Submitted by Allen Frances MD
Response to Stacy Keszei June 29 Statement:
I strongly agree with CUSD school board member Stacy Keszei’s statement that it is the adults of Coronado, not our kids, who must bear the bulk of responsibility for the blatant racial insensitivity of the “tortilla incident.”
I also agree with Ms. Keszei that there probably was no conscious racist intent motivating the episode. But it certainly did reveal, in the most dramatic way possible, the existence of a great reservoir of unconscious racial insensitivity among adults in our community – that sadly has also been transmitted to our kids.
Ms. Keszei goes on to say: “We as adults need to ‘own’ our actions, not ‘blame’ our children, and use them as scapegoats to hide behind when we do not live up to our responsibilities. I own my mistake and look forward to working with our wonderful community to protect, encourage and teach our children through example and integrity.”
May I suggest how Ms. Keszei can best “own” her past mistakes and learn from them – and, in the process, model appropriate future behavior for her supporters in the community and for our children.
As school board member, Ms. Keszei has previously opposed the CUSD Equity Action Plan and the ‘No Place For Hate” anti-bullying program. Her position was based on the now clearly fallacious argument that Coronado has no problem with racial insensitivity and therefore no need for diversity training.
Ms. Keszei occupies one of the most influential positions in Coronado and is a thought leader with great influence on how many people think and behave. If she now throws her support behind programs that make Coronado a more civil and empathic community, she will have accomplished a great good for our kids. And we can never set a better example for them than by having the flexibility to learn from our mistakes.
Allen Frances MD