South Pasadena is a model community: diverse, tolerant, open. But none of that is a given. We have to fight for it, and we have to say what we mean and what we hope for. At the moment, it appears that “tolerance” is being taken to mean that we’re gonna have ourselves a good ol’ fashioned witch hunt and get down to purging some folks. We’ve decided to meet bigotry with bigotry.
Hate and intolerance is sweeping through South Pasadena, rising on a wave of hysteria, and it’s time to take notice. At the council meeting this week, a public comment calmly identified the City of South Pasadena as a white supremacist banana republic that sent its death squads out to murder Vanessa Marquez. Where does that kind of story lead?
At the same meeting this week, a petition submitted to the city council demanded that the city investigate the religious faith and political associations of the city’s police officers. Making his intent clear, petition creator William Kelley submitted a public comment to the council that said this:
Recent events involving the South Pasadena Police Department — including a planned prayer service at city hall by an ultra-conservative religious group, as well as the apparent release without citation or charge of a driver who has posted hateful memes on social media and abruptly drove his truck up onto the sidewalk where Black Lives matter supporters were demonstrating this past Saturday — must be fully investigated by City Council. City policy prohibits using staff time and city resources to engage
Kelley explicitly demands that the South Pasadena City Council serve as the town’s thought police. Though he transitions to “staff time and city resources,” his objection is not merely an objection to the government sponsorship of religion; rather, his content-specific warning is that religious conservatives may have been treated as welcome by city employees, and he laments that Richard Cheney hasn’t been arrested despite the fact that he posts “hateful memes on social media.” We are invited to engage in woke Comstockery, policing the boundaries of cultural expression. A petition laid before the South Pasadena City Council proposes to conduct an inquisition to determine whether or not South Pasadena police officers have been consorting with known Catholics. If you’re comfortable with a demand that a city investigate the religious faith of government employees, you have found the forces of intolerance. They live in your house.
Second, take a moment to watch the video of our police trying to investigate Richard Cheney’s idiotic confrontation with BLM protesters over the weekend, while people shout abuse – “race traitor!” – at black and Latina cops:
Nothing shows a commitment to tolerance like demeaning people of color in the street.
In three recent confrontations involving protesters, police have arrested Joe Richcreek, arrested Michael Plough, and sustained a thorough (and ongoing) investigation into Richard Cheney’s idiocy. In response, Fahren James screams at police that they have “done nothing” about attacks on protesters, and London Lang stirs up followers on social media to try to take a baby from his parents:
Let’s prove that we’re a tolerant community — let’s get that infant ripped out of his mother’s arms and thrown into foster care.
Now we’ve transitioned into the phase in which people announce on social media that they can decide who is allowed to live in South Pasadena, with public calls for purges and expulsions:
Richard Cheney made an obnoxious and aggressive choice. No one has the authority to exile him. People who fantasize about doing so are dangerous people.
Demands that the government investigate religious faith. Demands that children be taken from parents of political enemies. Demands for purges of people who engage in thoughtcrime. Vile public degradation of black and Latina police officers. We’re living through a moral panic, and one that reminds me more and more often of the McMartin pre-school hysteria. It is intensifying, and will continue to intensify, and will drag more and more people down. This week, South Pasadena is a white supremacist banana republic. Where does that go? What’s the trajectory? What does our community look like after six more months of this hate and rage and open lust for ideological purges and inquisitions?
You say you’re tolerant. What do you mean?
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