A Virginia woman who lived through Mao's Cultural Revolution in China before emigrating to the United States said actions taken by the National School Boards Association and the Justice Department remind her of tactics adopted by the Chinese Communist Party to stop parents from speaking out.
Xi Van Fleet, who made national headlines in June when she spoke at a meeting of the Loudoun County school board and criticized critical race theory, said the likening of protesting parents to "domestic terrorists" is meant to divide people.
"When I was in China, I spent my entire school years in the Chinese Cultural Revolution, so I'm very, very familiar with the communist tactics of how to divide people, how they canceled the Chinese traditional culture and destroyed our heritage," Xi Van Fleet told Fox News in an interview Wednesday. "All this is happening here in America."
She said that opponents of protests against critical race theory and transgender policies are now calling parents "domestic terrorists" because calling them "racists" didn't work.
Earlier this month, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memorandum announcing the Department of Justice is "committed to using its authority and resources" to investigate alleged threats of violence against school officials. The directive came in response to a letter from the National School Boards Association that claimed school officials nationwide were "under immediate threat" because of rowdy protests by concerned parents and residents.
The NSBA letter cited more than 20 examples of disorderly conduct or protests at school board meetings that involved intimidation, threats, or violence, likening these incidents to "domestic terrorism" or "hate crimes."
Critics blasted the letter and the DOJ's response, accusing the Biden administration of demonizing concerned parents and arguing it is not the role of the federal government to police school board meetings and that local law enforcement is more then capable of handling threats against school officials.
"I have to say, this will backfire. If intimidation works, America has fallen a long time ago," Van Fleet said.
"I do have a question: What's [the] next step? Is the Tiananmen Square crackdown the next, or the parents who one day risked their lives just to speak out for the children? That's why I'm here," she added.
Van Fleet's son graduated from Loudoun High School in 2015. She said protesting parents must not be intimidated because their children's futures are at stake.
"For me, I'm fighting it because it is about our future. The future of this country. So we cannot be intimidated."