May 12, 2001
Correction to my message dated May 8, 2001.
I am happy to report that I miscounted the number of people at the demo at 150 people, 300 was nearer the count.
Also, I said "There were no TV cameras, and there was very little press." Press was there. CEJ got very good coverage on Channel 5 (the longest segment), Channel 22, Channel 52, Channel 62, La Opinion, KFWB, KPFK, KPCC, "Democracy Now," and the LA Weekly will do a story next week, and several other radio stations had small spots.
Thank you CEJ for pointing this out. You remain one of the strongest reasons I am in this race, to fight institutionalized racism in our schools.
Donna Warren for Congress
Dear Political Humanitarians,
This afternoon I spoke at the Coalition of Educational Justice (CEJ) rally held at the LAUSD at 450 No. Grand. There were no TV cameras, and there was very little press. Democratic Candidate Diane Watson, Republican Candidate Noel Hentschel, and Reform Party Candidate Ezola Foster, did not attend although Watson and Hentschel both say education is the foundation of their campaigns.
CEJ was formed to fight institutionalized racism in our schools. What is institutionalized racism you may ask. Let me ask you this -
Do the best schools and classes have the fewest black and brown students? If your answer is yes, then you know what institutionalized racism is.
Is the introduction of a new standardized test accompanied by a significant jump in the dropout rate or diploma denial rate for students of color? If your answer is yes, then you know what institutionalized racism is.
Are white students proportionally over-represented in Advanced Placement and gifted programs and under-represented in expulsions and suspensions, compared to Latino and African American students? If your answer is yes, then you know what institutionalized racism is.
Are students of color proportionally over-represented in schools where at least half the teaching staff is not fully credentialed. Plus these schools have outdated textbooks and lack ample classroom seating, and often lack bathrooms and ventilation. If your answer is yes, then you know what institutionalized racism is.
OK, you get the picture.
These problems are concentrated in schools serving mostly students of color in urban areas. Students of different races frequently experience very separate and unequal educational opportunities. Institutional racism is frequently subtle, unintentional and invisible, but always potent.
My speaking out against institutionalized racism is the right thing to do.
I was gratified to see the 150 or so people who attended the rally. They were there to build a movement. Without a movement, we are doomed. Let me say that again. Without a movement, we are doomed.
One man at the rally took me aside and said he was mad at "Nader" because Nader had said there is no difference between the Democrats and Republicans and had gotten people to vote for him at the expense of Gore. Sometimes you just have to sit back and visual how ridiculous statements like these are. First, there is no visible difference between the Democrats and the Republicans, until a complete idiot became president-select. Who would have guessed in a 1,000 years someone as brazen and stupid as George W. Bush would gain the presidency. This man had to admit to me that Nader didn