Sunday, June 4, 2017

Will Orange County Finally Say No to the Orange County Human Relations Commission/Council?

                                                      Rusty Kennedy in his (hopefully) soon-to-be former office

For a few years now, the Orange County Board of Supervisors has debated the question of defunding its biggest white elephant,  the Orange County Human Relations Commission and a 6-figure salary for Rusty the Empty Suit Kennedy, a man who has been feeding at the public trough his entire adult life. It was my understanding that the board had decided to phase out funding after a couple of years, but I guess they changed their minds because they are still debating it.

This time they are examining the dual roles of the OCHRC with its private sister bureaucracy, the Orange County Human Rights Council, which is supposed to operate with private funding. When you've been in the bureaucracy as long as Kennedy, you learn how to construct these complicated webs at the public's expense. Now Kennedy wants money to fund new staffing positions for the private Council to place  three of its members on the public Commission.

If you are confused, it's called entangling.

According to the above link, the Council raises $1.6 million a year but $1.3 million of that goes to salaries and expenses. 

On Tuesday, this question will be debated at the Board of Supervisors meeting in Santa Ana, which is open to the public. True to form, Kennedy is enlisting his pals to come and plead his case.

"Orange County staff called us yesterday to inform us that if the Board of Supervisors does not approve our winning bid to provide staff support to the OC Human Relations Commission, our nonprofit (the OC Human Relations Council) will be evicted from our office in a matter of days on July 1, 2017" 

In contrast, one OC resident has a different take. Here is what Barry Forman ( a friend and colleague) has written to the Board of Supervisors:

"We urge the Orange County Board of Supervisors to defund and separate the non-profit Orange County Human Relations Council (OCHRC) from the government run Orange County Human Relations Commission.  The two groups currently share executive members, web-site and funding.  Even if the The OCHRC were doing a wonderful job it is remains HIGHLY inappropriate for a non-profit group that answers to its leaders and donors to be entangled with the similarly named government Commission.  The Commission must answer to the Board of Supervisors and ultimately to the voters.  The Council has no such mandate and therefore the current relationship and funding of the Council usurps the power of the people.
To make matters worse the Council is not doing a fair and unbiased job.  Ironically, the Council itself has been a source of bigotry in Orange County.  As one example, the Council has consistently refused to intervene on matters promoted by certain local extremist organizations including The Muslim Student's Union and the Student's for Justice in Palestine, both at UC Irvine.  These groups have committed a series of hate crimes/incidents that have been documented in national and international newspapers as well as the local paper of record, the Orange County Register.  One incident included a 2011 conviction by the Orange County DA for illegally disrupting a public meeting held by Christian and Jewish Students.  How is it possible that the local DA can convict a group for bias-inspired crimes, yet the Council remained silent on this issue (and all similar incidents through the years).  The latest bias-based disruption by these groups occurred just a few weeks ago on May 10, 2017 (video).  As seen in the video, the group proudly admits to disrupting this event even though such disruptions are a violation of California Penal Code 403.  Extremists groups are entitled to express their opinion.  However, California Penal Code 403 makes it illegal for them to prevent others from expressing theirs.  Again the Council was silent when this crime was committed against Christians, Jews and any American who wanted to take part in these events.
The FBI has determined that anti-Semitic hate crimes are the number 1 hate crime committed against any religious group and UC Irvine itself has determined that Jewish students are the most aggrieved students on their campus, yet the Council remains silent year after year (UCI report, page 64).  In contrast, the Council has been outspoken on many other issues involving other groups.  By definition, bigotry is the act of treating one group differently than others. The OCHRC has thus acted with bias and bigotry.
As another example, in 2011 the Council awarded Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi it's "Community Leader Award".  Siddiqui is an Imam at the local Garden Grove Mosque that radicalized Orange County's home grown terrorist Adam Gadahn and Siddiqui invited the Blind Sheik to preach Jihad at his mosque in Orange County. The Blind Sheikh was a close associate of Osama bin Laden, was involved in the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and was convicted in the World Trade Center Bombings.
It is incomprehensible that certain members of the OC Board of Supervisors, including Todd Spitzer, could propose $756,000 in funding to an organization that usurps voter authority and gives awards to individuals who commit assassination and killing of US citizens in the name of religion.

We urge The Orange County Board of Supervisors to immediately defund and divest from the The Orange County Human Relations Council."

Barry Forman

Here is what I have written to the Board of Supervisors:

Dear Supervisors, 
My name is Gary Fouse. I am a resident of Lake Forest, and from 1998-2016 was 
a part-time teacher at UC Irvine. I may not be able to make next Tuesday's 
meeting in which you will discuss the OCHRC, so I would like to send you my thoughts 
in writing. 
While I am not able to address the specific issue in question, I have 
definite thoughts on the value (or lack thereof) of the OCHRC (be it Commission or 
Council). In my view, this organization has for too long been a drain on the 
tax-payers with very little to show for it. I am fully aware that the OC 
Supervisors have been debating the continued funding  for this white elephant 
for several years. I have spoken at a few of these meetings. 
During my time at UC Irvine, I became aware of campus anti-semitism happening 
on our campus as part of the pro-Palestinian movement and its sponsored events. 
Though I am not Jewish, I know how dangerous anti-semitism is and where it 
leads.  For 10 years now, I have been attending and videotaping these events,
many of which have featured speakers who  not only trash Israel, but Jews as 
In 2008, I wrote a letter to Rusty Kennedy complaining about this problem at 
UCI. I also criticized the university administration for their negligence in 
confronting the problem in spite of numerous complaints of harassment by 
Jewish students. Mr Kennedy's response to me was sharply worded taking me to task 
for criticizing the university itself. Mr Kennedy also told me in general terms 
of all the great work his agency has done on campus in this issue. Yet, I have 
never seen them on campus during the annual anti-Israel week of events. With 
all of the incidents that have happened at UCI involving Jewish and 
pro-Palestinian students, many of which I personally witnessed, the OCHRC to 
my knowledge has never gotten involved-certainly not to defend Jewish students 
under attack on campus. 
Instead, the OCHRC is, in my view, a politically-correct agency that is 
interested in only in certain types of hate incidents. When it comes to 
anti-semitism at UCI, they have been missing in action. 
And what do they produce to justify this huge investment -not to mention Mr 
Kennedy's six- figure salary? They produce a thin pamphlet every year with 
charts and graphs. They hold some feel-good events, and if anything bad 
happens, Mr Kennedy is Johnny-on-the-spot to make a statement. 
Don't get me wrong; I want Orange County to have harmonious relations between 
the various ethnic and religious communities. I myself am married to a 
Mexican immigrant. For the most, I think relations in the county are pretty good. We 
don't need this agency to keep relations on an even keel. If you want to 
argue that the county has serious problems in relations between the various groups, 
then I would counter that the OCHRC has failed to ameliorate the problem. 
Whatever this white elephant agency is asking for now, I hope you will look 
at it with a skeptical eye. 
 Thank you for your attention. 
 Gary Fouse 
No doubt, Rusty's cohorts will come out Tuesday to argue that without the OCHRC+C, Orange County will descend into one big race war, but this is not Los Angeles. We can get along just fine without Rusty and his annual charts and graphs (which I don't believe anyway). If any of you readers live in Orange County, think about writing to the Board of Supervisors.

* Here is a link to a petition you can sign.

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