We don’t argue that Mayor Lisa Gillmor has the right to free speech — even on her City Twitter feed. But we would hope that she wouldn’t disgrace Santa Clara. Unfortunately, Mayor Lisa Gillmor is doing just that when she Tweets links to Santa Clara’s Safe Space for Bigots, fired Weekly employee and former 49ers leading cheerleader (along with Gillmor) Robert Haugh’s blog.
This isn’t really surprising because Gillmor — along with former Council Member Teresa O’Neill and Related lobbyist Jude Barry — was a founding mother of this blog. And boy, is it an ugly baby.
If your commentary is too bigoted, boorish, vulgar or infantile to be published on the comments and letters pages of any respectable publication, you can be sure to find a warm welcome at Haugh’s Hangout at Santa Clara News dot org.
Recently, the Mayor saw fit to Tweet a link to a Haugh post with the observation “This is why it’s important to have an alternative news source in Santa Clara.” ‘Alternative,’ in this case presumably means alternatives to facts and reasoned, civil discussion.
The post that Gillmor linked to featured this “alternative” from one of Haugh’s pals:
There goes the whiny baby Anthony Becker again,” commented user Becker is a Punk. Anthony is a piece of crap that’s never been able to hold a job in his life. True! …Anthony Becker says people are racist against him, he’s one of the whitest person [sic] I’ve ever seen. True!
On the same post, commentor Richard continued in the same vein, noting, I don’t believe white trash is a race. Therefore Anthony Becker cannot claim racism…Perhaps Anthony should have his testosterone checked.”
Haugh vets all the comments by his fans published on his blog. Nothing gets published without his active involvement. If you doubt this, try posting comments that deviate from Gillmor dogma.
Here’s a sampling — a bouquet, you might call it — of comments posted over just the last few months:
How many $$ did Konda get from York to destroy Santa Clara in the name of oh what was his Lame excuse? Diversity? commented Cali Line on Dec. 14.
Stand Up District 6 posted on Dec. 8 that District 6 crapped the bed by voting in Anthony Becker.
Suds Jain is a piece of [turd emoji], posted FORMER Supporters of Suds Jain on Nov. 24.
Becker First! commented on Nov. 22, Our special needs schoolteacher Karen Hardy seems to be having [sic] a drug reaction or something. Seems drunk. Hardy is a high school math and computer science teacher and has led Wilcox high school’s champion robotics team.
I Told You So responded, I knew a special needs council member was a bad idea. This is a surprising one for Haugh to publish, as he has told people his daughter has special needs.
On Dec. 8, What a Pair of Idiots — some might call this an aptly chosen pen name for Haugh’s posey — added the bloom of religious bigotry, writing, Both Becker and Hardy are a couple of aholes. Karen can’t hide behind her being a teacher or her religion, she is not for her neighbors or Santa Clara.
The centerpiece of this posse of bigotry and vulgarity came from Tommy, who wrote on Dec. 6:
Many of us do not want to apologize for the voting rights issue. Asians were never discriminated against, and now because of the old Japanese guy we are stuck with District elections. This has resulted in a city council filled with weak members that do not share the values of our community. Thankfully Watanabe won or we would have three council members from India…Why are we even wasting time on this issue? Let’s focus on keeping SB9 out of Santa Clara and all of the newcomers that come with it.
That “old Japanese guy” is, of course, Wesley Mukoyama, a Chicago native and long-time Santa Clara resident who describes being “harassed every Pearl Harbor Day” when he was in high school. Mukoyama served his country in the Peace Corps and worked more than 25 years for the VA and continues to volunteer for the Santa Clara County Senior Care Commission.
Talk is cheap, as the cliché goes. Gillmor can mouth whatever words she wants about diversity, openness, multiculturalism and inclusion; form a plethora of task forces, committees and commissions; institute an “awareness” month for all 12 months of the year.
But it’s all just window dressing concealing the ugly reality that Gillmor, Haugh and all their camp followers — including fired City Attorney Brian Doyle — stood in the schoolhouse door to preserve an all-white, Old Boys city council in a minority-majority city in one of the most diverse regions of one of the most diverse states in the U.S.
Haugh’s Safe Space for Bigots, and Gillmor’s very public embrace of it, makes it crystal clear that this antiquated band will continue the fight to recapture their antebellum Santa Clara.