Americans are tired of politicians shouting “racism” to stir up emotions and create a scapegoat for their failed policies. It’s a card some politicians play just before elections.
Anchorage is in a politician-manufactured war over race again, just as the April municipal election approaches. If you thought we had moved beyond labeling people and judging them on the color of their skin, think again. If you thought we had agreed as a society to value people simply because they are people, the race racket promoters have news for you.
Recently, Assemblywoman Meg Zaletel accused the Anchorage School District, its principals, vice principals, and safety resource officers, of being racist toward “black and brown” children.
Zaletel wondered out loud if school resource officers target “black and brown” children. She claimed, “ASD has disproportionately disciplined black and brown children, low-income children and children with disabilities for years…” She implied that SROs are the tools these allegedly racist adults use to discriminate against children, funneling them into the school-to-prison pipeline.
These comments are confounding, because Zaletel has voted for funding the SRO and Anchorage Police Department programs; she apparently supports our police officers through these votes.
She is also an outspoken supporter of the current far-left school board members, the very people who have been running the school district for years, choosing its leaders and defining its policies. These are the very same people she now accuses of treating students unequally based on skin color.
So which is it? Are her leftist buddies on the school board directly responsible for addressing the racism she claims is being carried out by the officers? Does she still support the safety resource officers through her funding votes?
It is a mistake to cling to an ideology so fiercely that you are unable to change. As we have seen with the progressive mindset, especially when it comes to accepting new information about Covid-19, they are more interested in dog whistles and emotionally manipulating voters before elections than they are in seeking truth and working together to solve problems.
This problem is not a racial problem. This is a racket that is determined to destroy and deny the importance of the family unit. This problem is a parenting problem. We need to support parents, teach parenting skills, build community where students have mentors and role models, not depend on government institutions to raise our children. And we certainly should not make race a scapegoat for a society that lacks the family values that grow healthy, successful people.
Zaletel says “SROs exist for the comfort of adults, not students.” She implies that nurses and counselors could handle the infractions of students. She asks, “What can they do that a nurse or counselor cannot?”
How about break up gang fights between 20-30 students at West High School? How about apprehend a 21-year-old suspect after he assaulted a female student on school property? How about respond when an elementary student brings a knife and a loaded gun to school?
School resource officers keep students safe. Schools are safer places because of them. They are not racist sharks out to get black and brown kids in trouble. They are there to hold criminals accountable for their actions, and prevent harm from happening to students.
I do not understand how the Assembly’s biggest champion of worthless face masks would mandate masks on our students just for the illusion of safety, but would attack school resource officers who provide actual safety. This is what “woke” thinking looks like.
It’s a simple ask: Quit playing the race card. Look beyond the color of skin and address the real problems. Start with the financial hole that is the bloated, top-heavy Anchorage School District budget that produces some of the worst student scores in the nation. Start with the mental health crisis that two years of abusive Covid policies have created. Start with curriculum that pushes these woke ideologies on students to the detriment of society. Let’s start there.
Jamie del Fierro Allard, who is of Latina heritage, is on the Anchorage Assembly, representing Chugiak-Eagle River.