Coup plot thwarted in Germany

Major media outlets, including the New York Times, are reporting that a coup plot was thwarted in Germany. It comes nearly two years after an attempted coup in the United States.

The New York Times reports:

The plan was to storm the German Capitol, arrest lawmakers and execute the chancellor. A prince descended from German nobility would take over as the new head of state, and a former far-right member of Parliament would be put in charge of a national purge.

To facilitate the coup, the electricity network would be sabotaged. Satellite phones to communicate off grid had already been bought.

That is what German prosecutors and intelligence officials say a nationwide far-right terrorist network was plotting before 3,000 police officers and Special Forces fanned out across the country on Wednesday to raid 150 homes and arrest 25 suspected co-conspirators. They included an active duty soldier, a former officer in the elite special forces, a police officer and at least two army reservists.

Among the items uncovered was a list containing 18 names of politicians considered enemies, possibly to be deported and executed, among them Chancellor Olaf Scholz, people familiar with the raids told The New York Times, requesting anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation.

Scholz replaced Angela Merkel as Germany’s chancellor in December 2021. He leads the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), which won a plurality in last year’s federal elections. Scholz has been a critic of Vladimir Putin and a supporter of Ukraine throughout their resistance to the Russian invasion.

NPR reports that the coup plotters – like their far-right American counterparts – railed against a so-called “deep state” controlling the German government. Arrests were also made in Austria and Italy. This is the highest-profile far-right plot since two German army officers were arrested in 2017 for plotting to assassinate the justice minister.

The disturbing news out of Germany follows former president Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, culminating in an insurrection at the Capitol with the support of far-right terrorist groups. The leader of the Oath Keepers was recently found guilty of seditious conspiracy for his role on January 6th.

Just last weekend, Trump said that the United States Constitution should be terminated.

Analysis News

Tennessee becomes the latest state to censor teachers on race

Tennessee is the latest state to ban teaching critical race theory in public schools. The Republican-controlled legislature passed the bill and Governor Bill Lee signed it into law.

The Tennessee law effectively censors public school teachers who would like to facilitate a discussion on race – particularly white privilege and patriarchy. A teacher who violates the law risks losing funding for their school.

According to the Associated Press:

The legislation, which was amended several times in the final days of the legislative session, takes effect July 1. Among other things, Tennessee’s teachers can’t instruct that “an individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, is inherently privileged, racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or subconsciously.”

“Impartial discussion of controversial aspects of history” is still permitted under the law, and limits on teacher speech won’t apply when a teacher is responding to a student’s question or referring to a historic figure or group.

However, the penalty for a transgression is steep: The state education commissioner could withhold funds from any school found to be in violation.

NPR reports that similar laws are now on the books in Idaho and Oklahoma, “and they’re advancing in half a dozen other states.” The laws could greatly limit classroom discussions on racism, civil rights, and how structural racism affects society as teachers fear potential penalties.

Teaching versus indoctrination

According to the AP, Governor Lee argued that students should learn “the exceptionalism of our nation,” not things that “inherently divide.”

Teachers are supposed to educate, facilitate honest discussions, and encourage critical thinking skills. Teaching “American exceptionalism” is nothing more than indoctrination and jingoism. There is no educational value to it. It is the American equivalent to North Korean or Chinese state-sponsored propaganda.

Politicians should stay out of the classroom and let teachers do their job.

Photo Credit: Jason Mrachina, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0