June 28, 2021
April 22, 2022
Photo: Neil Blake | MLive.com
By this letter, we ask that you, too, refuse to stay silent in the face of attacks on fundamental American democratic principles of civil discourse and fair treatment.
Senator McMorrow was the subject of a fundraising letter in which a fellow Michigan Senator, Lana Theis, stated: "Progressive social media trolls like Senator Mallory McMorrow [D-Snowflake] who are outraged they can't teach can't groom and sexualize kindergarteners or that 8-year-olds are responsible for slavery.”
Civil discourse and fair treatment, including respect for the rights and dignity of all individuals, are essential components of American democracy and indispensable to the preservation of our democratic institutions and the rule of law.
Senator McMorrow responded with a speech on the floor of the Michigan Senate, where she described how she was taught to manifest her values and faith in deeds of kindness, compassion, and service to others. She then stated:
The senator’s powerful speech is a call to action for us all. Political discourse has taken a dangerous turn. Public officials are using children and teachers as pawns in a cruel effort to incite anger as a fundraising tool. Legislators have passed and governors have signed into law statutes that, in effect, allow community members to ban books, and prevent children from learning fundamental truths about American history.
LGBTQ students and children from non-traditional families have been further placed at risk for bullying and derision, by laws designed to cause humiliation and shame. And teachers now find themselves in an untenable position, as educators are being terminated based on parental disapproval of their teaching method. As in other times in history when democracies have been attacked, fear is now a component of teaching and learning.
As members of the legal profession, we have the responsibility to defend the norms of political behavior on which our democracy depends. The values and principles threatened here go much deeper, and are more important than mere politics, policy differences, or the self-interest of any politician. The very heart of our democracy is at stake when fear overwhelms truth and the ability to communicate respectfully.