The Millard Education Association board of directors has voted unanimously to withdraw its endorsement of long-time school board member Mike Kelly after he posted a racial slur on Facebook.
KETV reported late Monday that the board took the action after Kennedy’s recent Facebook post demeaned U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren — who has been been referred to by President Trump as “Pocahontas” because of her Native American heritage.
Kennedy posted a photo Friday of an Iowa highway exit sign for the towns of Rockwell City and Pocahontas and wrote “Looks like Elizabeth Warren is already stumping in Iowa for 2020.”
Warren is mulling a run for president in 2020.
“As educators, we would not accept comments like this from our students or fellow educators in our classrooms,” wrote MEA president Paul Schulte in a statement to KETV, adding the union was “disappointed” in the post.
For his part, Kennedy brushed off the action and said the post was “some light humor.”
Nebraska Democratic Party Chair Jane Kleeb said she failed to find the humor in the post.
“Simply put, it was not funny,” Kleeb said. “It was racist. Period. End of story. He needs to withdraw his re-election bid.”
Democrat Dulce Sherman, who is running for a seat on the Millard school board, said Kennedy’s comment demeans the 22 percent of students in Millard schools who are minorities.
“If he thinks making racial comments about minorities is ‘light humor,’ he needs to look all those kids in the eye and explain why,’’ Sherman said. “But he won’t, because it wasn’t funny. He knows that. It was demeaning and insulting and particularly appalling coming from a man who was elected to serve all students.”
Frank LaMere, vice chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party and a member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, noted, as he did earlier, that students at Millard South High School some 20 years ago called for the end and the retirement of their Indian mascot because of the stereotypes it perpetuated and because of the subtle and blatant racism it conveyed.
“I renew my call for Mike Kennedy to end his run for school board and to apologize to Native Americans and other minorities across Nebraska,” LaMere said.