It is beyond reckless for anyone seeking change, no matter how righteous they think their cause may be, to inflict pain on the innocent and use that pain as leverage. But that’s exactly what we saw happen in Florida in recent weeks, and it is beyond irresponsible for newspaper editorial boards or anybody else to encourage it.
At issue was a campaign to bully corporate donors into ending their contributions to the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship, which serves 100,000 low-income students, most of them black and Hispanic. I have over 2,600 of them in my district alone — less than 1% are white, and their average household incomes are less than $22,000. The people behind this effort said they wanted to change policies they deem discriminatory against LGBTQ students at a small percentage of private schools. But when they couldn’t persuade lawmakers to take up their cause, they resorted to pressuring donors by riling up Twitter trolls.
A handful of donors did leave, resulting in fewer scholarships for all students. The fear was very real that even more donors would do so, not because of the facts, but because of the madness ginned up by mobs. These mobs were willing