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Hate Did Not Win (So Far)

Many candidates who ran on platforms based on their hatred of the LGBTQ+ community lost their races. Some others are still in the running.

By Carl J. PetersenPublished about a month ago 4 min read
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Glendale School Board candidate Jordan Henry from his campaign website.

Ultra nationalism, dictatorship, and anti-semitism were the ideas of Hitler.

– BYJU'S

A key component of the right-wing infecting our country today is the appropriation of patriotic symbols to represent these beliefs suggesting that it is unAmerican to disagree with them. This ultra-nationalism has been on display during violent protests held by Leave Our Kids Alone (LOKA), including the one in front of Saticoy Elementary School on June 2, 2023. This included not only the literal wrapping of themselves in the American flag but also speeches claiming that their hatred of the LGBTQ+ community was somehow an American value.

Also made clear by the protestors in matching white shirts was their fidelity to Trump, an ex-president known for his praise of authoritarians and stated intention to be a dictator on “day one” should he be elected to a second term. Not only were Trump flags and “Let’s Go Brandon” flags waved alongside the red, white, and blue during the Saticory protest, but participants in the attempted insurrection on January 6, 2021, also participated in protests led by LOKA. Also identified at these protests were members of the Proud Boys, the group told by Trump to “stand back and stand by” during the presidential debate and whose leader was convicted on charges of Seditious Conspiracy for his part in the attempt to overturn the will of the voters in the 2020 election.

While anti-Semitism has not been the focus of LOKA protests, it is an element that has been present. However, we must never forget that Jews were not the only victims of Hitler’s brutality. While they suffered the largest number of deaths, members of the LGBTQ+ community, particularly gay males, were viciously singled out during the Holocaust. The LOKA crowd shares this hatred. Their mission is to turn back recent historic gains in securing LGBTQ+ rights by framing discrimination against these groups as a religious right protected by the First Amendment.

Despite sharing the three basic tenets of Nazism, ultra-nationalism, support of dictatorship, and anti-Semitism along with other forms of bigotry, Jordan Henry, classified the labeling of a group’s supporters as Nazis as a form of “hate speech.” During that same address to the Glendale Unified School District’s (GUSD) School Board, Henry also violated one of the Ten Commandments and held up a sign attacking the District’s Assistant Superintendent for standing up for the rights of trans students. As a candidate, he claimed to represent the parents and “promised to do everything in [his] power to remove [the Board Member] from these seats.

The results from the March 5th primary election that were just validated showed that the public was not interested in backing Henry’s fight. He never led during the counting process and secured only 34.92% of the votes in the final count.

The results for the other race on the Glendale ballot was not as decisive. The initial count showed Aneta Krpekyan, an opponent of mask mandates and other public health measures, in the lead. However, mail-in ballots returned closer to the election broke in her opponent’s favor and she lost by 190 votes. Unable to accept that the electorate was not buying what they were selling, right-wing extremists attributed the loss to cheating.

The Glendale School Board was not the only place where hate and the support of violence were on the ballot:

  • LOKA-supported LAUSD candidate Raquel Villalta was a distant third in Board District 3, securing 11.99% of the vote
  • Rudy Melendez not only lost the election for the Los Angeles City Council (sixth place with only 3.73% of the vote), but he also came in dead last in the race for a seat on the Republican’s County Central Committee and was the only candidate who did not get seated.
  • James Clarke only received 11.86% of the vote and will not become a member of the Glendale City Council.

These victories do not mean that members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies can rest going into the General Election on November 5, 2024. In their quests for seats on the California State Assembly, Tony Rodriguez and Patrick Lee Gipson came in second place. They will face off against Nick Schultz and Pilar Schiavo in the General Election. Alex Balekian received almost half the votes of Laura Friedman in the race to replace Adam Schiff but still beat out LAUSD Board Member Nick Melvoin and 12 other candidates earning a place on the November ballot. Defeating all three must be a priority.

____________________________

Carl Petersen is a parent advocate for public education, particularly for students with special education needs, who serves as the Education Chair for the Northridge East Neighborhood Council. As a Green Party candidate in LAUSD’s District 2 School Board race, he was endorsed by Network for Public Education (NPE) Action. Dr. Diane Ravitch has called him “a valiant fighter for public schools in Los Angeles.” For links to his blogs, please visit www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com. Opinions are his own.

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About the Creator

Carl J. Petersen

Carl Petersen is a parent advocate for students with SpEd needs and public education. As a Green Party candidate in LAUSD’s District 2 School Board race, he was endorsed by Network for Public Education (NPE) Action. Opinions are his own.

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  • Ameer Bibiabout a month ago

    I really appreciate your efforts and dedications

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