Mailbag: Flag decision raises the veil
In her column “Huntington Beach move to narrow flag rules is about exclusion” (Daily Pilot, Feb. 26), Patrice Apodaca performs the remarkable feat of being on-point and missing the point at the same time. While correctly diagnosing the illness of intolerance and insensitivity exhibited by the Huntington Beach City Council majority, she misses the cure (excising the problem). Yes, the rationale put forth by the council majority and its defenders regarding the proposed flag ordinance was fallacious. Yes, the proposed ordinance was divisive and disrespectful. Yes, it was errant and ill-advised. But it was intentional. It was ideological. And, no amount of reason or remonstrance will change this council majority’s outlook.
Now we know, and early on, what a mess a hornswoggled Surf City electorate bent on change and protest has caused for our city and our citizenry. In addition to acting in an arbitrary and authoritarian manner to shove their political dogma down our throats, our new masters seem wholly incapable of addressing our civic concerns and needs constructively. Will they solve homelessness and housing issues? Of course not. Will they make our city safer and more prosperous? I doubt it. Will they strive to make our city more unified, inclusive and tolerant? We know the answer to that.
The main issue of the Pride flag is problematic for a group that has co-opted the American flag to project their own twisted view of patriotism. Their symbol has less in common with the red, white and blue than it does with the red, white and black. The Pride flag represents what most citizens espouse as Americans in representing our democratic ideals. That would never appeal to the homogenized vision of the MAGA-style crowd running our local government now.
Patrice Apodaca is right to call the motives and moves of the new Huntington Beach City Council majority into question. However, the cure may be some years away when and if it is fully understood, the problem eliminated at the ballot box, and the Surf City electorate has awakened to appreciate vibrant diversity instead of forced uniformity.
Good points, Patrice. But these four new members of the City Council represent more than just exclusion. They represent Republican ideals at the local level. It started with Tito Ortiz, a Trump supporter, who felt pressured to resign. Rejection of the Pride flag is a tenet of the united Republican goal of attacking ethnic differences that conservatives see as threatening white majority rule. I was one of the Huntington Beach voters who failed to vet Tito Ortiz, so I cannot disparage voters who voted for the well-financed campaign avalanche of Tony Strickland, Gracey Van Der Mark, Pat Burns, and Casey McKeon, who represented another well-financed “save Surf City” force behind the earlier failed recall of non-conservative council members.
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