Racist Anti-Immigrant Speech from California Charter School Association

California Charter School Association Co-Founder and long time board member Steve Poizner is running for Governor. He spoke at the reactionary right wing Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday, February 19, 2010.

In a speech in which he proposes unconscionable further tax cuts for the ueber-wealthy and corporations in the midst of a recession, rails against public unions and brags about his plan to neuter labor once and for all, the most vile and venomous portion of Steve Poizner’s speech at CPAC was reserved for undocumented peoples. In fact, his hateful rhetoric sounded exactly like speeches by Jim Gilchrist, founder of the vicious anti-immigrant group “The Minutemen.” Here’s the CCSA founder Steve Poizner tipping his hand (more appropriately his hood), at the event headlined by Glen Beck:

And last, but not least — sometimes it’s unpopular to talk about it on the campaign trail — I don’t care. I’m going to be a truth teller. Last, but not least, we have to stop illegal immigration once and for all!

[ lengthy rabid applause from racist crowd ]

We’re going to do two things; and I know there’s some people who think it’s just a Federal matter, but it’s not. The Governor can do a lot about it. First thing I’m going to do is turn the magnets off. There’s a lot of state programs that attract people to California illegally, and I’m going to turn those magnets off. And the second thing I’m going to do is I’m going to secure the border. If I have to send the National Guard to the border, that’s what I’m gonna do.

Lest the CCSA try to deny Poizner’s founding, influence, and leading position with the California Charter School Association, he was their co-founder and a board member as late as 2008.

From CCSA Co-Founder Steve Poizner’s biography on his campaign site: “Steve demonstrated his passion for local control of schools by co-founding EdVoice and the California Charter Schools Association – the state’s leading charter school organization. Since his involvement in the charter school movement began, the number of charter schools in California has doubled.”

CCSA Co-Founder Steve Poizner on Wikipedia: “In 2003, Poizner co-founded the California Charter Schools Association.”

A CCSA Press Release from 2008 lists Steve Poizner as a Board Member. Another CCSA Press Release from 2005 lists Steve Poizner as a Board Member.

One wonders what Poizner’s close friends and fellow charter charlatans Jed Wallace, Steve Barr, Marco Petruzzi, Judy Burton, Ben Austin, and all the other CCSA cheerleaders will have to say about this outrageous speech.

In fact, will any of the corporate friendly opportunists including: Yolie Flores-Aguilar of LAUSD, Monica Garcia of LAUSD, Maria Casillas of Families in Schools, Jarad Sanchez of Alliance for a Better Community, Veronica Melvin of Alliance for a Better Community, Gabe Rose of Green Dot Public [sic] Schools/LAPU/Parent Revolution, or Shirley Ford of Green Dot Public [sic] Schools/LAPU/Parent Revolution will hold a press conference to speak to this incredibly racist anti-immigrant speech by their close CCSA ally?

Mike Klonsky finds video footage of the CCSA co-founder making his infamous speech: @mikeklonsky Poizner running for Gov. in Calif. gives racist anti-immigrant rant at CPAC. Founded Calif. Charter School Assoc.

The UCLA Civil Rights Project and North Carolina studies have already shown corporate charter schools herald the return of Jim Crow. However, CCSA co-founder Steve Poizner may have shown the charter-voucher supporters’ true face a little earlier than their right wing billionaire backers might have liked. Anyone concerned with fighting racism and forwarding civil rights needs to join the struggle against the charter school industry.

Robert D. Skeels is a social justice writer, public education advocate, and immigrant rights activist. He lives, works, writes, and organizes in Los Angeles with his wife and cats. Robert is a U.S. Navy Veteran, and a proud member of Veterans for Peace. He attended Glendale Community College and is currently attending the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), majoring in Classical Civilization. Robert is a committed member of CEJ, PESJA, SCIC, and the Trinational Coalition To Defend Public Education. In addition to advancing working class struggles, Robert is an adherent of Liberation Theology. He devotes much time towards volunteer work for 12 step, church, and homeless advocacy. Robert’s articles and essays have appeared in publications including Schools Matter, CounterPunch, Dissident Voice, Daily Censored, Echo Park Patch, and The Los Angeles Daily News. In 2013 Robert ran for the LAUSD School Board against a billionaire funded corporate reform candidate, finishing second in a field of five, with over 5,200 votes. Read other articles by Robert, or visit Robert's website.

17 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Richard said on February 25th, 2010 at 11:03am #

    “We’re going to do two things; and I know there’s some people who think it’s just a Federal matter, but it’s not. The Governor can do a lot about it.”

