Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares skewered CNN talking head Jim Acosta for comparing the state's new tip line for concerned parents to the police state of the former Soviet Union.
On Tuesday, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced a new email tip line for parents to report any violations of students' "fundamental rights" and any "divisive practices" in schools.
"Helpeducation@governor.virginia.gov, for parents to send us any instances where they feel that their fundamental rights are being violated, where their children are not being respected, where there are inherently divisive practices in their schools," Youngkin said, according to WJLA-TV. "And we're asking for input right from parents, to make sure that we can go right to the source, as we continue to work to make sure Virginia's education system is on the path to re-establish excellence."
Youngkin referenced a public school class in Fairfax County that recently had students play "privilege bingo." The controversial assignment had children acknowledge their privileged classes, such as those who are white, Christian, male, cis-gendered, able-bodied, have never been racially profiled, and belong to a military family.
The new "Help Education" tip line sparked a backlash from liberals, including singer John Legend.
"Black parents need to flood these tip lines with complaints about our history being silenced," Legend instructed his nearly 14 million followers on Twitter. "We are parents too."
Another outspoken critic of Youngkin's tip line was CNN personality Jim Acosta.
"You know, I seem to remember Glenn Youngkin campaigning in a fleece vest in Virginia," Acosta said on Tuesday night during a CNN special titled "Democracy in Peril." "He was running as a different kind of Republican. I was told there was going to be a vest, not a Soviet-style police state across the Potomac from Washington."
Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares fired back at the comparison of the Virginia government to a Soviet-style police state.
"I think what Jim Acosta said — listen, my family fled Communist Cuba. You want to talk about what 'Soviet-style' looks like? It's the opposite of freedom," Miyares said during a Wednesday appearance on "Hannity."
"My mother has distinct memories of being forced to take classes in Marxist-Leninism," the Cuban-American AG explained.
He noted that his uncle was arrested in the middle of the night by now-deceased Cuban dictator Fidel Castro's secret police then detained without due process. Miyares said his family's home was "nationalized: in the name of fairness and equity."
"So clearly, Jim Acosta maybe needs to take some history classes of what Soviet-style communism actually looks like. And [Virginia is] the opposite," Miyares proclaimed.
Miyares said parents under Youngkin's governance have the option of masking their children or not.
"What we have said is parents matter. Listen, if you're a parent and you want to mask your child for six, seven, eight hours a day, you absolutely have that right. That's your individual decision," he told Fox News host Sean Hannity. "The great irony of all this, is in Soviet-style communist states like Cuba, the state diminishes parents. They say, ‘Your loyalty is to the state,’ and parents have less control. This is about parental empowerment."
In a Fairfax County Times article from October, Miyares explained how his mother fled from Castro's Cuba in 1965.
"My mother escaped Communist Cuba when she was only 19 years old, legally immigrated to the United States homeless and without a penny to her name," Miyares noted. "While in Cuba, her brother, my uncle, suffered the humiliation of a mock execution for being an anti-communist and she saw her house and every other personal artifact become the property of the Cuban Government."
Virginia Attorney General blasts CNN's Acosta for 'Soviet-style' jab at new administration www.youtube.com