Jack Brewer threatens to sue Joy Reid over ‘child abuse’ tweet

Jack Brewer threatens to sue Joy Reid over child abuse

Former NFL player Jack Brewer has threatened to sue MSNBC host Joy Reid for defamation after she compared children involved in his charity program attending Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signing of an anti-critical race theory bill to “child abuse.”

“Joy Reid messed with the wrong boys,” Brewer told Fox News Digital Monday.

The group was on hand as the Republican governor of Florida on Friday signed into law the so-called “stop WOKE” bill, which limits discussions of race in schools and businesses as part of his crusade against critical race theory, which DeSantis slammed as “pernicious” ideology.

Brewer told the Washington Examiner that the kids are students in the American Heroes afterschool and mentorship program, which is run by his charity, The Jack Brewer Foundation.

During the signing ceremony, the boys were photographed holding signs with “CRT” crossed out on them.

Reid, who hosts “The Reidout” on MSNBC, tweeted in response to that image: “This misuse of Black boys is tantamount to child abuse. I would really like to hear the back-story on who these kids were and how they wound up at a DeSantis event. Given how anti-Black DeSantis is, using Black children this way is extra sick.”

Brewer is a vocal opponent of CRT.
Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The TV presenter had retweeted a message by Florida State Sen. Shevrin Jones, who described the participation of the children in the event as “a real indoctrination.”

According to Brewer, the boys depicted in the photo knew why they were there. The retired New York Giants player now wants Reid to issue an apology for her comments, or face a defamation lawsuit.

“She has completely humiliated my kids and my program,” Brewer said. “It’s just so hurtful, and she needs to be held accountable.”

Brewer, who is a vocal opponent of CRT, said that his educational programs are based on Christian values and provide academic mentorship.

Jane Halbritter, who told the Examiner that she was an aunt of two of the boys shown in the photo, reiterated that her nephews, ages 9 and 14, were aware of what was happening during the bill signing. She lashed out at Reid for displaying “hate and resentment and bitterness toward people that she knows nothing about.”

“I mean, she’s painting these kids like they’re just little black boys that don’t know anything and could be exploited, like they don’t even have their own minds,” Halbritter said. “And I don’t see her doing it with white kids.”

DeSantis’ office also denied Reid’s claims that the boys in the photo were being used like props.

Christina Pushaw, the governor’s spokesperson, tweeted Saturday that the children who were invited to the event knew that DeSantis was signing an anti-CRT bill.

Joy Reid
Reid also retweeted a message describing the participation of the children in the event as “a real indoctrination.”
Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Global Citizen

“I was working at this event and helped with the set up. My colleague talked to all the kids beforehand & told them what the issue was & what bills DeSantis was signing,” Pushaw stated. “Hundreds of people attended this event; those ~50 who ended up on stage freely chose to stand on stage.”

In a follow-up tweet, Pushaw posted another photo showing the same children being “excited to get the pen from DeSantis after he signed the bills.”

Passed by state lawmakers earlier this year, the “stop WOKE” legislation bars instruction that says members of one race are inherently racist, and that they should feel guilt for past actions committed by others of the same race or that a person’s status as privileged or oppressed is necessarily determined by their race. It also bars the notion that meritocracy is racist, or that discrimination is acceptable to achieve diversity.

“We believe in education, not indoctrination,” DeSantis said during Friday’s signing.

DeSantis said Florida students will not have oppressive ideologies imposed on them, as the bill provides “substantive protections” for students in grades K to 12. He said “pernicious ideologies” will not be allowed.

“We will not use your tax dollars to teach our kids to hate this country or hate each other,” DeSantis said.

Critics have questioned whether DeSantis’ motive is to suppress an accurate account of black history.

Critical race theory hinges on the idea that racism is systemic in US institutions and that they function to maintain the dominance of white people in society. There is little evidence that critical race theory itself is being taught to K-12 public school students, though some ideas central to it have been incorporated into teaching materials.

“What are we supposed to do, just let these ideologies overtake our entire education system?” DeSantis said at a campaign-style event Friday to sign the bill in the South Florida city of Hialeah. The gathered crowd responded, “Noooo.”

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