    Based on this horrid speech, this segment, I invite the author to get with me directly at 831-688-8038 in Aptos, CA to talk about getting those organizations cited united on another front. Possibly the TOSCA front that’s delineated at http://oxtogrind.org/archive/483. I don’t really want to conduct a discussion here at DVoice on this ’cause I’m burned out a bit from talk here which doesn’t lead to action. So I might not respond to stuff that’s entered here on this. Rather, an email to tosca.2010[at]yahoo.com will generate productive dialogue, I believe. Please note that Danny Weil (who writes on the Charter School dynamic) is someone who gave his imprimatur for TOSCA awhile back. Blessings in solidarity, Richard P.S. We can have a proper Governor calling the shots.

  2. Richard said on February 25th, 2010 at 11:22am #

    I just emailed Danny Weil, asking him to help me connect with Skeels or someone. Let’s see how long it takes for interested parties to get with me on this issue. One of the things which works against activists in all realms is that there’s no one working the CONTACT scene 24×8 in any of the activist realms. That’s needed if you’re fighting stuff like what corporations put out. Again, my contact info is directly above. Note that on Skeels site… there’s not a direct way to reach the author. I’m at fault, in part, ’cause I don’t dwell in the Twitter realm. That said, there should definitely be other available forms of contact for folks like me. AND, again, dialogue should be encouraged ’round the clock. Please spare me the lecture on why I need to get a cell phone to twitter. Let’s just step ahead together with what we have in common. Loving regards in solidarity, Ricardo

  3. borderraven said on February 25th, 2010 at 12:09pm #

    It appears Robert D. Skeels, is confusing immigration and sovereignty. Poizner was discussing illegal aliens, not immigrants who come here legally. Skeels is just digging up an excuse to post an article.

    The term “illegal alien” is not intended to offend. It is the legal term defining aliens who break the law. Immigrants are aliens, in our country, who follow our laws, but the moment they violate our laws, they don’t become “illegal-immigrants”, no they become “illegal aliens”. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in the case Martinez v. Regents of U.C. 10/7/08 CA3, on page 3, footnote 2, define the term “illegal alien”, as the proper legal term.

    Use of the term “undocumented-immigrants” has been linked to Communism, in the United States.

  4. 9-sharpshooter said on February 25th, 2010 at 2:06pm #

    it appears border raven is confusing this blog with an S.O.S blog whereby attempting to sound technical and lukewarm would-be intellectual on defining racist narrow minded terminology he makes an idiot of himself and thus pisses me off. get out of here you fat piece of racist shit. we dont want your narrow minded views, terminology, fear mongering ideas here. you are a complete idiot who thinks he knows what he’s talking about. you are in my cross hairs!

  5. Richard said on February 25th, 2010 at 2:28pm #

    I’m now in touch with author Skeels. Looking forward to phone contact on Friday. Yay! Fact is, this whole shebang can be dealt with expeditiously. I’m looking forward to being able to make a speech in front of concerned citizens, parents, students, staff et al. outlining a plan of action that’ll bring the “authority figures” to their knees. Which is what is necessary. “Taking over” in some form — that revolutionary move — is what’s required. Those most impacted by the self-serving Charter momentum have the numbers (and all else) to stop making action contingent upon the approval of the Regents and the counterparts throughout education in California. But, first, one and all must acknowledge that radical institutional change is called for, not scraps begged for via reform. Blessings in solidarity, The Ox
    P.S. Don’t look to the March 4th demo fiasco for advancing. Seems to late for that missed opportunity. I may be wrong, but I don’t think so. What can be done immediately, however, is setting up another window of opportunity ASAP. No later than March 18th — when the failure of March 4th is clear, and prior to the doomed (as they stand) March 20th anti-wars demos — something should be pulled together.

  6. CoolKittyCat said on February 25th, 2010 at 3:15pm #

    It should come as no surprise that infamous white supremacist, SOS member, and Minutemen — the Border Raven posted comments above in defense of the repugnant, reprehensible, and racist speech by California Charter School Association (CCSA) and EdVoice Co-Founder Steve Poizner. Nor will it be a shock when more of these modern nativists and Klansman defend Poizner.

    What is surprising — astonishing in fact — is that the CCSA, Alliance for a Better Community, Families in Schools, LAPU/Parent Revolution, and all the other charter school supporters like Yolie Flores-Aguilar and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa haven’t denounced the Poizner speech as of yet. Certainly all the opportunists that arranged a “guilt by association” press conference along Wilshire in November should have the spines to speak to the overt racism of one of their own. I suppose there’s the remote and very sad possibility that they agree with the right wing gubernatorial candidate, and in that case they should say they support Poizner’s hate speech — after all it was Ben Austin that misappropriated the phrase “by any means necessary.” Maybe supporting Poizner is what Austin meant?

