Tag Archives: civil rights

Some Wisdom from Austin Petersen

People say that if you’re a male, you shouldn’t have an opinion on abortion. That logic doesn’t hold up of course, because weenie liberals don’t have guns, but they sure have a lot of opinions on how other people shouldn’t own them. Except for cops of course. Only cops should have guns, even though liberals think all cops are evil, white racists because ‪#‎liberallogic‬

Austin Petersen (commentator and candidate for President)

Equality Should Be a Bipartisan Issue

Its unfortunate that Republicans basically oppose anything positive to LGBT people, even though Democrats sadly chase away businesses where they are moving to Texas and overseas for their business needs. I feel frustrated that Democrats may kill the business climate in California, but Republicans fail to understand that they do not live in Alabama.

No matter if it is Seth’s Law (AB 9), FAIR Education Act (SB 48) or Foster Youth: LGBT Cultural Competency (AB 1856) Republican Party legislators generally run from these issues like the plague even though there is more acceptance of the community in our state and nation.

Since equality organizations sadly put their eggs in one basket, it helps to create the climate where the Republicans do not want the votes from equality supporters. Due to Top 2, equality supporters can make a difference. We could vote for the less noxious of candidates when it is a two Republican race and make these candidates fight for our votes.

I am not expecting politicians to suddenly becoming allies overnight, but as what Bob Dylan wrote awhile back, “The Times They Are A-Changin”. I do not really want to vote for Norma Torres, but I feel like voting for the Republican Kenny Coble will be a tough sell for me. Sadly with no ability for a write-in vote I will leave my vote blank.

I want a politician that will help bring back business, leave our state in fiscal sanity and respect me as a person. If he or she can not support something as simple as Seth’s Law or make foster care a welcoming environment for youth who get rejected by society, then how can I trust them? I do not want to wait for California to end up declaring bankruptcy before we get Republicans embracing equality, but maybe that is what will need to happen.

As what I have stated earlier, politics is about addition. If Republicans openly want support and votes from equality campaigners and Latino voters we might see California finally shining again.

Discrimination Sucks

Even though California voters defeated a ban on LGBT educators from teaching in 1978, and California legislators wrote legislation against employment discrimination of LGBT employees in the public and private sectors, discrimination still does happen. Even though it may not be obvious, it does happen under the table.

There is an infamous case of employment discrimination in Covina, California in the Charter Oak Unified School District. A water polo assistant coach Mitch Stein got dismissed because a parent objected to photos in the assistant coach’s Facebook profile. Just because he associates with drag queens and eats corndogs in ‘suggestive’ ways does not mean that he should be thrown out instantaneously. Even Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann ate corndogs in ‘suggestive’ ways as well when they were campaigning in Iowa.

There is a double standard in the school district where if a straight teacher or staff member gets married it gets advertised on the school electronic billboard, but if you announce it to your students you get yelled to keep your personal life quiet.

Former Assistant Coach Stein was doing great, parents and students both loved his coaching ability. But a jilted parent who was upset that his kid was taken off the team retaliated by sending a missive  to the principal of the school. Unfortunately there is a double standard where straight people have one standard and LGBT people have another standard in this school district.

Hopefully there will be an amicable resolution at Charter Oak High School and the school district itself. Discrimination sucks and is a violation of the law in our state.

Maybe Russia Needs Some Loving

It is unfortunate that Russia clamps down on freedom of speech than what the United States and Canada would permit. Civil rights used to be good for the gay and lesbian community for Russians after the fall of the Communist Party, but Vladimir Putin and his friends in the Russian Orthodox Church do not agree.

Americans are lucky people, we can protest almost anything except when you are participating in Occupy Wall Street demonstrations when you question the robber barons that dominate the American economy that make law enforcement behave like their cousins in China and Russia.

In Moscow they have tried for almost ten years to get authorization to have a gay pride parade in their city, but law enforcement has struck them down.  In St.Petersburg Russia, the government has made a law that any gay promotion would either cause jail time, a fine or both that Russia’s famous equality activist Nikolai Alexeyev got fined almost $170 for stating that homosexuality is not a perversion.

Luckily most of America is fair minded to make sure we do not turn into Russia, but we have to carefully be cautious to make sure we do not elect a congress that would promote laws against freedom of expression. I have a solution that would help send the message to the Russian people is that we need to send our pride parades in the United States and other western nations such as Canada and the United Kingdom to send their marchers to the Russian embassies and consulates to tell their government enough is enough.

Pride parades are not just for a good time, it is also for political action. It is time for Russian authorities to receive some  loving. Russia needs some fierce demonstrations.

The Class Act Is Not Exactly FAIR

I bet the San Bernardino County Democratic Party would love to have me instead of Ray Moors in their party right now. However, I will cringe hard in either major political party. I honestly may agree with the Republicans half the time, but when it comes to civil rights issues I have to be chugging the antacid pills when I attend the meetings at the San Bernardino County Republican Party. I bet Ray is feeling like an outcast in the Democratic Party right now.

