An NBC News podcast series on North Texas school districts’ “diversity and inclusion” agendas is being criticized by community advocates as attempting to influence residents to hate Christianity in favor of cultural Marxism.
When Carroll ISD students made national headlines in 2018 for using a racial slur, which was captured on video, a committee assembled by the school board proposed instituting “diversity and inclusion” training for students within the district, as reported by The Dallas Express.
The drafted Cultural Competence Action Plan included such initiatives as “accountability for students involved in the racial slur video,” “conducting face-to-face meetings to discuss cultural awareness with student leaders representing various CISD teams, clubs, and organizations,” and providing “ongoing diversity and training for all staff.”
These suggestions were met with backlash from local community activists like Leigh Wambsganss of Patriot Mobile and Southlake Families PAC, who helped successfully campaign against the leftist ideals in the following school board election.
“The [Cultural Competence Action Plan] created a student and staff diversity police, required documenting and punishing ‘unintended’ ‘nonverbal’ microaggressions in Pre-K-12th, mandated diversity and inclusion training as a requirement for graduation, required social justice audits of all of [Carroll ISD’s] curriculum and student clubs, and required hiring to be based on race and sexual orientation instead of teaching qualifications, to name just a few problems with it,” Wambsganss told The Dallas Express in a previous interview.
A multi-media giant soon waded into the fight. NBC News produced a six-part podcast called Southlake (to be followed by Grapevine, about a similar faceoff in nearby Grapevine-Colleyville ISD), which seemed to paint the situation as “oppressed groups” facing off against alleged “extremist” Christians.
In an NBC News article, the reporters called the activists “Christian nationalists” belonging to the “far right” who sometimes target “transgender students.”
Wambsganss criticized NBC News for ignoring the “substance,” telling The Dallas Express that relevant information was available through public testimony by parents before the school board.
Tony Ortiz, publisher of online news site Current Revolt, accused NBC of using the podcast to pressure Southlake and Grapevine voters into voting for left-wing policy through “Neomarxist propaganda.”
The Dallas Express spoke with Ortiz and asked him to elaborate on why he thinks NBC News created the podcast.
“It is clear that NBC News is targeting Southlake and Grapevine because they have done a phenomenal job keeping Marxists and communists at bay in their elections and out of their school systems,” Ortiz told The Dallas Express.
“It is clear NBC News is anti-white and anti-Christian,” Ortiz added.
As Wambsganss said when speaking with The Dallas Express previously: “Most conservatives don’t listen to those podcasts. The ones that do know that it’s propaganda, not journalism. The extreme left loves them. NBC needs to start counting their coverage in the leftist candidate’s campaign finance reports as a marketing donation, because it’s not journalism.”
However, some commentators argue that Southlake’s critical portrayal of those opposing “diversity and inclusion” requirements in Carroll ISD was justified.
“Resistance to conversations about race is nothing new to Southlake,” wrote Southlake High School alum Ian Dille in an opinion piece featured in Texas Monthly that lauded NBC’s coverage.
“Keep doing what you’re doing, Mike [Hixenbaugh, an NBC News reporter affiliated with the podcast]. Southlake is an award-winning podcast based on facts. From what I’ve heard so far, Grapevine will be as well. And Frisco…and Plano…and Keller…and…(hints),” posted Ginni Votes (@ginnivotes) on X, encouraging the podcast to cover other DFW school districts.
The Dallas Express reached out to Hixenbaugh and Antonia Hylton of NBC News for comment but did not receive a response by press time.