  7. Robert D. Skeels said on February 25th, 2010 at 4:04pm #

    With the glaring exception of the CCSA’s Jed Wallace being omitted from the list of people who should be denouncing Steve Poizner’s racist rhetoric, I agree wholeheartedly with “CoolKittyCat” above. Thank you for calling out the opportunism and hypocrisy of all those you listed.

  8. Richard said on February 25th, 2010 at 4:36pm #

    I’m looking forward to talking to you, Robert, on Friday. That said, if you can spare the heartbeats prior to that… feel free to telephone tonight… at any hour. Why not? [That question has zero to do with impatience.] In the meantime, regardless, I’d like to connect with other people who might come across this blah blah, people who reside in Southern California. And if you don’t reside there, perhaps you know someone who does. I’m guessing it wouldn’t be a huge step to pass on the words above in this commentary section (along with the article, of course) to citizens of L.A. and environs. Let’s get a bead on the DVoice demographics here. More importantly, let’s get a sense of how many readers are actually into… action. New kinds of action. To be discussed in person. I’m not talking about marching with placards in front of implacable foes. Okay, we’ve got the “bad guys and gals” identified. Now… what are we going to do that’ll produce different results than what you’ve had to date? A lot of readers will remember than quote from Einstein: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Something like that. Loving regards in solidarity, Ricardo tosca.2010[at]yahoo.com

  9. commoner3 said on February 25th, 2010 at 4:37pm #

    No Republican in any key position will do anything REALagainst illegal immigration, because illegal immigration is a good source of continuous stream of cheap and intimidated labor.
    The business/corporate elites who are the main backer of the Republican party , strongly but stealthly support illegal immigration, and no candidate whether s/he is a Republican or Democrat will dare to do anything REAL against illegal immigration for that reason.
    It is all hot air and posturing to get votes from the frustrated middle/working class.
    It puzzles me tremendously that the so called liberals/ progressives support illegal immigration which hurt tremenously the working class of this country.
    Aren’t these progressives/liberals are supposed to be the main defenders of the common folks in this country, and consequently should oppose unneeded competition in a tight labor market that is putting downward pressures on wages and benefits that the common folks are getting and weakening the labor unions.
    It is ironic that conservatives who are the sole beneficiary from illegal immigration, are publicly opposing it , while the liberals whose constituents are being harmed immensely by illegal immigration are supporting it and in turn are alienating many in the working class. Funny isn’t it.??!!

  10. dan e said on February 25th, 2010 at 4:56pm #

    Robert Skeels, thanks for taking up cudgels vs this creep Poizener & his toxic pals. Here’s a link to a report on the Oct 29 Coalition : https://new.dissidentvoice.org/Nov05/Sandronsky1106.htm

    I just sent your article to long list of people involved in that mobilization. Hopefully you’ll hear from at least a few of them. If not, do try contacting addresses you’ll find in the 05 DV article?

    Here’s wishing you every success!

    PS, btw, Sharpshooter expresses my sentiments exactly:)

  11. Richard said on February 25th, 2010 at 4:58pm #

    The notion that “our workers” are being harmed by “those people” (from “over there”) is a red herring of sorts. The “workers” and “those people” are PRIMARILY being harmed by the powers that be, the elite who call the shots for members of both main parties. Obviously. It would be infinitely more productive to focus on how both “our workers” and “those people” can seize power. Without resorting (exclusively or primarily) to the fantasy of permanently marginalized third parties (as presently constituted). Let me give you one of many examples available. Both “workers’ and “those people” (and the elite, for that matter) are — in increasing, record numbers — getting various forms of cancer. As things stand, everyone is slated to get cancer. The momentum vis-a-vis environmental cancer is off the charts, and that’s something that we can and must do something about. Immediately. Using a new model for action. JOBS? Our “new model for action” should not appeal to members of the main two parties, begging for scraps (at the expense of having any humanitarian concern for others). Jobs should be created locally by a number of different means… which can be discussed in person, in confidence. But I can tell you that much has already been discussed here, at Counterpunch and at ZNet regarding the taking over of factories. There’s no reason why that can’t apply to our schools. And that’s just one angle of vision, one possible approach of many. C’mon people, let’s stop talking from obsolete angles. Blessings in solidarity, The Ox

  12. Richard said on February 25th, 2010 at 5:30pm #

    My message to the ten.puesirnull@nemetunimehtpots bounced back. I’m waiting to hear from the Zapatista group as I write. I love lots about Seth’s work, but he hasn’t been responsive to my pleas for moving in solidarity thus far. Thanks for the suggestion, Dan E. Best, Ox

  13. lichen said on February 25th, 2010 at 5:41pm #

    The genocide that stole native land from Virginia to California was illegal, the drawing of arbitrary borders was illegal, NAFTA was illegal, the IMF and WTO are illegal. Why would such a corrupt criminal syndicate as the US persist in calling the poor people of Latin America who are it’s victims “illegal?” These fools who claim that our southern friends steal jobs never, never support full employment where everyone earns a living wage with good benefits in a democratic workplace; no, they are happy to let the so-called “working class” simply fight over the mcdonalds and wallmart jobs amongst themselves.

