Florida’s State Board of Education is the governing body of the state’s K-12, community college and university system. Members are appointed by the governor. Governor Ron DeSantis just appointed a woman named Esther Byrd to the board. Ms. Byrd is the wife of a wingnut state legislator from a deep red district who just happens to be a staunch DeSantis ally.
DeSantis has already stocked the board with shady GOP megadonors and charter school grifters who do his bidding. But as far as I know, Esther Byrd is the first insurrection fan girl on the board. Here’s her comment about January 6 on her Facebook page [source: Florida Politics]:
“ANTIFA and BLM can burn and loot buildings and violently attack police and citizens. But when Trump supporters peacefully protest, suddenly ‘Law and Order’ is all they can talk about! I can’t even listen to these idiots bellyaching about solving our differences without violence.”
“In the coming civil wars (We the People vs the Radical Left and We the People cleaning up the Republican Party), team rosters are being filled. Every elected official in DC will pick one. There are only 2 teams… With Us [or] Against Us. We the People will NOT forget!”
Ms. Byrd is also a Proud Boys booster:
“Why do you think Facebook is throwing people in FB Jail who share information about Proud Boys? (Side note: I must really have great friends cause a whole bunch have been locked up! ?) I think it’s because they’ve seen a drastic spike in searches and they are worried that people are educating themselves rather than blindly believing what MSM narrative. Anyone have a better theory?”
Is she a QAnon nut? I don’t know, but her friends are, so probably:
Byrd’s wife @EstherByrd19 organized their first yacht club event on May 16 and their next one is on June 14. Mrs. Byrd posted photos of their friends’ boat they rode in for the first event. Notice the QAnon flag they’re flying.https://t.co/weHFRHYIaZhttps://t.co/dAUTSa31YI pic.twitter.com/QpaR0b9yBZ
— Phillip Perry (@phillipperry) June 7, 2020
DeSantis also appointed Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie to the board. She’s a religious fanatic and forced birther who’s been a speaker at the National March for Life and is a senior fellow at a “religious liberty” organization. But while the official statement announcing the picks provided details on Christie’s impressive education, it described Byrd as a legal assistant and office manager at her husband’s law firm. The pick appears to be 100% trolling.
Byrd’s confirmation is subject to FL Senate approval, but since that chamber confirmed anti-mask, anti-vax quack Dr. Ladapo as surgeon general, authorized creation of an election police force that answers to the governor and passed laws designed to make teachers afraid to teach history or acknowledge the existence of LGBTQ people, my guess is they’ll rubberstamp this “own the libs” appointment too. Dog help us.