Jefferson Parish, the largest school district in Louisiana, must be desperate for board members.
Why in God’s name would they swear in a contractor from Metairie who has openly bragged about being at the “Stop the Steal” rally in D.C. on Jan. 6, called those who opposed the insurrection that followed—and pointed to former President Donald Trump as the inciter-in-chief—as “traitors,” and blamed teachers for “the fall of our young people in this country”?
Rafael Rafidi, who was sworn in during a special meeting on Wednesday, was obviously not very well-vetted for his new role.
According to Nola.com, seven of the nine board members voted for Rafidi, while board member Ricky Johnson voted against him and Simeon Dickerson abstained; the next day, Dickerson voted for Rafidi’s removal and wants Rafidi to resign.
“I actually watched this guy take an oath to the Constitution, the very Constitution that he tried to overthrow just a year ago—the irony of it,” Dickerson told The Daily Beast. “He attended the insurrection and he marched on the Capitol.”
All it would have taken was a quick look into Rafidi’s social media to see what a complete and utter dumpster fire he was.
In Feb. 2021, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu tweeted his praise for Sen. Bill Cassidy for voting to impeach Trump. Rafidi replied, calling Sen. John Kennedy "an embarrassment" for voting against impeachment.
“Go f--k yourselves," Rafidi tweeted. And in another tweet, he called Cassidy a "piece of s—t" and Landrieu a "f-----g traitor.”
Although it isn’t clear from any of his social media whether Rafidi entered the Capitol on Jan. 6, on Jan. 13, he did tweet-brag about his time at the rally.
"I was there, heard the entire speech, and walked peacefully with thousands singing God bless America and praying on the way to the capital. What's true now for sure is the FIX IS IN! And it's all of you in the media and government. What a shame!"
And long before the pandemic forced teachers into a virtual and unwieldy position of teaching from home, in 2018, Rafidi was attacking them on social media.
"Teachers are the fall of our young people in this country. No values, no work ethic, and just suck as much as you can from those that work hard. Good job,” he tweeted.
“I know some hard-working teachers in Jefferson Parish that bust their tills every day,” Dickerson told The Daily Beast. “It’s a direct slap in the face and he’s unfit to serve as a school board member. This is not what Jefferson Parish represents and this is not what a school board member represents.”
If all that isn’t enough, Rafidi has a serious racist streak. He recently tweeted his criticism about the NFL playing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” also known as the Black National Anthem.
“This guy can do more damage in six months than all of us can do in eight years,” Dickerson told The Daily Beast. “He’s bad for the progression of race relations in Jefferson Parish.”