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Woman Ousted from Orange County School Post in Fallout from Santa Monica Social Justice Workshop


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April 27, 2018 -- A woman who allegedly called minorities “colored people” in a YouTube video she took at a Santa Monica social justice workshop was ousted from an Orange County school district committee Tuesday in fallout from the incident.

The board of trustees for the Ocean View School District voted 4-1 to remove Gracey Van Der Mark from an oversight committee on Measure R.
Her removal was effective immediately.

Van Der Mark, of Huntington Beach, had served on the committee for one month when she journeyed to Santa Monica in July to make a showing of protest at a workshop on race relations held by the Committee for Racial Justice.

The meeting was also attended by several members of Southern California groups affiliated white supremacists.

Video allegedly taken by Van Der Mark shows the combative attitudes of the alt-right members, who partially masked their identities behind face scarves.

In comments (subsequently removed) that she allegedly posted online, Van Der Mark reportedly called black people “colored people” doing the bidding of Jews.

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Tuesday’s three-hour board meeting was packed and grew heated at points, according to news reports.

Trustee Norm Westwell cast the dissenting vote.

News reports said Van Der Mark scrubbed the racial and anti-Semitic remarks she posted online after controversy began building over them.

According to the OC Weekly, Van Der Mark wrote that the meeting in Santa Monica “was being run by the elderly Jewish people who were in there.

“The colored people were there doing what the elderly Jewish people instructed them to do,” the comment said.

Van Der Mark has denied the accusations of racism and antisemitism.

She did not attend the board meeting, citing a prior commitment, according to news reports.

But “Graceygate,” as the controversy is being called, is not over.

The Van Der Mark camp is taking her ouster to the City Council on May 7 and is trying to organize a big turnout.

The Santa Monica’s Committee for Racial Justice, established six years ago, has a mostly maintained a low profile.

But in an early July workshop, titled “White Privilege and What We Can Do About It,” community outsiders showed up and interrupted speakers with combative comments, a YouTube video shows.

When the committee met a month later, the protesters had grown to dozens trying to push into the meeting in Virginia Avenue Park, although they were blocked by those at the session and by police ("Leader of Anti-Racism Panel in Santa Monica Says White Nationalists 'Stayed Away,'" August 29, 2017).


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