California School Board VP: Parents That Want Schools To Reopen Are Forcing A "White Supremacist Ideology" | Video | RealClearPolitics

California School Board VP: Parents That Want Schools To Reopen Are Forcing A "White Supremacist Ideology"


UPDATE 2/26/21: The original video posted on Facebook was removed and has been uploaded to RealClearPolitics in its full original form for posterity. See below for an update.

A Los Angeles La Mesa-Spring Valley school board Zoom meeting this week got racially charged when the Vice President, a Black woman, likened putting teachers back to work to slavery and called parents wanting to reopen schools adherents of a "white supremacy ideology."

UPDATE 2/26: The video has been deleted on Facebook but the video with an error message has been embedded at the bottom of this post for posterity.

The school board member who made the comments did not show her face like the rest of her colleagues did in the open Zoom meeting but has been identified as Vice President Charda Bell-Fontenot. Bell-Fontenot describes herself as a "Black Feminista" as well as an elected official in her Twitter profile.

"We don't have to give anybody any date. We don't have to do anything we don't want to do right now," Charda Bell-Fontenot said at the beginning of the debate.

The fracas started when one board member proposed a vote on the plan to reopen schools and told Bell Fontenot she may abstain from voting if she opposes the plan:

School board member: We have to give the teachers, we have to give the students, we have to give the parents a date.

Charda Bell-Fontenot: We don't have to give anybody any date. We don't have to do anything we don't want to do right now. That's what you don't understand. I don't know where you're getting information or who is telling you that we have to make a decision today, but that is not how this works.

I know that you are new to the school board. I am not saying this as a slight to you but we do not have to make a decision today.

*Break in video*

School board member: 70 to 80% of them [want their kids to] come back to school.

Charda Bell-Fontenot: The 70 and 80%, who are they? I would like to know geographically from which school sites, which language group, and how they conducted this feedback. Where? Please give it to me before I can make a decision. I can't make one. I can not make one. And I will not make one.

School board member: You're welcome to abstain, I believe, right?


Charda Bell-Fontenot: There's no reason to be nasty to me.


Charda Bell-Fontenot: And we can present it for vote and for those of you who wish to vote no, you are more than welcome to.

"Why are we forcing what seems like a very white supremacist ideology to force people to comply with, you know, and conform?" Charda Bell-Fontenot asked.

"Just letting you know, privilege, check it guys, she said. "I don't want to be part of forcing anybody to do anything they don't want to do, that's what slavery is. I'm not going to be part of it."

The school district is majority-minority and less than 25% of students are white according to the Census.

Later on, one school board member took on Bell-Fontenot for accusing others of racism.

"I'm Hispanic and I've got four adopted children. We look like the U.N. So, that's why I say when you're throwing out the racism, I don't understand that part either," she said.

Facebook user Spring Vick posted the 5-minute video with this description:

So this is how the board meeting went last night, the women talking chose to not have her camera on but she is the VP of the school board. She’s making decisions on behalf of 12,111 students.

She said the 80% of the parents wanting to reopen had “White supremacy ideology...and opening up was slavery...”

39 pages of public comments and this is what the majority of the meeting was about.

"The rest of the board was very professional, kept their composure and ushered the meeting back to the subject at hand. Rebecca McRae did a great job as president of keeping things from unraveling further and continuing the meeting until a date was chosen. Charda was definitely out of line with her unprofessional accusations and comments to the other board members," a Facebook user responded.

According to the NBC affiliate in San Diego, the La Mesa-Spring Valley school board voted to pursue its reopening plan.

The video has also been posted to YouTube:

ABC 10 San Diego reported on the controversy and played the recording in a package for the nightly local news:

The original video as posted by Spring Vick on Facebook:

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