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Official Accused of White Supremacy Will Speak at Cerritos Library About Education

Gracey Van Der Mark

September 15, 2021


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 will speak at the Cerritos library tonight.

The flyer on social media is under the Cerritos Republican Club logo who is sponsoring the event; it was also posted on the right-wing Republican-leaning Facebook page, Cerritos Press One, which has blocked HMG-CN from joining.

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

In February of 2009, a month after the inauguration of President Barack Obama, then-Los Alamitos Mayor Dean 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 is 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.

Van Der Mark is also a well-known figure in the area’s far-right scene, beginning in 2017, when she and other fringe figures crashed an anti-racism event in Huntington Beach.

The interruption is par for the course with Van Der Mark, according to Gina Clayton-Tarvin, clerk of the board of trustees at the area’s Ocean View School District.

“This is a pattern of hers,” Clayton-Tarvin told The Daily Beast. “She’s a disruptor, she’s a bigot, and she has no place in public governance. None.

Van Der Mark’s internet history reveals a long involvement with the alt-right.

In April 2017, according to a Facebook post reviewed by The Daily Beast, she shared a picture from an event with Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman. A far-right brawler and leader of the Proud Boys’ paramilitary wing the “Alt-Knights,” Chapman had earned his nickname months earlier when footage went viral of him hitting a leftist protester with a stick, leading to his arrest and eventual plea deal on a weapons charge.

“My son got a few tips from Based Stick Man on how to protect himself against the Antifa masked cowards at rallys and patriot events. [sic]” Van Der Mark wrote on Facebook.

On June 10, Van Der Mark attended an anti-Islam event in San Bernardino. Photos from the day show her wearing a gun-print shirt, standing behind far-right figure “Johnny Benitez,” who is wearing a Proud Boys uniform and holding a poster with a meme about ethnic cleansing of Muslims.

At another point in the day, Van Der Mark posed for group photos with the demonstration’s attendees. Included in the picture were multiple men in Proud Boys uniforms, a man holding a “death to the sick dog of Islam” sign, and uniformed members of the Rise Above Movement, a violent white nationalist group that brawled with leftists at the event.

After another protest, Van Der Mark uploaded footage to YouTube. “This meeting was being run by the elderly Jewish people who were in there,” she wrote in a now-deleted video, according to the OC Weekly. “The colored people were there doing what the elderly Jewish people instructed them to do.”

Sources are telling HMG-CN that two ABC Board Members will attend.

Confirmed not attending are Trustees Chris Apodaca, Olga Rios, and Brad Beach; Beach is out of town.

Councilman Frank 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.”