I do not feel enthusiastic in participating in my local county and state Republican parties because they do not understand how to deal with groups such as Latinos and the gays. Even though the Democratic Party does not know how to balance a budget to save their lives in Sacramento, the Republican Party alienates more voters than they attempt to reach out to in California. The Republican revolution of 2010 failed in California. If Steve Cooley only refused to defend Prop 8 and supported marijuana users we would have had our only victory.

I am writing this column today in response to a letter the San Bernardino County Republican party issued in their support of the CLASS Act to repeal SB 48.

Republicans may be concerned that teachers and students are prohibited from using examples or language that would be not be adverse about the individual being studied. However we have to be tactful about what language we use because it can affect the students because they may be part of a demographic group discussed.

Being LGBT is not like switching religions or catching the flu, either you are or you are not. Watching a KD Lang concert will not make young girls want to drive Subaru and play in softball leagues. The goal of SB 48 is to show that there are LGBT people in history and many of them did great things such as save a president’s life from assassination, help Martin Luther King in his quest for civil rights for African Americans and to help in the formation of computer science. Maybe with a more holistic presentation of history it would help make students worldlier, so we can have respect for all students no matter what group or culture they may belong to.

Continue reading The Class Act Is Not Exactly FAIR

Pro SB 48 Letter I Wrote

This letter may be edited in the newspaper, but this is what I submitted.

Ignorance, prejudice and fear walk hand in hand for those who want to strip out the information about the accomplishments of the LGBT community from the recently passed SB 48. The proponents for the repeal drive do not want the sunlight of information to humanize the LGBT community in our schools so they can use the community as a means to dehumanize and demean these individuals for political power and contributions.

Unfortunately the proponents believe that just knowing about LGBT people will make people become LGBT. Knowing about gay people is not going to make you want to be gay, either you are or you are not. Because of ignorance we have a lack of understanding or compassion. Fear leads to bullying and harassment in our school house walls. If we want kids to not be fearful of being beaten up or intimidated we should do our best to make our schools safe. When students are confident and happy, they perform well by giving themselves better grades.

Matt Munson

Ontario, California

Fiat Lux the Brutality.

Recently demonstrators have protested at UC Berkley and UC Davis and the behavior of the UC Police Department makes me embarrassed that the University of California is endorsing the excessive force that their police department has used on their campus.

The police brutality in Fullerton California has led towards greater awareness of the issue of police brutality, it has helped lead towards more people being wary of our law enforcement. Police brutality on the UC system is not just an issue with the Occupy protesters, but it is a systematic problem that has happened from the fee hike protests of recent years.

Since the UC system is having fiscal difficulties due to our state budget crisis, it would be in great interest for the chancellors, UC President and the UC Regents to learn how to work with the students better instead of losing money from lawsuits and alumni closing their wallets due to these incidents.

If students were using clubs and throwing grenades to the police then yes, I could understand a violent response. However these individuals were using the same methods of Martin Luther King and Gandhi to demonstrate for the issues they care about. Just as how the police in the southern states used fire hydrants on the black civil rights protesters, it is only going to radicalize and increase the number of supporters for the Occupy movement.

Sadly I thought we were the United States, but more and more we are becoming a carbon copy of Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Crony corporatism, the lack of freedom of expression such as how opposition candidates and gay rights advocates get the same abuse as the Occupy protesters makes the comparison all so real.

For 2012, those who are concerned about the issues of the day should get mobilized in the ballot box so we could change the establishment for the better by running for office or teaming up with someone else who is so we can make the government work for the common people.

If the UC Regents and its chancellors fail to change tactics on non-violent resisters then it is up to the state legislature to write policy for them.

Republicans Distracted From Their Priorities

A letter submitted to my local newspaper:

Ignorance, prejudice and fear rise hand and hand in the Republican Party. It makes me embarrassed that the establishment of the party I belong to would rather bash their fellow Americans than to do the job they were supposed to do when they got the majority in the House of Representatives.

I thought the Republican Party was supposed to be working on the budget deficit, job creation and decrease the size of government. But I guess the Republicans would rather deal with wedge issues to distract the American People such as treating LGBT people like unequal Americans with the Defense of Marriage Act.

Government sanctioned animus against a population is clearly unacceptable. Perhaps more job creation can happen when DOMA gets stricken down from the courts or repealed thru legislation than Speaker Boehner’s full employment program for lawyers to defend DOMA.

Governor Daniels of Indiana is right; we should focus on the economy first, and then worry about issues such as abortion or making LGBT people second class citizens after we fix the economy.

/s

Matthew Munson

Ontario, California

I Can Not Be Civil

Dear Governor,

I may not be Hawaiian, but your decision is the opposite of Aloha and I hope your Lt.Governor loses this November.

Even if we did not call partnerships marriage you still do not believe we LGBT people are equal and we can not remain civil due to this.

I hope people visit more affirming islands like the British Isles as their vacation destination.

I guess you killed your political career goodbye,

/s