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May 14, 2021

Racist Rant & School Board Voter Guide!

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Anchorage School Board Seat D

Before we horrify you senseless, we’ll start off with the good news. This one is going to be really easy for you when you stand in the voting booth. The things you read below might even GET you to the voting booth if you were thinking about sitting out the Municipal election on April 1.

We give you incumbent Kameron Perez-Verdia vs. Don Smith.

Kameron Perez-Verdia has an extensive resume of working in education, especially with high-risk children. He was appointed in a contentious process last year that was documented on The Mudflats.

His pragmatism. passion, and knowledge have made him the perfect addition to the School Board in these most difficult of times. His interview with Daysha Eaton on KSKA’s Running demonstrates why he deserves to be elected to the Board after his exemplary performance as an appointee. He is also the only candidate for this seat who opposes SJR9 which would change the state’s constitution to make public funds available for religious and private schools.

His campaign frames the race as a choice between “the past and the future.” What he is too nice to say is that his opponent’s version of “the past” sounds a lot like the time when signs appeared in Anchorage store fronts telling minorities they were not welcome.

That past is Don Smith.

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Don Smith

We could share with you the screen shots of Don Smith Facebook stalking our editor Linda Kellen Biegel’s page, where he either revealed his anti-minority beliefs or was simply insulting. We have anecdotes from others – even transcripts from recorded debates or overheard discussions in which he revealed his distaste for immigrants, legal or otherwise, in crass and shocking terms. “Xenophobic” is the nice word to define what Don Smith is, and his feelings have been made crystal clear over the years.

But now there’s no need to dredge all that up out of the archives, because Mr. Smith provided Anchorage with lots of brand new material during his performance on public television’s Running.

At one point during the interview, Eaton mentions that the graduation rate in Anchorage has been on the rise while the dropout rate has been declining. She asks Smith what we can do to ensure that these positive outcomes continue. Smith offers a weirdly off-topic, jaw-dropping response.

Smith:  There are lots of problems caused by organizations like the State Department that have somehow convinced Alaskans or Anchorage residents to accept two families a month from Africa or Indonesia who have come in here totally unable to speak English and have given us the responsibility to try and educate these kids in the school system. When I was in Anchorage High School, it was about 98% white students and the balance were probably Native and one or two black students in the school. Today we’re 48% white and 52% other and that clearly is causing problems. I think our numbers are dropping because where we are importing all of these people that aren’t up to the standards that we had set for…you know…the school. Consequently, it’s drawn us downward not upward.

So, for those of you who didn’t get it, the question was how can we make sure the graduation rates continue to rise, and the answer is “People who are other than white are the problem.” Got it, Don.

Again, Ms. Eaton tries to repeat the question, reminding Smith that it’s an increase in the graduation rate and decline in the dropout rate, and that this is good news. She asks what is causing the improvement. Smith’s response, once again, is unbelievable:

Smith: “It might be just a lucky period. I don’t think it can be attributed necessarily. I know that there has been a big emphasis on helping the children that may not be used to being in a school system like Anchorage has. It may be an anomaly. I’m not sure that it’s something…we need a few more years to see if it’s really moving in that direction. There’s a big push trying to take care of these new people coming to Anchorage. I watched my grandkids at Kincaid Elementary. I felt like they sat on their fingers for a big part of the day because they were taking care of problems while they were in school…kids that were special needs students and people from another country who couldn’t speak very well…so, I don’t know…

Now that we’re all full of brown people, good performance must just be random luck. I mean we all know immigrants are bad, so none of this seems to make sense! Don Smith’s mind is boggled, and it can’t quite wrap itself around good and non-white being in the same sentence, never mind the same school.

Eaton: What would you propose as a solution for that?

Smith: “There is no solution! We can’t tell all these people to go back to Africa or go back to Indonesia or wherever they’ve been imported from. And people shake their heads and wonder why in the world are we having so much problem with housing and on and on and on… The reason we’re having these problems is that we’re bringing people into our state with nothing. We’re putting them up in a place to live, we’re feeding them. We’re doing all these things, costing a lot of money and, frankly, exasperating (sic) some of the problems of educating children. So, it’s going to take a while. I don’t think it’s diminished. I don’t think that Catholic Social Services is planning on reducing the number of families it’s bringing in here every month.”

Psst. Hey, there’s some crazy lady over here who has a message for you. She told the same thing to your ancestors when they got here. She’s definitely part of the problem.

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Quick, Don Smith! Blow out that lamp, and bar the golden door before THEY get in. We’re not exactly sure of Don Smith’s pedigree, but we’re pretty positive “Smith” is not an Athabascan name.

 

Eaton: As a school board member is there anything you can do to solve this problem?

Smith: “Probably not. I think we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. Somebody, and I don’t know who it is, authorized this to happen. I don’t think they can just do it to us so somebody in state government or in municipal government agreed to allow us to become a refugee city…”

Yeah, somebody somewhere allowed brown people to happen to us against our will. And it’s ruining EVERYTHING. We’re looking at YOU Lady Liberty. *scowl*

Smith goes on to say that the District’s attempts to feed and clothe hungry kids in the system is an “overreaction.”

Despite what Don Smith thinks, there are plenty of people who… wait for it… celebrate the diversity in Anchorage’s neighborhoods and schools (three of which have the honor – yes we said “honor” of being the most diverse in the country).

We’ve made our case, but you can watch the full interview HERE.

 

tacoloco

Psst… By the way, does anyone want to break it to the Taco Loco Mexican Take-Out Deli that the candidate they’re endorsing via campaign sign in their parking lot might consider them to be a little too brownish, and immigrant-y for his liking?

Anchorage School Board Seat C

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Yes, we went alphabetically backwards, because if we didn’t get Don Smith out of the way, our collective editorial head was going to explode.

