A Pennsylvania woman and US Army veteran who was caught on video protesting for Blue Lives Matter, has spoken out against a petition was launched against her. The goal of the anonymously sponsored petition is to remove her from her elected volunteer position on her local school board.
Christine Alonso was visible in her pink tank top as she stood with others facing off against a Black Lives Matter protest in Ridley Township in Delaware County, PA, which is just outside Philadelphia. She was accused by an anonymous agitator of shouting racist slurs and of having been seen with a Confederate flag. These are charges Alonso unequivocally denies.
After the anonymous petition to remove her from her post appeared online and gained some traction, Alonso wrote a letter in her own defense to the Delco Times.
As the mother of four, bi-racial children, and a Veteran, Alonso wrote that she went to the "Folsom VFW to stand with [her] fellow veterans, and to protect the property of the VFW that was threatened on social media." She stated that "when individuals support defunding the police, [she] will always speak out against that idea."
Alonso states that she didn't see a Confederate flag that day, and has never held one, and that "anyone who says differently is an outright liar." The petition claimed that she used racial slurs, and Alonso says that she did not.
Alonso states that instead it was the protestors representing Black Lives Matter that "were there for a confrontation." She writes that BLM advocates called the veterans and police supporters "racists, hillbillies, bigots, crackers," and that her "personal appearance" was the subject of "nasty comments."
Alsono, however, is not without regrets for her own behaviour. She notes that "raising [her] voice" and "giving the middle finger with both hands to a woman who did the same to [her] first" were not actions she was proud of. "For that I apologize," she writes, "I should have kept my cool... while people were screaming at me that I was racist."
Though the anonymous petition states that Alonso made racist comments, Alonso has alleged that what she actually said was "I guess I wasn't racist when I fought and bled for your right to protest."
Alonso, who is a veteran of combat who suffered disability after being injured serving the US in Iraq, said that yelling at the woman who yelled at her was not her "proudest moment," but that she "will not allow [herself] to be defined by it."
Alonso takes issue with her anonymous detractor who started the petition, and those over 8,000 people who signed it asking for her resignation from the Interboro School Board, where she serves as treasurer, "know nothing" about her. As the mom of bi-racial children and the wife of an immigrant, Alonso wrote that she and her family "live with the real consequences of racism every day."
It is from her position as a veteran who fought for the rights and freedoms of all Americans that she says that defunding the police "is a stupid idea and if there is a protest asking to defund the police next week, [she] will speak out again."
It is also from her vantage point as a veteran that she states that "when [she] was fighting for our country all lives mattered. [She] fought for everyone's life." She "will not say that 'only' Black lives matter," because when she was fighting in Iraq, she "placed her life in the hands of Black men and women, and they placed their life in mine."
Stating American ideals, she wrote that she is in support of "racial equality, equity, and fairness for all."
After the petition was launched, which reads "Anonymous IHS Parent needs your help with 'Interboro High School Treasurer is Racist!' Join Anonymous and 8,443 supporters today," Alonso began to receive death threats. In fielding fallout from online mobs, Alonso joins the ranks of so many other Americans who have had their lives ruined due to anonymous accusations of misconduct.
Alonso cannot confront the person who is defaming her, as that person continues to hide behind the thin, pixelated wall of anonymity. In trying to fight against her invisible attacker, Alonso wrote that the petition was "signed by people who don't know me or even live in the school district." Unlike the anonymous creator of the petition, many of those who signed it gave their name.
Alonso "will not be resigning." Though she says that she "apologize[s] to [her] colleagues for the whom this has brought unwanted attention," she won't step down from her post volunteering for the school district where her own kids attend school.
Despite the fact that the petition is nearly at 8,500 signatures, and that the signatory goal has been increased from 7,500 to 10,000, the anonymous accuser has not stepped out from behind the veil. Instead, it is Alonso who is forced to defend herself against the ephemera of online prosecution.
Alonso asks for the good sense of her colleagues on the school board to prevail. She asks them "to challenge their own principles and ask themselves if [her] voice should be silenced by a bullying mob of social media protestors who have no idea of the facts."
This is a challenge that more and more Americans are facing as quick, dozen second long clips of behaviour, words, and actions taken out of context are blasted out on social media. In response, the public makes snap judgements and that judgement immediately becomes the narrative that is necessary for a person to state that they believe in order to fit-in with the powerfully vocal social justice crowd.
On a Facebook page for Montgomery County Moms for BLM, (Montgomery County borders Delaware County) Tiffany Nicole, who is active on the page, posted a share of Alonso's Facebook message. She wrote: "This is the Delco School District worker and her so-called apology. She has biracial children. You can call them the N word too. NO PASSES OR EXCUSES. JUST LIES."
Comments on the post were in support of that sentiment.
Additional comments called into question what Alonso meant by "bi-racial," noting that her husband is not black.
Another change.org petition has sprung up, this one in support of Alonso. It has nearly reached its goal of 500 signatures. This one is is called: "Support for Interboro High School Treasurer."
That petition reads "After reviewing every piece of video evidence, as well as speaking with people from both BLM and Back the Blue who were present, there seems to be absolutely no evidence of Christine using any racial slurs whatsoever."
It is this petitioner's belief that "This is a clear case of defamation of character, based on fake news spreading on Facebook and other outlets. It is even more upsetting, that BLM has disrespected our Law Enforcement, but now are also defaming the character of a Veteran who was wounded in action while fighting for our freedom's as Americans!"
Denise Escher, one of the signers of the petition, told The Post Millennial that she has "never met Mrs. Alonso, but reading her statement and learning her history, [she] support[s] her."
The Post Millennial has reached out to Christine Alonso, who said that she did not know who the anonymous petitioner was who originally asked for her resignation. "There are a handful of names that I have been given from supporters that may be behind it or had a hand in it," Alsonso said. "As it is anonymous I do not know for certain. I would have to search the hundreds of screen shots for names of those individuals."
She said additionally that this is not the first time she was targeted. "I was appointed to the board before I was elected, a woman who tried to get the same appointment started bad talking me and putting out hateful statements such as she didn't believe I had the education I have. Then, during elections she spoke against me, however mainly just political. After the election, that died down."
The Post Millennial has reached out to Delco Resists, who posted video of the event and organized the Black Lives Matter protest on Saturday, Aug. 1, but has not heard back at time of publication.