Rodriguez Accuses Coast Trustees of Racism

District Chancellor Raul Rodriguez, left, apologized for “embarrassing Rancho Santiago Community College District” during Monday’s board meeting for an email he wrote accusing Coast Community College District trustees of “passive aggressive racism.” / Harold Pierce / el Don

 

District Chancellor Raul Rodriguez, left, apologized Monday for “embarrassing” Rancho Santiago Community College District after sending an email accusing Coast Community College District trustees of “passive aggressive racism.” / Harold Pierce / el Don

 

By Harold Pierce

District Chancellor Raul Rodriguez is weathering the fallout of a scathing email he wrote in August accusing Coast Community College District trustees of institutional racism.

In an Aug. 14 email, Rodriguez called the five-member board “dysfunctional” and told Andrew Jones, the former chancellor of the district, that he was “disgusted with that board and their passive aggressive racism.”

The email was sent hours before Jones, who is black, resigned the same day.

Rodriguez, however, remains unapologetic, and instead says he is viewing the ordeal as a learning experience regarding public records.

“When you put things up on email, it can end up on the front page of the paper,” Rodriguez said during Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting. “We all need to learn from it. I have learned from it and will be very careful in the future and especially when emailing other people.”

Rodriguez, who also serves as an accreditation commissioner for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, said he thought the emails would remain private and apologized for embarrassing the Rancho Santiago Community College District, but stopped short of rescinding his comments.

“I can’t take them back. They’re out there in public … when something is out there, it’s out there,” Rodriguez said.

He refused to comment on the matter and would not  clarify instances of racism referenced in the emails, which were first obtained by the OC Register through a California Public Records Act request.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” Rodriguez said. “I hope to never talk about the subject again, if I can avoid it.”

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