Blogging Bayport Alameda

March 11, 2021

I’m sorry Ms. Jackson, you aren’t for real

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

Here’s a fun story about Alameda folks. So remember how I mentioned there is a group to advocate for re-opening schools on Facebook. Well there’s quite a bit of drama that happened earlier this week. By sometime Monday some vocal group members had been removed from the re-opening schools FB group without their knowledge. It was subtle but sudden. Most of the group was notified about the removal via a post which said, “yeah we removed people who we felt were derailing the conversations around re-opening.” This led to folks being both appalled and supportive and moderators pushing back against accusations that folks were removed because they were trying to ask the group to center equity in these discussions.

There was talk from some moderators about people actively sabotaging efforts and denials about equity talk being the reason people were booted, but then other parents chiming in and saying that the mission of the group was to re-open first and worry about equity later. All in all, it devolved quickly. Oh quickly, some of that complaining about sabotaging spilled over into the school board discussion where there was some parents who wanted to share their grievances. But here’s where the issue takes a really funky turn.

After the implosion on the re-opening group someone decided to post a gripe about the group on Alameda Peeps. In the messages there was a comment which stood out because it was a commenter who I had noticed from the re-opening group because on the re-opening group this commenter has launched out of the gate to tell all readers that she was Black West End mom:

I think it was the “signal your virtues” that piqued my attention because I had never seen “virtue signaling” phrased like that before. Plus you don’t find a lot of Black people who use the term “virtue signaling.” It’s almost exclusively used in the pejorative by folks who wield phases as such “social justice warrior”, “political correctness”, “woke” as an insult.

Then she posted this on the Alameda Peeps thread complaining about the re-opening group. This is an edited version, I think one of the previous referred to some folks as “yoga moms”:

Here’s where this goes sideways. Someone smartly performed a reverse image search on the photo used for the profile. I had noticed the shirts as well but didn’t even think to research where in the Bay Area there would be a “Reach” youth program, because it’s the Bay Area and there are a lot of youth programs. Turns out this person is a complete fraud and had stolen the photo from the real Sonja: Sonja Santelises. She is the CEO of Baltimore City Schools.

When this was revealed “Sonja Jackson” quickly deleted her Facebook account.

However, “Sonja Jackson” did show up again on Tuesday night on the Zoom for the School Board Meeting:

What is problematic on top of the whole creating the persona of a Black person in order to support your political position which in itself is problematic is the type of persona this person chose to create. The choice wasn’t to take the real Sonja (wife, mother, CEO) and “Alameda” her instead this person chose to make “Sonja Jackson” a West End parent which is the end of the island which has traditionally been viewed as less desirable. “Sonja Jackson” is unemployed and on SNAP. The choice to chose the name “Jackson” seemed convenient in light of the renaming of Jackson Park as well. These choices and this decision to create a sock puppet in such a manner simply goes to show why we have so much more to do in this city around race and race relations. And the fact that this has gone uncommented on by the re-opening group’s moderators is a red flag.

14 Comments »

  1. From the linked article:

    One day, a year ago, my children came home from school and never went back. First we thought they’d be home for a few weeks. Then “a few weeks” stretched into the summer. Fall came, and my youngest had her first day of kindergarten in the living room. There was no choice in the matter. My district simply wasn’t offering in-person school. Like many families across the country, we made do, patching holes in our sanity with a nanny, a grandmother and some very understanding bosses.

    And then, in late January, we were finally given a choice — and I was a mess. Having the ability to make my own decision was every bit as hard as living with a choice somebody else made for me.

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-year-of-choosing-dangerously/

    Comment by Mike McMahon — March 11, 2021 @ 6:27 am

  2. The “Reopen Parents Group” saga is quite fascinating. I was approached to be a mod and I considered it to help center equity awareness for reopening, but decided against it because I could not see it going well. There were lots of bad ideas that I had to softly dissuade – “let’s have a protest” (yea, don’t do that), “let’s have lawn signs that say ‘Reopen – Return Full Time'” (schools are open, teachers are working full time – how about “reopen campuses” and “thank our teachers”), “let’s mute the black woman who wants equity as part of the conversation” (oof). There were many other examples and it felt like being a parent trying to keep toddlers from intentionally running into the street. For that I, and many others, were purged. The most damning, however, was how the group’s mission statement got changed – the previous one had good language about equity, but that was completely eradicated in favor of “reopen all K-12 schools now.”

