Teacher Union Dollars Support Questionable Candidate

Six of the seven candidates running for LAUSD Board (clockwise from top left): Kahllid A. Al-Alim, Christian Flagg, John Aaron Brasfield, DeWayne Davis, Didi L. Watts and Sherlett Hendy Newbill.

Teachers in public schools belong to the UTLA (United Teachers Los Angeles) labor union and are required to pay dues – and that includes teachers in local charter schools.

UTLA has contributed nearly $650,000 in an independent campaign supporting a school board candidate Kahllid Al-Alim in District 1, which includes Palms Middle School, Palms, Overland Avenue, Hamilton High and Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies (LACES). He is one of seven candidates running to replace the retiring George McKenna.

Prior to the school board election, Al-Alim’s social media has come to light. On X (formerly Twitter), Al-Alim commended a publication by the Nation of Islam called “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews: How Jews Gained Control of the Black American Economy.”

The book accuses Jews of stealing prosperity from Black people — their “40 acres and a mule” — and accuses Jews of “collaborating with and even financing such racial terrorists as the Ku Klux Klan,” according to a blurb about the book on the Nation of Islam online store.

In an October 2022 post, Al-Alim said that book should be mandatory reading in L.A. schools: “We not Burning or Banning Our Future! We Not Playing,” he tweeted.

On February 20, UTLA wrote in a statement: “Kahllid Al-Alim’s reported social media activities are offensive and unacceptable. They are inconsistent with what we have seen of Kahllid as a decades-long organizer for education justice. Elected leaders should exemplify professionalism and set a positive example for those they represent. His reported social media conduct falls short of these fundamental ideals.”

UTLA demanded an apology from Al-Alim and sent its statement to the Times at 12:32 p.m. Al-Alim apologized eight minutes later.

“I want to apologize for my posts about the Farrakhan book,” said Al-Alim, referring to that group’s leader, Louis Farrakhan. “I was wrong. I have connected with educators and community members and have since learned about the issues. I fully rescind that post. It has no place in our schools.”

The Jewish Journal has labeled Al-Alim as a candidate to oppose, as has the Educators Caucus for Israel.

Al-Alim was a longtime member of the school district’s task force on African American achievement and Advanced Placement. He is a janitorial worker for the City of Los Angeles, and also worked as an Army medic.

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