Nancy Fairbanks | No Tears for Anti-Asian Words?

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

In 2022, for three months I spoke at the William S. Hart Union High School District board meetings regarding a trustee who wrote (an ant-Asian slur) multiple times on her Facebook page. I repeatedly told the district it was hurtful. I asked the trustee to take down her page because it was public. Nothing was ever done. I had to report her to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing and they handled it.

At a press conference regarding a video of high school girls singing to London Yellow’s song “I Don’t Like (N-word),” Superintendent Mike Kuhlman of the Hart district stated there should be a call for accountability for a social post that used racist and offensive language. Mr. Kuhlman commented about how the casual manner in which the “term” was thrown around was unacceptable and the Hart district does not condone this type of speech. However, no public comment was made about their trustee and her use of the (anti-Asian slur). In fact, the Hart district was completely silent about the board member’s unwillingness to remove the post.

At the same press conference Valerie Bradford, president of the NAACP Santa Clarita chapter, stated, “We will not sit quietly and passively and tolerate either overt or open racism in this city that we live and share with you. Racist, divisive acts are being perpetrated by residents of Santa Clarita, and are being tolerated by residents of Santa Clarita, because your silence is your complicity.” 

The NAACP claims to want to end racism. Yet, your silence toward Asians is your complicity.

Members of the NAACP were in attendance at these same 2022 board meetings in which I spoke about this trustee. Not one person from the NAACP spoke out against the trustee or the inappropriate use of the word. Not one person from the NAACP ever tried to speak to me. On the NAACP’s website, it states, “Our mission is to improve the status of African Americans and other ethnic minorities on the political, educational, social and economic platforms.” 

Isn’t Asian another ethnic minority? 

Cherise Moore, Hart board member, cried at a board meeting about her pain from the viral video. Yet when I spoke during those three months about my pain and hurt, Trustee Moore never spoke publicly to condemn this board member’s actions. Trustee Moore did send me an email stating, “I do not believe the intent was meant to be interpreted as it has been, but nevertheless, it’s about how the receiver of the message feels, not the intent that matters. I am sorry this hurt you.” 

The same can be said for this video. Is it possible these high school girls were singing to a song and their intent was not meant to be interpreted as it has been? Kids are mean and immature. Nevertheless, it’s about how the receiver of the message feels, not the intent that matters. “I am sorry this hurt you.” Of course not, anyone who said this would be labeled a racist.

At the Hart meeting, Peggy Stabile, with the city of Santa Clarita Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission, stated the derogatory Asian words written by the trustee were written from a historical perspective. Ms. Stabile stated that the board member was not writing the words to intimidate, to hurt, or to denigrate. She was writing them to inform us that times have changed and these words are not common in our vernacular today because people heard and understood the pain. 

My response to Ms. Stabile is, this trustee did not need to use the word to write her historical perspective. When I asked this trustee multiple times to take it down, she refused. In other words, if Ms. Stabile believes it’s OK for a white person to say (the slur) because it was from a historical perspective, then she must believe it is OK for a white person to use the “N-word” if it’s from a historical perspective. 

Growing up, I was pushed, hit, punched and kicked with no friends because I was (Asian). I lost my father to a racist neighbor. Ms. Stabile, your speech was very hurtful and insulting.

In conclusion, I do not condone the video these girls made and it was wrong. However, there seems to be a double standard when it comes to racism. It is clear that these people and their organizations propel racism only when it applies to their narrative and agenda. 

For the rest of the ethnic minorities, we do not drive their propaganda. 

Nancy Fairbanks

Stevenson Ranch

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