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A Los Angeles mother of Afghani descent has accused her local teachers’ union of conducting racial opposition research on her because of her vocal support for reopening the district’s mostly still-shuttered schools.
Maryam Qudrat, the mother of a seventh-grader enrolled in the Los Angeles Unified School District, told local station KTTV that she received an email last month from a United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) union member claiming to be a researcher.
In the email, the self-described researcher, Albert Lowe, allegedly asked probing, inappropriate questions about Qudrat’s racial identity.
“I’m working on a research project on who speaks on LAUSD issues in the LA Times and coding for race and class. You are quoted twice in the last eight months. In coding, my rubric is self-identification within the article, self-identification found elsewhere or using the last name index on census for all the names with at least 1000 results,” Lowe reportedly wrote.
“Maryam is not in that index and I have not found any statements by you about your own self-identification. I know that Maryam is a common Iranian name, but I will not make any assumptions without a legitimate method. Could you tell me how you racially self-identify or point me to a citation on your identity?”
Speaking with KTTV, Qudrat speculated that UTLA is trying to determine the racial makeup of its critics so that it can accuse them of being racist.
Listen to the interview below:
“I felt very targeted. I think that they are very clearly case building, they are trying to collect data on folks like me who have been quoted in the LA Times, and they’re trying to say that if you are in favor the kids coming back to school, you’re racist,” Qudrat said.
“Their conclusion is if you want schools to reopen right now, then that means you are racist against African Americans and Latinos,” she added.
This is apparently true. Teachers unions across the country have reportedly been using phony accusations of racism to smear anyone who’s advocated for reopening schools, never mind that many of the loudest advocates are themselves blacks and Latinos.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 26, 2021
In fact, one group of black parents in Qudrat’s own district are planning to hold a reopening rally this upcoming Saturday:
TONIGHT: Some black parents in South LA are outraged after hearing UTLA’s president say that wealthy parents are behind push to reopen LA schools, & that reopening now is racist. They tell me she does not speak for them & they’re holding a reopening rally on Sat. in Watts @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/zdNeNYve0N
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) March 3, 2021
Lamar Freeman has been a coach of LA Rampage, a youth football team in Watts, since 2011. He says every parent he talks to wants their kids back in school & UTLA’s comments “sounded like an excuse”. He says prior to Zoom learning, his team had 80% honor roll rate. Now 20% @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/sZo80wpSW1
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) March 3, 2021
The tragic aspect to Qudrat’s case is that she’s been a longtime union supporter.
“I stood in the rain on strike with the teachers when they wanted to get their pay raise a couple of years ago. And to see them now basically turning this way, it’s frankly scary the way they’re taking education, pinning white and Middle Eastern against black and brown,” she told KTTV.
This, of course, is simply what Democrats do …
UTLA has, for its part, not denied that it’d been purposefully attempting to probe her racism.
“The email in question is from a UTLA researcher who was attempting to ascertain the race of individuals quoted in order to assess whether or not that is a factor we could evaluate,” the union said in a statement to KTTV.
“This outreach by the researcher was not authorized and nothing from that outreach is contained in the report. We understand this type of email could be taken out of context,” the statement continued.
What the union said about looking for “a factor we could evaluate” sounds a lot like it admitting that it was seeking to determine whether it could use Qudrat’s race to attack her for her views on reopening the district’s schools.
“Anybody who spends 30 seconds reading that email would see that it is very clear pointed racism, they are racial profiling. If it was sent out to somebody who was African American or Latino, they would have a lawsuit on their hands,” Qudrat said to KTTV.
She also spoke with The Daily Caller about her experience.
— Jorge Ventura Media (@VenturaReport) March 4, 2021
While she can’t definitively prove that the union had been trying to target her, it does seem to fit with its known modus operandi, as noted earlier.
For instance, according to The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board, the union has “denounced the state’s push to reopen schools as ‘a recipe for propagating structural racism.'”
But the claim is a lie.
“Poor black and Hispanic kids have been harmed most by school closures. It’s hard getting six-year-olds to pay attention on Zoom even with a parent helping to keep them focused,” the board wrote in a piece published Wednesday.
“But most low-income parents work outside their home, and many don’t speak English. Yet UTLA claims that teachers with the privilege of working from home every day are victims of systemic racism,” they added.
If the board is willing to lie about this, what else is it willing to lie about?
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