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Fri, Feb

When One Is Not Safe, No One Is Safe

VOICES

THE VIEW FROM HERE - Like Marshal Tito in Yugoslavia, former Mayor Eric Garcetti kept racist factionalism out of government.  That’s “racism” with a lower case “r,” which includes all discrimination and group-based hate, e.g., the Catholic League’s homophobia.  Promoting anti-Gay bigotry while raping children is not a new phenomenon.  The entire world knows that the Catholic Church, which is extremely cooperative with the bigots in the Catholic League May 15, 2023, LA Times, Opinion: Who will Catholics follow? Pope Francis or the right-wing U.S. Bishops?, has been forced to pay billions of dollars for its decades of rape of young boys. Worse yet, the church hierarchy’s protected the rapists by moving them from parish to parish from county to country so that they could continue to prey upon unsuspecting youngsters.  Aug 25, 2018 Newsweek. The Catholic Church Has Paid Nearly $4 Billion over Sexual Abuse Claims, Group Says, By Emily Zogbi. 

If the Catholic Church truly had a scintilla of remorse for its decades, if not centuries, of predatory abuse, it would condemn Bill Donohue and the Catholic League’s persistent lies about Gays and its ceaseless efforts to shove Gays out of public life.  Not surprisingly, Archbishop Gomez’s is silent about this wanton bigotryNovember 4, 2021 speech Madrid, Spain  

Archbishop Gomez is not Alone 

Sad to say, the city of Los Angeles has joined the hypocrites by abandoning perhaps the only good thing Eric Garcetti had done – he kept racism out of public life. 

Mayoral candidate Rick Caruso brought bigotry into the race by accusing candidate Karen Bass of supporting Scientology.  Notice that Caruso did not allude to a particular member or even a leader of Scientology who may have engaged in untoward behavior, but rather he defamed the entire religion.  Caruso thought that Karen Bass’s simply addressing the group was so harmful that it disqualified her from being mayor.  What did Karen Bass do?  She apologized for addressing Scientologists!    

“When Rick Caruso introduced his anti-Scientologist religious bigotry into the campaign, Karen Bass did not speak against such divisive prejudice, but rather her defense was to pile on about how bad Scientologists were and excuse herself for not recognizing the evil sooner.” January 12, 2023, How the Mayor Flunked Her First Major Test. 

Did any of the established anti-prejudice groups complain about Caruso? Did The ACLU, did the ADL, did the American Jewish Committee (AJC), did the Jewish Federation Council (JFC), did Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), did the Urban League, did any Gay group, did the Mormons?  If anyone did speak out against the bigotry, please tell me. 

Maybe, people will claim that the Scientology flap came and went so quickly that they didn’t have time to respond. But, how do they respond to the orgy of false charges against three Los Angeles councilmembers as being anti-Black, when the tape showed that they supported every Black councilmember, were worried about Black Mark Ridley-Thomas’ legal troubles, supported Black Heather Hutt for MRT’s replacement, and worked with Danny Blackwell, editor of Los Angeles largest Black newspaper, The Sentinel, to help Blacks settle disputes among themselves.  The three clearly disliked white councilmember Mike Bonin and the manner in which he used his adopted Black son as a token. In a way that perhaps only racists can do, whoever released the audio tape perverted support for Blacks into anti-Black racism.  Everyone jumped on this obscene bandwagon to condemn the innocent councilmembers.  Los Angeles’ response to the libel against the Mexican councilmembers was reminiscent of the Dreyfus Affair in France which lasted from 1894 through 1906. Wiki  

One may forgive non-Jews for not being familiar with the Dreyfus Affair, but Los Angeles’ Jewish organizations may not use that excuse. Yet, everyone endorsed the Big Lie that the Mexican councilmembers were anti-Black, and everyone including Karen Bass condemned the councilmembers. At a mayoral forum hosted by the ADL, The AJC, and the JFC, the condemnation of the innocent was unanimous.  Recently, the Los Angeles Times even received a Pulitzer Prize for its libel of the three Mexican councilmembers. 

Which agency had the integrity to defend the innocent? None!  In the face of the mob’s screaming false charges of racism, Los Angeles had no heroes – not even the Simon Weisenthal Center. 

Cowardice Only Leads to More Bigotry 

What was the motivation behind releasing the audio tape and the False Narrative that the councilmembers were racist?  Leaving aside for a moment the fact that the making of the secret tape was a criminal act giving law enforcement jurisdiction, all Angelenos had the right to know who was interfering in the elections.  The most obvious culprit was Rick Caruso who was desperately behind in the polls and was making a bid for the Mexican vote.  Falsely defaming Mexicans as anti-Black might provoke a Mexican backlash against Black Karen Bass, making Caruso Mayor.  Another suspect was Council District 13 woker candidate Hugo Soto-Martinez who had serious political differences with other Mexicans in city government.  If he trashed them, it could enhance his power. 

A few facts:  Both Soto-Martinez and Caruso have sufficient contacts within the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor to have obtained the tape.  Caruso had the media clout to arrange for wide coverage of the False Narrative of anti-Black racism.  Caruso and Soto-Martinez have a coincidence of interest in additional densification of Los Angeles. People were too busy condemning the innocent to care that we all were being played. 

The false racism charges have done extreme harm. One would think Karen Bass would want to stand for truth, justice and the American way.  One would think that Rick Caruso would want his name cleared. One would think the same of Soto-Martinez, but the LAPD is silent. Why? The only feasible explanation is that powerful people have stopped the investigation. Three such powerful people come to mind: former police commissioner Rick Caruso, councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez and Mayor Karen Bass.  Even after Jason Reedy stalked, assaulted and battered councilmember Kevin de Leon, Karen Bass has stuck with the false narrative.   

Bigotry and Racism Won’t Stop with Gay Bashing 

Karen Bass has yet to speak out to protect Los Angeles’ Gay Community from the bigotry of the Catholic League.  Has the Jewish community forgotten that “when one is not safe, no one is safe.” 

When will Los Angeles agencies form a “When one is not safe, no one is safe” coalition?  Does Chabad believe that Gays should be excluded from public life? People who dress weirdly should be wary of shunning others for their garb. Are Scientologists unable to put away their feelings about Gays to join a coalition to keep bigotry out of public life?  Don’t be surprised when our lawns are littered with flyers peddling more anti-Semitic, anti-Gay, and anti-Scientologist tropes.  Don’t think the hate groups aren’t pleased with the cowardice of 95% of LA leadership. 

In our favor, Gay Pride weekend is June 11; Dodger Pride is June 16.  There is time for Los Angeles to unite and show, “None is alone in LA.  You attack one, you attack all.

(Richard Lee Abrams has been an attorney, a Realtor and community relations consultant as well as a CityWatch contributor.  You may email him at [email protected])