LA school board candidate apologizes for antisemitic and R-rated social media posts

The leading candidate in the crowded Los Angeles school board race issued a public mea culpa on Tuesday for his problematic social media activity that included siding with antisemitic sentiments and liking pornographic images.

Kahllid Al-Alim’s social media activity could derail his campaign to become a school board member. He had managed to gain endorsements from the influential United Teachers Los Angeles and the L.A. County Federation of Labor unions but faces an uphill battle following the damning discovery of social media posts that have called his judgment into question.

Union leaders address thousands of Los Angeles Unified School District teachers and Service Employees International Union 99 members during a rally outside the LAUSD headquarters in Los Angeles on Tuesday, March 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

One that drew the most criticism was his praise of a publication from the Nation of Islam organization titled, “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews: How Jews gained control of the Black American economy.”

The book alleges that Jews stole black people’s “40 acres and a mule.” It also accuses Jewish people of collaborating with and even financing violent racist hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan. 

In an October 2022 Twitter post, Al-Alim claimed the Nation of Islam propaganda should be mandatory reading for children in L.A. public schools, adding: “We not Burning or Banning Our Future! We Not Playing.”

Al-Alim is one of seven candidates running for a seat on the Board of Education. The winner will replace George McKenna, who is retiring. 

Sam Yebri, the first Persian Jew running for a City Council seat, called Al-Alim an “unrepentant bigot” and criticized the United Teachers Los Angeles union for continuing to fund Al-Alim’s campaign, the Los Angeles Times reported. So far, the teachers union has spent nearly $650,000 for an independent campaign in support of Al-Alim and has organized a field team to canvas on his behalf.

The teachers union was not pleased when his social media posts surfaced and left open the possibility of withdrawing its endorsement. 

“Kahllid Al-Alim’s reported social media activities are offensive and unacceptable,” the union wrote in a statement. “They are inconsistent with what we have seen of Kahllid as a decades-long organizer for education justice. Elected leaders should exemplify professionalism and set a positive example for those they represent. His reported social media conduct falls short of these fundamental ideals.”

The union added it had reached out to Al-Alim.

“We have contacted Kahllid Al-Alim to make clear our position on both the content and nature of his posts. … UTLA is considering our next steps.”

Eight minutes after UTLA issued its statement, Al-Alim posted a sweeping apology of his own, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“I have spent my life fighting against antisemitism, anti-Arab hate, Islamophobia, and all forms of oppression,” he said. “I have spent my life fighting for the equality of all people. There is a very long history of Jewish and black people backing each other and working in solidarity for justice. I want to continue that important work.” 

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He also appeared to acknowledge the pornographic and gun-related likes he made.

“I also apologize for my likes on social media of graphic content,” he said. “It was inappropriate. I will never do that again.”

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