School board member's racial comment stirs up controversy

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by LINDA BRILL / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on June 11, 2010 at 6:57 PM

MARYSVILLE, Wash. - Angry minority and civil rights groups are calling for the resignation of a school board member in Marysville.

Board member Michael Kundu wrote a controversial e-mail that set off a storm of protest. 

In the e-mail entitled "Race and achievement," Kundu writes, "...there is a definitive factor played by racial genetics in intellectual achievement..."

Kundu was referring to research done by Canadian researcher J. Philippe Rushton.

"It is racist in nature and we are calling for his resignation," said Tulalip leader, Mel Sheldon.

Nine percent of the Marysville School District's students are Native American.

"This type of thought is not good when it compares brain type to intelligence," said Sheldon.

The Snohomish County NAACP is also calling for Kundu to resign. Janice Greene, Snohomish County NAACP President, says "We're asking that he step down. I don't think there's a place for a school board member that holds that type of philosophy."

Kundu made the e-mail comments as part of a discussion of how to address a minority achievement gap.

"My statements have been mischaracterized for political purposes," he told KING 5 News.

Kundu says he has no intention of promoting racism. The minority and civil rights groups say, if he does not resign, they will start a recall campaign against him.

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