Why would an Indian American get publicly attacked as being associated with white supremacy? Good question. It speaks to the way in which the Left smears anyone who dares disagree with their ideology and seeks to advance that ideology through the educational system.
Recently, the Virginia Senate on a party-line vote rejected the nomination of Suparna Dutta to the Commonwealth’s Board of Education. The Senate’s rejection of Dutta, a parent and STEM advocate, had its roots in two ideological objections among the chamber’s Democrats.
One week earlier, the Board of Education had debated revised Standards of Learning for Virginia civics. Among other topics, the proposed new Standards state that socialism and communism are “incompatible with democracy and individual freedoms.”
At the Board of Education meeting, Board member Anne Holton, the wife of U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), said this language made her feel “uncomfortable.” In Holton’s view, numerous countries live under both socialism and democracy, so she questioned the association included in the Standards.
Dutta, who was born and lived in India, rebutted Holton’s assertions. “I think socialism is just about as bad as communism. It co-opts the important decisions belonging to families and individuals.”
Holton noted that the topic of whether socialism and democracy co-exist “would be a great debate to have in a 12th grade government civics class.” But apparently, Democrats in the Virginia Senate didn’t want to have a debate—they wanted to subject Dutta to an ideological purity test.
The move seems doubly ironic. Democrats claim to be the party of immigrants, and when discussing diversity always speak about the importance of “lived experience.” But when Dutta—whose views on socialism came from having lived under a socialist regime in the country of her birth—dared challenge leftist orthodoxy, the party immediately nixed her nomination.
Another source of Democrats’ ire stemmed from the role Dutta has played in Fairfax County. There, she co-founded the parents’ group at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. That parents’ group seeks to overturn changes that moved the high school away from merit-based admission in search of racial “diversity.”
Dutta’s objection to replacing merit-based admission with a racially gerrymandered system got her tagged a “white supremacist” by Sen. Ghazala Hashmi (D-Midlothian). Hashmi alleged that Dutta was “align[ed]” with “very extreme and right-wing white supremacist groups,” simply because some unaffiliated right-wing activists showed up at a parent protest.
One should first note the irony of a legislator born in India calling a nominee born in India a “white supremacist.” But using such absurd forms of guilt-by-association represents the way that the modern Left seeks to enforce ideological conformity. In November 2021, one MSNBC commentator called the election of Winsome Sears—the Commonwealth’s first African American, female lieutenant governor—an example of “white supremacy by ventriloquist effect.” Recall too Joe Biden’s infamous comment during the 2020 campaign that “if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or [Donald] Trump, then you ain’t black.”
As a Virginia parent, my children and children across the Commonwealth deserve better than petty, racist insults, and ideological conformity. They deserve leaders on the Board of Education who understand the parent experience, and who will work to advance quality learning standards free of ideological bias from the left or the right. They deserve people like Suparna Dutta, and the Senate’s rejection of her speaks volumes about the way in which the Left views Virginia’s schools as a breeding ground for its radical ideology.