    Sensible people who joined the group earlier knew to cut ties immediately. But some are still in the group who really ought to know better by now.

    Comment by JRB — March 11, 2021 @ 9:19 am

  3. Just when you start to think that the shitty people in town couldn’t possibly be any shittier than the FOCCers and the Spencer/Reid/Foreman Alameda Axis of Asshattery, we get this! I wonder who might be in the middle part of the Venn diagram here.

    Comment by Rod — March 11, 2021 @ 10:15 am

  4. Word is that this is a student from Alameda High and trolling. This could be the second account this student has created to cause havoc. (Im told they confessed about the first) The only thing that gives me pause is this account had 50 or so real friends when I looked during the skirmish. It appeared on surface to be an authentic account that was around for a while. It would be a shame if peeps chased out a real person that was BIPOC that simply hid their real name out of fear for their position. It can be pretty cruel in that group.

    Comment by johnandjoan — March 11, 2021 @ 12:02 pm

    • A real Black person who had used someone else’s photo with the exact same first name? An Alameda High student writing about “keyboard equity champions”.

      Do you really think we’re all that gullible?

      Comment by Lauren Do — March 11, 2021 @ 12:16 pm

      • Not really thinking about what others think. For me, “what gives me pause” before I grab the pitchfork is that I need someone to explain to me the amount of what appear to be authentic “facebook friends” this account had and the age of the account. This person had many if not all BIPOC facebook friends which slightly contradicts the digital blackface theory. Now, If the account was a fake account that was just created and had little to no friends (like what the last student did and was easy to root out) I would jump on the train a little faster. However, quick scrolling through that persons feed during the peeps call out showed that this was an established account with lots of activity. Birthday wishes from friends, events checkins, job updates, ect between Jackson and friends that were BIPOC. (Was Sonja a nickname?) By the way, you got a big LOL from me inferring that a high school student couldn’t come up with and say the term keyboard equity warrior or what ever. Reddit, 4Chan, and a host of other sites are full of high school kids trolling people with phrases and trolls that make this look like amateur hour. So for me, there are holes in every theory. I am not endorsing any.

        Comment by johnandjoan — March 11, 2021 @ 1:19 pm

        • Why would a legitimate account use a different Black woman’s photo?

          Comment by Lauren Do — March 11, 2021 @ 2:01 pm

        • nah. That ain’t it. You do seem to know a LOT about the account though, “johnandjoan”… the plot thickens…

          Comment by bhediting — March 11, 2021 @ 2:14 pm

    • Cool story, bro!

      Comment by Rod — March 11, 2021 @ 12:28 pm

    • It is most definitely not a “student from Alameda High.” Lots of evidence pointing to one of the former/current mods of the “Reopen Parents” group. A reference to “Franklin School,” keen awareness of how PTAs communicate, English as second language use of certain idioms or phrases – “kicked” instead of “kicked out” multiple times, “signal your virtues” instead of “virtue-signaling,” “Latinex,” etc. There’s also a reference to the announcement of the AUSD town hall “30 minutes ago,” which strongly points to someone in leadership. This person should just accept that they got caught and apologize, otherwise it will continue to reflect badly on the whole “Reopen Parents Group” for a long while.

      Comment by JRB — March 11, 2021 @ 12:55 pm

    • How do you do, fellow kids? 😂There is not a young person alive who would do this.

      Comment by Gaylon — March 11, 2021 @ 1:08 pm

      • I’ve never commented on this blog, not once, but OH MY GOD the idea that this is a teenager is laughable if it weren’t so mean to try to blame what is OBVIOUSLY adult (middle-aged) nonsense and racism on the kids.

        I have worked with kids since I was one. NO. THIS IS NOT A KID.

        Comment by bhediting — March 11, 2021 @ 1:11 pm

    • The account was not “around for a while” nor was it established. It had a “new account” warning when it requested to join peeps being under a month old. It had no banner and the profile photo was stolen off the internet. All but one of the friends of the account were black and all of lived anywhere but California with no common friends (most of them in Mississippi and Arkansas). Weird to see that for an account that lists their hometown and current location both in Alameda.

      Comment by Zac Bowling 🥑 (@zbowling) — March 11, 2021 @ 2:02 pm

  5. It’s probably written by an Outkast of Alameda!

    Comment by therealdanwood — March 11, 2021 @ 8:00 pm


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