  14. Richard said on February 25th, 2010 at 9:02pm #

    Had a very worthwhile talk on the phone with the author of this article. Now I wait to hear back from him on certain details provided. I hope that if enough stuff resonates that he’ll share all that’s in his lap with others. As I write, still no word from the Zapatista group… even though I both called and emailed. Again, this is a serious ‘cross the board weakness… particularly characteristic of THE LEFT. I’ve offered to work 24×8 hands on on the school-related issues… starting in Southern California. I do hope that previous commitments and fragmentation among groups there will not prevent activists from taking me up on my availability. I wish people would spread this word. To at least begin dialgoue (on their terms) on the phone. Blessings in solidarity, ROx tosca.2010[at]yahoo.com

  15. commoner3 said on February 26th, 2010 at 2:43am #

    Richard wrote:
    “The notion that “our workers” are being harmed by “those people” (from “over there”) is a red herring of sorts. The “workers” and “those people” are PRIMARILY being harmed by the powers that be, the elite who call the shots for members of both main parties.”

    But you are helping those elite who are calling the shot increasing their wealth and power by advocating providing them with an endless supply of cheap and intimidated labor which in the mean time is undermining the working class in this country and weakening their ability to counteract injustices and abuses by those elite. The labor unions have been castrated and are dying.
    You are twice penalising the working class of this country, first by exporting their jobs to China, Mexico etc etc.., and second, having them compete for the fewer jobs that are left behind with a torrent of illegal immigrants.
    Globalization and the resulting NAFTA, WTO policies have to be opposed and repealed.
    Although greed , exploitation and unneeded excessive consumption are spreading and increasing poverty, let us face it, there are almost 7 billion people living in planet earth right now, and even with complete economic justice and sane consumption, the earth doesn’t has enough resources to give decent life to all those people, so birth control has to be strongly encouraged otherwise many people will be doomed to poverty without any hope for themselves and their children.

  16. bozh said on February 26th, 2010 at 8:56am #

    People talk ab jobs, jobs creation, exporting jobs, etc., but are not talking ab work let alone the right to work.
    I don’t want to go into why people don’t talk ab the right to work, nourishing food, obtaining info-schooling.
    To do that i wld first have to talk to hundreds if not thousands of people of all kinds of work and ask them why right to work is not a right in most societies!

    When i say to my wife that the right to work is one of our dearest and most satisfying rights, i get no answer.

    Imo, there was always work for everyone and also much work that needed to be done but people had’nt enough people to do it.
    We have also today much work that needs doing, but work like liberty, right to life, etc, is owned by a tiny minority of people in ?all asocialistic societies.

    Exporting repetitive, maddening, troubling, unpleasnt ‘work’ is not the problem for americans; it is a problem for roboting individuals.
    The problem is that the ruling americans do not allow some americans to work.

    “Job creation”? By some unknown people? One must be kidding me? Hey, folks we all create work! tnx

  17. kalidas said on February 26th, 2010 at 11:45am #

    Speaking of robots, that’s a huge part of the problem.
    One machine, especially farming and manufacturing, often takes the place of dozens or even hundreds of workers.
    This has caught to our society of cheaters and the cheated, in spades!
    We can’t all be pencil pushers, brain stormers, sales people, service people and managers.
    Some men, many men, actually like to work!
    There’s something inherently wonderful and fulfilling about labor. And dirt and sweat.
    Many of the medical problems/conditions caused or exacerbated by modern lethargy are miraculously ‘cured’ by labor.
    For starters, you sleep well because you’re tired You eat well because you’re hungry.
    You fell pretty darn good in general because you get ‘loosened up.’ How many physical ailments stem from lack of these fringe benefits of labor.
    When was the last time you were loose, really loose?
    When I was a superintendent of a college (a seminary) I still worked hard when I could on the large equipment such as the chillers, cooling towers, air handlers, bridges, etc.
    My boss would deride me by sneering that I was doing “grunt work.” I’d say, loudly and clearly, thank you!
    She didn’t get it that just the fact that I was able to do “grunt work’ was in fact a very positive thing.