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The 2019 Teacher of the Year now apparently claims that it is only “conservative bots” that took exception to his tweet about U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that many interpreted as allegedly advocating violence.
In the subsequently deleted tweet in question, Virginia social studies and history educator Rodney Robinson (who was that state’s teacher of the year in 2018) purportedly wrote that “who are Mitch McConnell’s neighbors? I’m just saying Rand Paul’s neighbor did what a true Kentucky hero should do. It’s your turn to step up.”
Sen. Paul, as you will recall, was seriously injured after being assaulted by a neighbor in 2017. Robinson’s tweet did not indicate his specific policy disagreement with Paul’s colleague, the U.S. Senate majority leader.
Many real people, not bots, found the tweet unacceptable, and expressed same on social media, including Kelly Paul, Rand Paul’s wife
On Twitter, she wrote that “I am so disgusted by this I have no words. The 2019 ‘National Teacher of The Year’ is celebrating the violent assault on my husband that resulted in 6 broken ribs and part of his lung being removed. This hateful thug is calling for more violence on Sen McConnell.
I am so disgusted by this I have no words. The 2019 “National Teacher Of The Year” is celebrating the violent assault on my husband that resulted in 6 broken ribs and part of his lung being removed. This hateful thug is calling for more violence on Sen McConnell. @jack https://t.co/JLraxwLaZD
— Kelley Paul (@KelleyAshbyPaul) December 31, 2020
Robinson’s tweets now appear to have been made private, but he reportedly followed up with the following: “I made a Mitch McConnell joke today and the conservative bots are real angry. It’s funny because the joke was made early today and no one said a thing until I promoted black medical awareness.”
Robinson apparently was alluding to a separate tweet in which he indicated a preference for black oral surgeons.
Twitter does not seem to be buying this excuse. Here is a sample:
You made a joke about threatening violence and somehow you're the victim? Quite the spin zone. #victimhood
— Brian Cronin (@jbriancronin) December 31, 2020
My disgust has nothing to do with black medical awareness and everything to do with the fact that you actively influence children. Your “joke” would have been equally as disgusting if you had used a liberal politician.
— Are we there yet? (@GladIminTX) December 31, 2020
There is literally nothing in this tweet about “black medical awareness.” pic.twitter.com/dhW3Srnlvf
— MearaJM (@MillennialOther) December 31, 2020
"I encouraged violence against someone because I don't like their politics and got dragged for it"
Fixed it for ya champ.
— Jonathan McNeil (@_JonathanMcNeil) December 31, 2020
Teachers like Rodney Robinson should teach young people that they should love their neighbors – not violently attack them.
— ArkLaTex News (@txknews) December 31, 2020
Here for the ratio. Real humans were pissed off that you openly advocated for political violence. I'd hate for you to be teaching my children.
— Kevin Parker (@KParkour) December 31, 2020
Take the L, big guy. You definitely earned it.
— Ed Holmstrom (@ed_holmstrom) December 31, 2020
2019 National Teacher of the Year advocates violence against public officials, then incites racial unrest by falsely blaming his own bigotry on racism.
— Jay Yaney (@jayyaney) December 31, 2020
You are a great teacher. You just taught me what not to tweet about a mid-70s polio survivor. Good job Rod.
— JonathonSnyder (@JonathonSnyder) December 31, 2020
Calls for violence aren't funny. pic.twitter.com/c9d9fq3CZ2
— You Can Call Me Bob (@PoorSadBastard) December 31, 2020
He should have his account suspended for encouraging violence. Others have.
— Axe man (@Howellis) December 31, 2020
According to the Twitter rules as currently constituted, “You may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people. We also prohibit the glorification of violence.”
“Robinson teaches social studies and history at Virgie Binford Education Center, a school inside the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center. His lessons focus on helping his students become socially conscious citizens who make the most out of their second chance.” CBS News reported in April 2019.
In honoring him in 2019, the Council of Chief State School Officers explained about Robinson in a statement that “He creates a positive school culture by empowering his students – many of whom have experienced trauma – to become civically minded social advocates who use their skills and voices to affect physical and policy changes at their school and in their communities,” CNN reported.