Huntington Beach planning commissioner bashes Islam and 'leftists'

A Huntington Beach planning commissioner labeled Islam "a threat" in a YouTube video and has social media ties to the alt-right, a political movement popular among white supremacists.

In the Nov. 19 video, Michael Hoskinson criticizes Islam and a group of Jewish intellectuals, rails against "leftists," lectures about the dangers of political correctness and declares: "I think Islam is definitely a threat. I don't call it a religion at all."

He says later in the video that he doesn't know any gods "other than theirs that expressly says go kill anybody that doesn't think like you."

Toward the end of the video, he calls Keith Ellison, a Democratic congressman from Minnesota, a "creepy Muslim guy."

He has also used Twitter and Facebook to express similar points of view.

Online reaction has been swift.

"Unfit to serve," one person wrote on Facebook.

"Oh my! No he is not capable of unbiased deliberation," another post read.

Mayor Barbara Delgleize said Friday that she's received calls throughout the week from residents who are upset with Hoskinson's online activity and are demanding that he step down from the Planning Commission.

"Everybody has a right to freedom of speech, but I'm concerned because our residents are offended," Delgleize said. "For residents to pick up the phone to call speaks volumes. In Huntington Beach they demand certain behavior from their public officials."

Hoskinson, who works as a real estate broker and was appointed to the Planning Commission in 2014, said Tuesday in an email exchange with the Daily Pilot that he is not antagonistic toward Islam.

"After 9/11 I read the Koran and the Hadith to understand Islam," he wrote. "In the ensuing 15 years of cause and effect study I would consider myself to be a citizen who has valid concerns about Islam and the actions of some radical Muslims."

Hoskinson also said that his beliefs have never influenced his decisions as a commissioner.

"My work as a planning commissioner is solely based in the principles of land use," he wrote. "I'm proud of my service to the community."

On Feb. 2, Hoskinson retweeted a picture of a sign that read, "Everything I ever needed to learn about islam, I learned in five minutes on 9/11/2001." In the comment area of the tweet, it reads, "Sign of Truth!!"

On his Facebook page, Hoskinson posted on Nov. 14, 2015, "After 9/11 I read the Koran and came to an understanding of how dangerous Islam is to modern society."

He went on to pose the question, based on his interpretation of some of the scripture, "How can we ever trust any Muslim?"

In the YouTube video, Hoskinson speaks out against the Frankfurt School, a group of Jewish intellectuals from the 1920s.

Hoskinson can be heard saying that the group spread through the American college system like an "invasive disease," and "if I could go back in time, these would be the ones I'd take out. The world would be a much better place."

He also speaks out against "leftists" in general.

He can be seen pulling up a presentation slide showing a character from "The Walking Dead" television show posing with a baseball bat wrapped in wire. The character, named Negan, is known for bashing people to death with his bat. Hoskinson motioned to the picture and said, "I want to walk into a group of leftists, and I want them to see me like that."

Local blogger John Earl posted on Dec. 7, "The undercurrent to Hoskinson's PC monomania is a virulent anti-semitism that is thinly disguised in his lectures."

Councilman Erik Peterson, who appointed Hoskinson to the Planning Commission, said Thursday that he hadn't seen Hoskinson's social media posts and thus wasn't comfortable commenting on them. He said he will be discussing the comments with Hoskinson over the weekend.

Each council member appoints one commissioner to the seven member body.

Planning Commission Chairman Edward Pinchiff could not be reached despite multiple messages left on his phone.

On Nov. 13, Hoskinson tweeted a link to a video posted by a Twitter user named zeitgeist2o12, which features an overview alleging that many Jews contributed to the rise of communism and that "our societies and culture have drastically declined."

The video goes on to state that "a coalition of non-white, non-Westerners, students, feminist women and homosexuals would form the basis of the new cultural revolution," and "through their empowerment in society and through a systematic brainwashing process, they would be tools through which the traditional culture of the West could be subverted and destroyed."

Zeitgeist2o12 has posted videos of David Duke, a white supremacist and former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. One post reads, "Zionist/Jesuit/Islamic multicultural Marxism must be smashed in order to smash white genocide."

Hoskinson has also posted on his Facebook page a link to a video of Richard Spencer, a well-known member of the alt-right political faction.

The New York Times reported in November that Spencer "railed against Jews" and "quoted Nazi propaganda" at a conference in Washington.

In the video, Spencer laments being banned, along with other alt-right members, from Twitter. Hoskinson wrote above the link, "Thank you Frankfurt School."

Hoskinson said he does not align with the beliefs of either zeitgeist2o12 or Richard Spencer.

"From Black Lives Matter to Richard Spencer, I condemn any movement that holds racist beliefs," he wrote in an email to the Daily Pilot.

Last week, Hoskinson posted a statement on Facebook addressing his comments and social media activity.

benjamin.brazil@latimes.com

Twitter: @benbrazilpilot

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