(JONATHAN TURLEY) – United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) is under fire after Maryam Qudrat, a mother of Middle Eastern descent, was asked by the UTLA to identify her race after criticizing the union’s opposition to reopening schools despite overwhelming science that it is safe. The response of the UTLA was evasive to the point of incomprehension. However, the controversy is fueled by recent efforts to portray parents demanding a return to school as racist or examples of white privilege, including recent controversial comments from the UTLA President.
Qudrat was contacted by the UTLA after she spoke out against the opposition to resuming classes in Los Angeles. She has a seventh-grade child and has been calling for the union to follow the science. Instead, they contracted her with an email from a union research who noted that she has been quoted twice by the LA Times in eight months and the union wants to know her race. The email notes that her name sounds Iranian but the researcher does not want to assume her race with a “legitimate method.”
The concern however is why the union is trying to racially classify critics. The fact that Qudrat was quoted twice in the LA Times would not yield any broader demographic information on the range of parents who want their kids back in school. Instead, the email is intimidating when opposition to the closings is being used by some to claim racism.
Advertisement - story continues below