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Measure E and Racial Epithets

A letter from Action Alameda News publisher David Howard…

People got quite indignant when I questioned the motivations of parents in the East-end for resisting elementary school consolidation. Some responses were comical: “Edison School is not ‘almost entirely’ white. It’s 71% white.” Only 71%, you say?

But now, the inevitable has happened. I’ve learned that Pro-Measure E adults have marched into an ethnic store on Webster Street shouting racial epithets at the proprietor and his family, including his 13-year old son, including phrases such as “Go back to your own country!” This merchant fully understands the financial impact of the tax on him, and willingly posted a “No on E” sign.

I hold the school district responsible for this type of behavior, as well as the perpetrators. To get their parcel taxes passed, AUSD consciously activates the majority-white Edison, Otis and Franklin school parents with threats of “Or else we’ll close your schools!” AUSD is fostering bullying and intimidation as part of what is supposed to be a democratic process. And what message does it send our children, ostensibly for whom the parcel tax was proposed?

Some people have said that they will move out of Alameda if the parcel tax fails. I suppose some people are so self-centered that they think this constitutes a threat. I hope it does fail, and I hope they do move. I don’t want these sort of people in my community.

David Howard

23 comments to Measure E and Racial Epithets

  • No racists here! Everyone moves to Alameda because the home prices are so much lower than cosmopolitan Oakland. That’s why I’ve long referred to Alameda as “A little island off the coast of Oakland.”


  • eselqueso

    apparently, according to our esteemed and unbiased bloggers at the SF Gate, it is the No on E folks who are doing the strong-arming and making with the racism. really, since when is 71% a majority, anyway? new math is so complicated.

  • eselqueso – I recognize the mocking tone in your posting, but other people may not.

    The bloggers on SFGate include folks such as Susan Davis, John Knox White, and Lauren Do, who are all pro-measure E parents – John Knox White sends his kids to the 71% white Edison school.

    They know they are losing this election, and are trying very hard to turn the tables and spin their opponents as racists. It was John Knox White who threw the ‘racist’ label about liberally (pun intended!) during the 2006 Alameda City Council election.

    It’s not going to work. The hysterics who march into ethnic markets on Webster St. will undermine them every time.

  • eselqueso

    Yes, I am familiar with all three of their various scrawlings, and loosely formed attempts at political agendas, I’m particularly amused by John’s bumbling attempts to produce any information to City Council about Sunshine legislation, and his request last month for a continuance until September because the poor dear can’t seem to come up with anything yet.

  • Don’t worry. Other people see through them too.

  • Anonymous

    Where do you send your kids, Action Alameda?

  • Barb

    Hey Anonymous, last time Franklin closed to balance the budget, I sent my kids to Lum, then Edison. The teacher at LUM told me my son just spent the day staring out the window, instead of writing the single numeral 0,0,0,0,0,0, on the page, then 1,1,1,1,1 the next day. I told her he could add and subtract so was probably bored. She said when he could do her lesson, he could move on. The next day, I took him out of her class and put him in Edison, where my former teacher was principal. My son’s former teacher’s son was in his new class at Edison. His dad was principal at another school. Want their names? My son’s former 5th grade teacher said to shut down the adminstration and staff for a year and no teachers would notice.

    My children long since surpassed that which AUSD had to offer and were sent to private school. As a single parent, I worked hard and paid for it myself. They both graduated from UC schools and are doing fine. I used to donate money to Encinal every year for its sports’ teams far in excess of the parcel tax, but no longer. The parents who really want their children to do well will get them in private school no matter what the cost. My children certainly were worth every penny, as is their future. I wouldn’t risk their future in the hands of a school district whose administration cannot plan a 5 year budget or add or subtract.

    If you want to teach children how to live in a mediocre bureaucracy and to promote rudeness and name calling a la KNOX BLACK, ANTHONY and DON’T, and the rest of the naysayers some of the other blogs promote and enable, keep children in 71% white public schools. There will always be a need for taxpayers who can’t think for themselves.

  • Barb

    Action Alameda: In the interest of your children’s safety, I would not disclose to anyone, especially one hiding behind the label “Anonymous” where my children went to school. There is simply too much violence and too many crazies out there to advertise vulnerable persons’ locations. These Yes On Measure E people are already making threats and behaving pretty badly. All the more reason to stay away from them and AUSD. It is simply not worth it if one of them harms innocent children.

  • Of course not. I was planning to ignore him. It’s funny how, as the Pro-Measure E people inch closer and closer to actual violence, his comment is not about that disgusting behavior but instead a challenge to me.

    Councilmember Frank Matarrese – remember that the Alameda City Council endorsed Measure E – had the good sense to condemn this behavior when asked about it: “That’s despicable. People who use those tactics are crossing the line “

  • Anonymous

    I only ask as he has no problem saying where other people send their kids to school and publishes maps of where they live. Hypocrisy has a very distinctive stench.

    If course racial epithets are inexcusable. I’d know more about receiving them than any of you would.

  • Anonymous

    And as for my remaining anonymous, I would think Action Alameda’s past record of behavior should explain that. I don’t want myself or my family filmed or my house put on a map.

  • Voters deserve to know what is really going on behind the scenes of the parcel tax – how it’s a small group of people from one part of town that sat on the parcel tax advisory committee, and mostly the same people pushing to get the tax passed, and mostly the same people who worked to push Measure H in the past.

