Letter: Race Card

Letter to the Editor

“Separate, rich and 90% white.” These are the words Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) candidate Ralph Mechur used at the Committee for Racial Justice forum in Santa Monica, describing the motivation behind Malibu’s effort towards creating a Malibu School District. 

I have worked alongside many in the Malibu community (of differing racial origins) toward separating the districts. It’s true … Malibu wants a first-rate education for their children. They want school board members who live in Malibu, not another city. They want a healthy, PCB-free environment for kids and teachers. Malibu wants to self-govern. But Mechur completely misconstrues, or pretends to misconstrue, the true nature of a drive for a Malibu district: freedom to govern one’s own children’s education — not racism.

Mechur might argue the outcome is racist — a majority white district. But why should the color of one’s skin prevent self-governance, absent a pattern of discrimination? Mechur might argue some children in his district do not have as much money as Malibu kids — equating to discrimination. It’s true, there’s a white majority in Malibu, and some of them are quite well-off, but its not unlike Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach, Beverly Hills, Palos Verdes — should cities then be denied self-governance because they have more white people than the town next door?

The Malibu community (apart from Mechur’s offense of having too many white people) has some of the most socially aware, racially inclusive, charitable, progressive people on this planet. I have no doubt whatsoever a Malibu District would dedicate itself to excellence for all children, regardless of their skin color or ethnic origin.

An egregiously divisive and disingenuous attempt to gain votes while hurling racially bias accusations at Malibu efforts to create a Malibu District is despicable. 

Kristina Kell