For Immediate Release
For More Information: C. William Wood, Chair, 949-338-3713, Rusty Kennedy, Executive Director 714-567-7465
OC Human Relations Commission Calls for a Return to Civility in Reaction to Muslim Charity Speakers and Protests
The Orange County Human Relations Commission was created in 1971 to promote mutual understanding among Orange County residents and eliminate the causes of prejudice, intolerance and discrimination.
On March 10, 2011 at the regularly scheduled meeting of the Commission the speakers and protests at a Muslim charity event held on February 13 at the Yorba Linda Community Center were discussed and the Commission voted to issue a statement.
The Orange County Human Relations Commission:
1. Sends our empathy and support to the Muslim children who attended this event with their families, and were subjected to hateful and bigoted insults. The Commission feels that there is no reason to insult each other when differences of opinion occur, and compounding the inappropriateness of those bigoted and hateful insults by directing them at children is inexcusable.
2. Commends the City of Yorba Linda and their police department for the way they handled these contentious events, protecting the rights of all parties, and creating a safe environment for these highly emotional conflicts to play out peacefully.
3. Commends one of the leaders of the rally who apologized publicly for the atrocious behavior of the hecklers, even though she was not associated with them and did not know them. This gracious apology acknowledges that what these families and children were subjected to by the hecklers, was wrong.
4. Calls on the passionate hecklers who deliver their opinions with such raw emotion, to take a deep breath and look at themselves and their behaviors and recognize that their inappropriate actions hurt their own cause. A more civil debate is a more constructive avenue to promote a perspective in a democratic society.
5. Calls on leaders who speak to large groups and have many people who listen to their words, to tamp down the generalizations that vilify whole groups of people based on the actions of a few. Step back from their colorful, emotionally laden language so that fringe elements of our community don’t feel emboldened to act out their bigotry with hate crimes.
6. Calls on organizations and groups to shun speakers whose hateful rhetoric and violent innuendo polarizes people, scapegoats whole groups for the actions of a few, and incites bigotry and violence.
7. Calls on perpetrators of hate crime to stop their threats against leaders and crimes against individuals.
8. Calls on all Orange County residents, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Sikh, White, Latino, Black, Asian, Gay, Straight, Disabled, men, women, children, young and old, to come together to condemn these acts of bigotry.
Orange County Human Relations Commission
1300 S. Grand, Bldg B, Santa Ana, CA 92705
Bill Wood Chair
Ken Inouye Vice Chair
Chief Dave Maggard
Ki Hong Park
Vincent De Vargas