    Evidently, Measure E proponents think they should be able to walk into a retail store in Alameda and start yelling at the proprietors for not supporting the tax, but that they themselves shouldn’t be identified at all. You’re right, hypocrisy does stink.

    And I didn’t film your house – Google did. You probably have a “yes” sign on your front yard, right? If anybody wants to target Measure E proponents, they don’t need to look online, they just need to look for the “yes” signs.

    You go out in public, you go down to speak at City Hall, you’re subject to being photographed and filmed by anybody. The City of Alameda films the meetings, and the speakers, and puts it online, and broadcasts it on local cable.

    If you’re worried about your privacy, you’d do better to check your Facebook settings.

  • eselqueso

    Anonymous is a really whiny way of spelling Susan, isn’t it?

  • eselqueso

    Oh, and for the record, I moved from renting in the East End in 2002 to owning in the West End in 2006.

  • nomoretaxes

    Pro-E folks are going into merchants displaying their “No on E” signs & are asking thime to take the signs down. I feel bad for these merchants who don’t want their property taxes raised & display a sign IN THEIR OWN STORE & are being bullied & harrassed…& yes, it is harassment because if someone came on to my private property “questioning (nicer term)” my “NO” sign, I would immediately call the APD on them for trespassing. AUSD’s operating budget is $90 Million. Trim 20% from the budget & they get their $17 Million shortfall with an extra Million for savings.

    Private businesses to not get to float parcel taxes to stay afloat. Individual do not get to float parcel taxes to stay afloat. Other non-profits do not get to float parcel taxes to stay afloat.

  • nomoretaxes

    Also, I do sympathize with the parents & their children who may see their school close. That is a very sad, frustrating situation. Of course these parents are going to vote YES on the parcel tax – beats paying for private school. However, we are in a recession & many folks have lost their jobs, health insurance, etc. It is something we all have to “weather” during tough times – make adjustments. The other option the parents of children who face possible school closings can do is write a check to keep their schools open. $1000 per child of a school with an erollment of 320 is $320,000 or $1500 for a total of $480,000. Again, it beats the cost of $10,000 + for a year of private school.

  • Well that’s the thing… these parents don’t want to donate that $1000, but they want everybody else to pay to keep their small school open…

  • nomoretaxes

    Piedmont parents write checks to keep their small schools open & don’t excpect small struggling businessess/merchants to foot the bill. Property values will decrease if Alameda’s businessess fail due to loss of jobs, city tax revenue & the need for residents to shop off the island. The Yes on E supporters are very self-centered & only care about themselves & their children. AUSD has already tried (twice) the parcel tax route to balance their budget yet it never gets balanced because of their over-spending & fiscal mismanagement. When will it stop?

  • Great discussion! I suspect “Anonymous” has some other vested interest besides a kid in a school…like maybe being a teacher or married to one! His/her sniveling is getting downright tiresome.

    As for the canard from one parent, Sniff!, about how her child would have to ride the bus for hours if her neighborhood school closed…and traffic would increase exponentially…I live on Otis Drive between Lincoln Middle and Otis Elementary, and almost NONE of the kids walk to school. The SUVs are lined up around the block to drop off or pick up their kids.

    And I proudly display a “No on E” lawn sign, which, a friend suggested, I just plant a land mine on the side from which a defacer might most likely approach. Whether I took his advice, I’ll leave it to the “Yes on E” perps to find out…and I double-dare you!


  • The cars are backed up every morning, and every day when school gets out along Island Drive – parents picking up or dropping their kids off at Amelia Earhart Elementary. There was big drama a few years back about the traffic from all the cars in and out of Earhart that they commissioned a re-design of the pick-up/drop-off lanes.

  • Barb

    Anonymous appears to be making very judgemental conclusions based on absolutely no facts. “I’d know more about receiving them [racial epithets] than any of you would.” How could anyone possibly know what kind of discrimination blog commentors face based on a blog comment?

    It is precisely this type of simplistic lemming following approach that has allowed AUSD to put out such poor quality education in disparate and discriminatory circumstances for decades. I only hope that the parents come to their senses before it is too late to get their children into quality schools. Of course some children will do well no matter where they are enrolled. Others, the majority, do better, learn more, and how to think, in well run educational facilities.

  • As I’ve pointed out elsewhere, Catholic schools graduate 90% of their students, and most go on to college. Native American Charter School in Oakland graduates 100% of their students, and 100% qualify for admission to quality universities. Until Alameda public schools can match those records, REFORM is more important than simply throwing more money at them.

    I taught for 14 years without tenure or seniority rights, and I loved it. After the first ten, as I sensed myself burning out, I quit and went into journalism and later marketing/advertising, and returned to the classroom 23 years later. But for most tenured folks, teaching is a sinecure, and they don’t HAVE to perform or deliver quality education. (And my teacher friends hate me for saying this.)


  • Joe

    I no longer live in Alameda, but I have a parent that does. I have seen the quality of life decline over the past 15+ years on the west end. If Measure E passes, we will sell our homes as there really isn’t much to support with it. The schools on the west end were horrible when I went to them they are worse now. These people supporting this think its a noble effort, it’s just a parasitical way of punishing home and business owners for massive monetary mismanagement (primarily by democratically led politicians) in the State. I get to see first hand the wonderful product of Encinal High education when school lets out. Pot smoking on public streets, kids repeatedly using the “N” word and police around all the time. This is the great educational system they want.

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