Ezola B. Foster
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|Ezola B. Foster|
9 August 1938 |
|Occupation||Activist, writer, politician, educator|
Ezola Broussard Foster (born August 9, 1938) is an American activist, writer, and politician. She is president of Black Americans for Family Values, authored the book What's Right for All Americans, and was the Reform Party candidate for Vice President in the U.S. presidential election of 2000. In April 2002, Foster left the Reform Party to join the Constitution Party.
Career and political activism
Foster was born and raised in Louisiana and earned a master's degree from Texas Southern University. In 1960, she moved to Los Angeles, where she was a public high school teacher for 33 years - teaching typing, business courses and sometimes English classes.
She had sought public office prior to 2000 - as a Democrat in the 1970s and as a Republican candidate for California State Assembly in 1984. In the 1980s, she became an outspoken opponent of pornography, the civil rights movement, sex education, AIDS education and gay rights and founded "Black Americans for Family Values." She was arrested in 1987 with several other women while disrupting the state Republican convention to protest its recognition of the Log Cabin Club, an organization of gay Republicans. In 1992, she was a staunch defender of the police officers in the Rodney King beating case and organized a testimonial dinner for Laurence Powell, one of the convicted officers, in 1995.
In 1994, while teaching at Bell High School in Bell, California, Foster was a public advocate of Proposition 187, a California ballot initiative to deny government programs of social services, health care, and public education to illegal immigrants. Her position was extremely unpopular at the school where she taught, which was 90 percent Hispanic. In 1996, after she argued on PBS's MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour that illegal immigration was responsible for the low quality of Los Angeles schools, some of her colleagues at the school condemned her in an open letter. Two days later, she attended an anti-illegal-immigration rally where several of her supporters were attacked by members of the Progressive Labor Party, who allegedly wanted to harm Foster herself. Shortly thereafter, she left her job, which she calls a necessity resulting from her treatment at work. She went on speaking tours for the John Birch Society and took workers' compensation for an undisclosed mental disorder — which she describes as "stress" and "anxiety" — until her official retirement as a teacher in 1998.
Foster has appeared on The Political Cesspool, a white nationalist radio talk show based in Memphis, Tennessee. She has also been a guest on Larry King Live, CBS This Morning, CNN & CO., Nightline, NewsTalk Television, CNN Live, MSNBC, Politically Incorrect, and various CBS, NBC, and ABC newscasts.
Election of 2000
Pat Buchanan selected Foster as his running-mate after several other candidates such as Jim Traficant and James P. Hoffa declined his offer. Foster, who had supported Buchanan's campaigns in 1992 and 1996, quit her speaking tour to join the race. While Buchanan was hospitalized during part of the campaign, Foster was the ticket's mouthpiece, campaigning through television and radio appearances. This was the first time in history that an African-American had been nominated for Vice-President by a Federal Election Commission-recognized and federally funding political party, and the second time a woman had accomplished this (Democrat Geraldine Ferraro being the first).
Foster is Catholic. Her first marriage, by which she has a son, ended in annulment, she says, when she found out that her husband was a convicted felon. Later, in 1977, she married Chuck Foster, a truck driver. They have two adult children. Foster is a grandmother. She lives in Los Angeles.
What's Right for All Americans (1995) ISBN 978-1-56796-058-7
- Carlson, Peter. "Ezola Foster: Pat Buchanan's Far Right Hand." The Washington Post (Sept. 13, 2000)
- Issues2000.org - Some of Foster's campaign positions and quotations
- Foster, Ezola. "Let the Children be Children." National Minority Politics (August 31, 1995)
|Party political offices|
|Reform Party Vice Presidential candidate