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Cerritos Republican Club Hosted Racist Proud Boy Supporter Gracey Van Der Mark at Cerritos Library Weeks After AAPI Beating at City Park

 

 

WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? Cerritos Republican Club officers, second down on left is Dean Grose, who organized the event, the former Mayor of Los Alamitos posted a picture of watermelons in front of the White House after Obama was elected in 2009.

 

 

 

DID NOT STOP A RACIST FROM SPEAKING: (l-r) Cerritos Mayor pro tem Chuong Vo, Councilmen Naresh Solanki and Bruce Barrows were slammed by residents at a City Council meeting two nights before Van Der Mark spoke at the library. The majority could have stopped Van Der Mark from speaking but they refused to stop the event. All three have garnered thousands in donations from the Cerritos Republican Club.

 

 

September 19, 2021

BY BRIAN HEWS

Gracey Van Der Mark, an extremely controversial local school board candidate who has been accused of being affiliated with white supremacists while at the same time being accused of racist social media posts, spoke at the Cerritos Library Wednesday night.

A flyer was circulated on social media under the Cerritos Republican Club logo who sponsored the event.

 

 

 

BRINGING RACISM TO CERRITOS-  A simple internet search of Van De Mark would have produced several pictures such as this one. Behind Van De Mark (front) is a woman flashing a white supremacist sign.

 

 

 

The flyer was also seen on the right-wing Republican-leaning Facebook page, Cerritos Press One, which has blocked HMG-CN from joining.

Sources told HMG-CN that Los Alamitos Councilmember Dean Grose organized the event. In 2020 he was accused of sending a racist email in 2009 as reported by the OCR.

In February of that year, a month after the inauguration of President Barack Obama, then-Los Alamitos Mayor Grose forwarded to friends and colleagues a meme he found humorous.

The image showed the White House lawn planted with watermelons.

Grose’s email swiftly circulated well beyond his address book and into the national news cycle, casting a spotlight on the small town.

“I viewed it in a lighthearted manner, but it got interpreted as racism,” recalled Grose, who resigned in the midst of the controversy.

The flyer promoting Van Der Mark’s appearance at the library was entitled What are your kids learning? “Join the non-partisan, no-cost, educational conversation on our children’s education. Critical Race Theory is being taught to our students without our consent and we must engage together for the future of our kids.”

Critical Race Theory is only taught in college graduate courses and not K-12, it is an alt-right talking point that is being used to drive another wedge between American citizens.

The Cerritos City Council held a special meeting this past Monday, September 13, which eventually became dominated by the questionable invitation and sponsorship of Van Der Mark by the club.

 

 

ALT-RIGHT PROTEST: Holding a protest flag, Gracey Van Der Mark marches in an alt-right event where some of the members ended up in Charlottesville chanting “Jews will not replace us.”

 

 

Councilmen Bruce Barrows, Chuong Vo, and Naresh Solanki are active members of the club and have received large donations during election years.

The fireworks started at public comment with speaker after speaker taking the dais and slamming the Cerritos Republican Club – and the Councilmembers who promote the club – for inviting Van Der Mark to speak.

“This is perpetuating hate in the City and it is unacceptable.”

“The Republican party in Cerritos is lost.”

“I have a problem with leadership here.”

Chris Foster angrily criticized the invitation of Van der Mark by the Cerritos Republican Club.

Foster pointed out the relationships that she has with certain infamous alt-right members.

He cited many names who were filmed at several highly controversial events, including Charlottesville and neo-nazi book burning that Van Der Mark praises.

“Its time for members of the Republican Club, whom Barrows, Vo, and Solanki are members, to speak out against this.”

Anantha Ramachadran pointed out that the council is dominated by members of the Cerritos Republican Club, endorsed by them for many years. “You need to speak out on this,” he said.

Norma Williamson expressed her concern about Van Der Mark, “her only political experience is a stint as a finance commissioner and the fact that she ran and lost for Huntington Beach City Council endorsed by Tito Ortiz another infamous right-wing hack.”

Seth Grossman, son of Marty and Gail Grossman, said, “the Republican Club has chosen to disgrace our city.”

He pointed out that Van de Mark and two other men invaded a meeting at the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “They then showed up at Charlottesville chanting ‘Jews will not replace us,’” he said.

“This is perpetuating hate in the City and it is unacceptable.”

Sam the Taxman Desai, who was against the ABC School Bond that is making many ABC facilitates some of the best in the state, said the Republican party in Cerritos is lost.”

HMG-CN has asked for comment from the City Council, as of publication only Councilman Frank Yokoyama has responded.

An outspoken critic of racism, Yokoyama told HMG-CN, “I am outraged and deeply saddened whenever racism and racists are discovered or revealed in our City of Cerritos. The prevalence and tolerance of hateful and racist people threatens safety in our City of Cerritos. I denounce these hateful and racist people as well as their hateful racist acts and speech that strike fear into the hearts of our own diverse communities, and I urge my fellow leaders to likewise make such denouncements. I strongly urge the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to keep Cerritos safe from racist attacks and hate crimes.”

Grose invited ABC School Board members, only Trustees Chris Apodaca and Olga Rios went on the record saying they would “definitely not go.” Trustee Brad Beach was out of town.

HMG-CN was present at the event and observed newly elected Trustee Michael Eugenio and Trustee Soo Yoo attending.

Eugenio responded but avoided talking about Van Der Mark’s background, “Thank you for reaching out to me Mr. Hews. My colleagues and I were invited to attend this event which included a presentation on critical race theory.  As a long-time community member and new board member, I am interested in all opinions that impact our children. It is important to me to listen in on presentations so that when parents ask me questions, I would be better equipped to answer them.  I am working closely with our superintendent and district on our ethnic studies program. I am looking forward to this program that will bring cultural awareness and tolerance to our students.

Trustee Soo Yoo said, “[I] did not know about her, and did not have information about the speakers.  As a Republican Club Member, I attended mainly to support Republican Club, and yes I knew about the topic CRT was going to be discussed.  And I do not appreciate highly controversial topic like CRT to be an additional  issue and an obstacle to our educators. They  already have to juggle with lots academic needs, pandemic learning loss, Delta fear, safety of our students. As a person of color myself, I will not tolerate racism both ways, all ethnic groups. I will strive to support strong academic educational opportunities to all children.”

 

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