Failure to Repudiate Hate Speech and Threats of Violence Condones Them

Sean H. Mill - Photo: Chris Prevatt/LiberalOC

Councilman Sal Tinajero - Photo: Chris Prevatt/LiberalOC

A week ago the Santa Ana City Council approved the appointment by Councilman Sal Tinajero of Sean H. Mill to the Planning Commission. Appointments to city commissions are at their core are political appointments. A council member has every right to appoint who he or she sees fit to appoint. The selection of appointees will reflect upon that member’s own judgment and character as an elected official. With rare exception, it is understood that city council’s approve the selection of appointments made by a single member. 

That practice of consent however is not an excuse for silence in the face of overwhelming evidence of conduct which an individual member finds inappropriate or unacceptable. The act of threatening physical violence or engaging in hate speech is an occasion that calls for and demands comment. In the case of Sean H. Mill’s appointment to the Planning Commission, there is no question or doubt as to the statements he has made. There is no question that his behavior has been bigoted and threatening.

By consenting to Mill’s appointment to the Santa Ana Planning Commission without comment, Mayor Miguel Pulido, Council members Vincent Sarmiento, Claudia Alvarez, and Michele Martinez failed to distance themselves from his actions and character.

Councilmember Tinajero has personally demonstrated that he not only condones threats of violence against individuals, he engages in such behavior himself. But words and speech have consequences. As we have seen over the past weekend with the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Giffords and murder of 6 others in Arizona, there are crazy people out there. Crazy people who will take words and imagery to heart and consider it license to harm and even kill.

Councilman Bustamante questions Sean Mill - Photo: Chris Prevatt/LiberalOC

Councilman David Benavides - Photo: Chris Prevatt/LiberalOC

Two members of the Council demonstrated that they refuse to consider Mill’s behavior as acceptable for a city commissioner. Councilmen David Benavides and Carlos Bustamante demonstrated their disgust at Mill’s behavior and voted against the appointment of Sean H. Mill. Their action will, as history has demonstrated, likely result in the wrath of members Tinajero, Alvarez, and Martinez. Such wrath will probably take the form of rejecting any appointees that Councilmen Bustamante and Benavides nominate for the foreseeable future, or by blocking any initiative or proposal they make, no matter how beneficial to the city, from consideration.

To accept and approve the appointment of Sean H. Mill to the Planning Commission, without even saying a word about the inappropriateness of his behavior or its incompatibility with public service as an appointed commissioner, is quite simply inexcusable.

At the council meeting Mayor Pulido acknowledged that he knew exactly what Mill has written and done. He demonstrated that knowledge by stopping Claudio Gallegos during his public remarks to caution him to not speak the profanity Mill had written. But other than that, Mayor Pulido said and did nothing to repudiate the statements Mill has made. He made no effort to caution that such words have consequences. One can only presume that through his own inaction, Mayor Pulido condones and agrees with those comments and actions.

Mayor Miguel Pulido - Photo: Chris Prevatt/LiberalOC

Councilman Vincent Sarmiento - Photo: Chris Prevatt/LiberalOC

Mayor Pulido and Assemblyman Jose Solorio have been promoting in political circles Councilman Sarmiento as their pick to replace Solorio in the Assembly when his term expires. Sarmiento’s silence is particularly disturbing given his desire for this higher office. The failure to recognize the significance of the inappropriate actions of Sean H. Mill represents a cognitive disconnect between Sarmiento’s personal values and his actions. His failure to take the significant, yet simple, step of repudiating the comments and actions of Sean H. Mill and cautioning him that such actions while holding office would have consequences grants Mill the “Sarmiento Seal of Approval.”

It is only a matter of time before Sean H. Mill demonstrates once more that he lacks the temperament to hold the respected office of Commissioner for the City of Santa Ana. Unfortunately, based upon the actions, or lack thereof, of the current council majority it is unlikely that any inappropriate words or actions from Sean H. Mill will have consequence for him.

Over the past several weeks some of the more objectionable commentary made by Sean H. Mill on two local blogs for which he writes/wrote have been erased. Last night we discovered that virtually every commentary Mill ever authored has been removed for those two publications.

Sean H. Mill - You've been ERASED!

The similarity to the attempts by right-wing pundits, commentators, radio hosts, and Sarah Palin, to erase hateful comments and dangerous symbolism from her websites and Facebook pages is almost comical and certainly disturbing. Disturbing that only now, after the senseless tragedy in Arizona, does Sean H, Mill have some idea that words have consequences.

  6 comments for “Failure to Repudiate Hate Speech and Threats of Violence Condones Them

  1. junior
    January 11, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Well written Chris.

    I would add that Mill’s friend and blogging partner Art Perdroza said:
    “Considering all the violence and crime in Mexico, Pulido will feel right at home! Moreover, it is likely that at some point he will be kidnapped or whacked while serving in Mexico. Perfect! We will be rid of him in Santa Ana, and he will be taken care of by criminals in Mexico. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

    That comment by Art Pedroza is bordering on criminal and certainly is an insane remark.

  2. January 11, 2011 at 11:02 am

    for which Pedroza chimes in and reminds you of your support for Prop 8; what Art neglects to mention is that his own wife supported Prop 8 too. But since she wasn’t “paid to hate” that must make it OK.

    The scrubbing of unflattering posts is proof of the slippery ethics of those who run this blog. If Vern really was/is in charge of this blog, it’s high time for him to man up and prove it. It’s simply the “Ministry of Truth” at work again.

  3. Steve
    January 11, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Scrubbing all those posts suggests a consciousness of guilt. There would be no need to do that if you’d spent the last several years of your life spreading cheer and goodwill.

  4. junior
    January 11, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    Please Dan – my position on Prop 8 compared to wishing for the murder of a human being are in no way a logical comparison.

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