Turn in Education’s Facebook page posted a meme stating that sending children to public schools means “you handed them over to the enemy to be raised and indoctrinated in the ways of the state.”
No Left Turn in Education’s Facebook page complained that a video holds “George Floyd up as a martyr and hero and an example of structural racism even mentioning the white officers name who kneeled on him as he was resisting arrest.” The group also complained that it “states that the overwhelmingly peaceful protests are about violence against black people, but overlooks the fact that most of it is caused by .....black people.” From a post about a video “being shown to 5th graders at Haverford school district in Havertown PA.”
The group’s Facebook page to Planned Parenthood: “Take your organ harvesting gender fluidity and pornography nonsense back to Trans-sylvania or wherever the hell you created it, and stay away from our kids!”
Fishbein promoted an anti-LGBTQ tweet and stated, “We will not allow the dismantling of the family unit!”
No Left Turn in Education’s Facebook page: “Public schools are starting to resemble re-education camps and our cities have turned into the killing fields. It's beginning to feel like Pol Pot's Cambodia.”
Fishbein: Schools are “getting to our kids, brainwashing them, indoctrinating them, and making them your brownshirt. In this case it’s literally making them your brownshirt to march to your order.” From a presentation Fishbein gave:
ELANA YARON FISHBEIN: What is happening is what we know from other Marxist communist totalitarian regimes. You have to get the kids and brainwash them as early as possible if you want to transform your society. And here there is no doubt that's the tool, getting to our kids, brainwashing them, indoctrinating them, and making them your brownshirt. In this case it’s literally making them your brownshirt to march to your order.
Fishbein: “It’s like Lenin said, ‘Give me your kids for eight years so I can turn them into good Bolsheviks,’ and that’s what they’re doing.” From a January 19 piece by the right-wing outlet The College Fix:
“This is our most dangerous arena, K-through-12 education. It’s like Lenin said, ‘Give me your kids for eight years so I can turn them into good Bolsheviks,’ and that’s what they’re doing. They’re following the Bolshevik, they’re following the communist, they’re following the Marxist playbook,” she said.
“Because once they conquer this territory, K-12, the destiny of our country is doomed. This is something worth fighting for.”
The group’s Facebook page compared activist and author Ibram X. Kendi to Adolf Hitler.
Fishbein: “White Supremacy is the least of our problems now. It’s the extreme left that poses the most danger to Jews.”
Fishbein: “They tell your kids that they live in an evil country, but they want to flood it with illegals.” In a YouTube video, Fishbein warned people that the left wants the country flooded “with illegals” and said that liberals “took control over your kids and are programming them. Your kids became storm troopers.” (Fishbein is an immigrant from Israel.)
Fishbein dismissed the notion that the January 6 insurrection was an insurrection.
Fishbein: “We are going to fight until the last drop of blood. … [Americans] see that this is the bullet that coming at their children, and they are getting up, and we are rising up. It's not too late. We are very forceful.” During an interview, Fishbein was asked if it’s too late to stop the left. Fishbein responded with incendiary rhetoric, stating:
ELANA FISHBEIN: It’s not too late. We are going to fight until the last drop of blood. Don't forget, I'm Israeli. I know what we have to do in order to defend our homes, our families, our values, our right to live as a free nation. We have a right to live here as a free nation not as a Marxist nation. So, once people are aware of what's going on, they are rising. They are getting up. They understand the danger. America has most of its population, patriotic Americans who love this country, who love their family, and they see that this is the bullet that coming at their children, and they are getting up, and we are rising up. It's not too late. We are very forceful. We're very committed. We are resilient.