Anchorage School Board Seat C pits long-time incumbent, Patrick Higgins, against two little-known challengers.

Higgins’ “old man” status on the board has nothing to do with his age. Except for “new” board member Bettye Davis’ long service before she became a multi-term State Senator, Higgins is the one with the most experience.

Higgins is not afraid to do what is best for the District, regardless of whether it’s politically savvy. When he realized how serious the shrinking school budget was going to be, Higgins pushed for a thorough audit of the district by Council of Great City Schools to best find the areas where improvements were needed, as well as where processes could be streamlined. Those audits enabled the District to hold off on teacher cuts as long as they did.

Higgins is also the one who was forward-thinking enough to push the expansion of Vocational training (though another is claiming it in campaign commercials).

And of course, the aforementioned increase in graduation rate and decrease in dropout rate happened on his watch.

He’s got our vote.

You may wonder why we are not mentioning either of the other candidates running for this seat. It’s simple, Higgins is the only candidate who is absolutely against SJR9, the proposed change to the Alaska Constitution which would take public school money and give it to religious and private schools. 

That issue is a deal breaker for us, just as it is for original constitutional delegate, and Alaska founding father Vic Fischer. We figure since he had a hand in writing the thing, it might make sense to listen to what he has to say. You can read his thoughts HERE.

Early voting is happening now, and election day is April 1. Don’t forget to cast your ballots. Local elections matter more to your quality of life, and our children, than national elections do. Your vote matters.

 

Comments

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Comments
13 Responses to “Racist Rant & School Board Voter Guide!”
  1. Mag the Mick says:

    I hope this incident made the pages of the Daily News.

  2. CityKid says:

    “Yes and how rimes can a man turn his head and pretend that he just dosen’t see? The answer my friend is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind..”

    –Bob Dylan

  3. Alaska Pi says:

    “When I was in Anchorage High School, it was about 98% white students and the balance were probably Native and one or two black students in the school. Today we’re 48% white and 52% other and that clearly is causing problems. I think our numbers are dropping because where we are importing all of these people that aren’t up to the standards that we had set for…you know…the school’
    ———————————
    1- So 38 kids in a recent year , refugee kids, kids who qualify to come to this country under strict federal rules for refugee status,

    “According to Ferguson, the city only got 38 new school-aged refugee children last year…”
    http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20140327/anchorage-school-board-candidate-refugees-take-education-resources-away-other-kids

    have been enough of a load of you-know-Other-wink-wink to shift the demographics of Anchorage schools from the purported 2% Other of Mr Smith’s youth to the Reported % 52 Other of today?

    I don’t have the time and patience this morning to try to find out how many refugee children have been settled in the ASD over the years but given that the CCS rep in the Dispatch article says AK is the 2nd lowest participant in refugee relocation, I’d have to say that ain’t many kids Mr Smith. Not many at all. Your Others have come from somewhere else, you doof. Like maybe Alaska Native peoples having to leave their communities because of lack of opportunity for their kids ? You got a similar rant about that one?

    2- Denigrating people who have fled their homelands because of real and present danger, participated in a lengthy vetting process for asylum, been placed in completely foreign surroundings and the like but who apparently manage to be be employed and off assistance at over 75% in year is disgusting. absolutely disgusting.

    3- Mr Smith, Mr Smith, Mr Smith- what do you not understand about the fact that all renters pay property taxes? Their name is not on the tax rolls but they pay. Their landlords sure don’t just shoulder the tax burden independently of any rental monies they collect. I am so sick and frickin tired of the they-don’t-pay-property taxes crap . It may be indirect but it is real.
    AND if it is not enough- the MOA can change their tax structure to require more taxes from those kinds of business properties, eh? Instead of playing games about shutting off education to those-who-don’t-contribute, eh? Instead of playing race and class war games?

    I am so sick of the white guy freakout stuff . So sick of it.
    I hope the best for ANC- get out and vote folks!

    • mike from iowa says:

      Ain’t no stoopid like wingnut stoopid. I follered a set of tracks into a cave and got hit by a train. Hah,hah. What’s the problem? The light at the end of my tunnel was the headlight of an oncoming train. Hah,hah. What’s the problem? Like a squirrel,I crossed the street in heavy traffic and made it,but,just to be safe I went baaaa-splaaaaat. Hah,hah. What’s the problem?

  4. Beavis says:

    What a rant. What was smith wrong about?

    • Jackie says:

      Let’s see…how was Don Smith wrong? Well, as an employee of ASD who works with children with emotional and behavior problems, I don’t see any refugee children in our program. Refugee kids are not the problem! Families torn by drugs and alcohol are the biggest problem! And guess what? That is plenty of long time Alaskan families! He is racist! He would not make sound decisions for all of our school population.

    • John says:

      His assumption that white kids never need extra school help, but immigrants usually do is one example of his racism.

  5. juneaudream says:

    It must.sicken all those.’oh howWHITE’..we are, men..when they stop..in some random moment.and realize that..10 generations.. back, their heritage.includes..assorted people of ‘color’. Not a single man..in the political races..who ..dances about the edges..of ..racial issues..is going to be willing to take, and pay for..their DNA and genetic tests. Could they..pay for them..at a few hundred a pop? Of course. Not a problem BUT..the facts..that would then..drape about their brittle, mindless angers..oh my..that would..be amazing. Take my word for it..NOT ONE..will step forward..to see how..’pure’..he is..not one! (spoken by..a proud and educated..mongrel!)

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  1. […] the 24-hour news cycle is brutal, even on a 75-year-old man. In rapid fashion The Mudflats, Anchorage Daily News, and Alaska Dispatch helped distribute Smith’s words. The video from Alaska […]



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