San Diego Officials Endure Vile, Racist Attacks at Another Unhinged Board Meeting
Another San Diego County Board of Supervisors meeting went completely off the rails last week, making national headlines. The subject was, of course, vaccines. And the public comments were vile.
“You should resign, [Nora] Vargas. I can’t wait for your arteries to clog. They’re not doing it fast enough. And Nathan [Fletcher], you should kill yourself… a dishonorable discharge would be you blowing your brains out,” said attendee Jason Robo, who has since lost an unpaid radio gig in Humboldt County.
“Lawson-Remer, I like to call you a little monkey. I’d like to see you hang from a tree. And Wooten, you’re a f***ing Aunt Jemima.”
Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer, is Black.
The meeting could have gone worse. Just two days prior, Robo allegedly drove drunk into the outdoor dining area of a local restaurant and pepper sprayed the manager. At least there was no violence at the Board meeting.
Civil rights advocates have called for new policies to rein in these sort of vicious attacks. Rev. Shane Harris of the People’s Association of Justice Advocates has created a proposal that would ban overt racism and establish a three strikes policy for people who make racist comments at public meetings.
County officials must tread lightly when it comes to the protection of free speech. But they weren’t silent in the face in Robo’s rant. Supervisor Nora Vargas shut down his racist ‘Aunt Jemima’ attack. That same night, Board Chairman Nathan Fletcher had another attendee removed for repeated disruptions.
“So much of what these meetings have devolved into is this type of sport or game to see how vulgar or outrageous or offensive you can be,” Fletcher said. “It’s vile, and it’s disgusting, and it’s outrageous and it contributes nothing to what we’re doing.”