Monday, February 6, 2023

Protesters March Against Racism in Coronado

June 28, 2021 Update: Video from Michael Giorgino added along with his description.
June 28, 2021 Update: Removed a quote that had been shared on Facebook.
June 29, 2021 Update: Tasha Williamson was mistakenly identified as Tamara Williamson.

We Stand United San Diego organized an anti-racism protest and march outside Coronado High School. Participants called for more action on behalf of the school district.

Dozens of protesters gathered in front of Coronado High School on Saturday evening, June 26, for a march against racism in Coronado. Organizers from We Stand United San Diego say they want more accountability on the part of CUSD and Coronado parents following the tortilla-throwing incident at the championship basketball game against Orange Glen High School earlier this month.

“Where is our justice?” activist Tasha Williamson said. “We are angry, and they should be angry too. I don’t want to see another white tear. I don’t want to hear another white person say there’s no racism here.”

Another activist says she wants to address the root of the issue.

“Yes racism starts in schools, but it also starts at home,” Amanda with We Stand United SD said. “I’m not attacking the students. I want to talk to your parents. I want to talk to the superintendent who thinks it’s okay to shield his basketball players because he wants a CIF basketball championship.”

Parents of an Orange Glen basketball player also spoke at the rally, saying “racism is alive and well, and we’re here to do our small part to stamp it out.”

The group marched from Coronado High School on D Avenue up to 10th Street, and then over to Orange Avenue where they walked to 1st Street, stopping at several intersections to hold up signs and chant. Several times during the march, people watching argued with  the protesters and cursed at them. A man even tried to physically confront them. Coronado Police said the man was detained then released due to the fact that the victim declined to press charges.

Some residents shared their displeasure on local Facebook groups calling the protesters disrespectful and not peaceful.

The video and description below is by Michael Giorgino:

“It was Antifa/BLM. They carried a large Mexican flag and an Antifa banner, chanting “No KKK, no fascist USA.” Here is the video:

Other Coronado residents attended the march in support of the protesters.

“I think there’s an aura of privilege here that has led to some attitudes that are damaging, dangerous and hurtful to our BIPOC students,” Beth Connelly of the CoSA Foundation said. “The ones that I’ve talked to in the last year relate to feeling marginalized to the point of being very definitely discriminated against.”

Jane Ricker, a 30-year resident of Coronado, says there is racism in Coronado, pointing to the experiences many people shared at last summer’s local Black Lives Matter protests.

“There’s so much friction in Coronado and I want to be a mediator,” Ricker said. “I’m tired of fighting and I want sides to come together.”

Her daughter, Rachel Ricker, is a graduate of Coronado High School and a teacher at a San Diego school. She says she felt compelled to attend the march to be an advocate for social justice.

“Coronado is a great school in terms of academics and athletics and getting this part right will get Coronado where it needs to be,” Ricker said. “I hope we can repair the harm that has been done. Even if the intent wasn’t to harm, the impact was there.”

Several protesters traveled from outside of Coronado to attend the event. Efrain Serpas lives in Bonita but wanted to attend because, “if we don’t do anything, next time it’ll be somebody killed.”

He says he is not convinced by Luke Serna’s claim that the tortillas were not a racist attack but instead an attempt to recreate a tradition from UC Santa Barbara. “The other team is mostly Hispanic, so what else are you trying to say?”

Coronado’s School District Board fired head basketball coach J.D. Laaperi during an emergency meeting Tuesday night. Then on Friday, Superintendent Karl Mueller requested that CIF not require Coronado High to forfeit the championship game they won last weekend.

“In the first-person accounts, audio and video that we have reviewed to date, we have seen no evidence of antagonization by the players’ actions or behaviors that justify forfeiting the game,” Mueller wrote in a letter sent to California Interscholastic Federation executive director Ron Nocetti.

The CIF will review the investigation and determine what further action is appropriate.
San Diego County’s Human Relations Commission is also set to hold a special meeting on Monday in response to the tortilla-throwing incident.


Tyra Wu
Tyra Wu
Tyra is a multimedia journalist with several years of experience. She has worked at various news organizations including Fox 5 San Diego, KPBS and The Coast News. She is also a student at SDSU studying journalism.Tyra grew up in Carlsbad and is excited to be reporting on another coastal community. She is particularly interested in reporting on issues of race, diversity and education. When she's not working you can find her surfing, hiking or hanging out with her dog, Hachi.Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]