Does disagreement with the policy prescriptions of the progressive Left – particularly when it comes to identity politics – make one “evil”?
Julio Perez, the executive director of the Orange County Labor Federation, seems to think so – judging by comments he made in April as a member of Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait’s Welcoming Anaheim immigration task force.
Toward the end of the meeting, after discussion among Tait and Councilman Jose F. Moreno about bringing a Welcoming Anaheim resolution and a “statement of values” to the city council, Perez brought the discussion back to the topic of an impending Anaheim City Council vote on sanctuary city status (Councilwoman Lucille Kring – who is opposed – requested it to settle the matter). Here’s what was said [it’s at the one hour and 22 minute mark of the meeting audio]:
Tom Tait: Julio, you had a point?
Julio Perez: That was a good summary. I think beyond saying what we’re not, it’s important to say who we are. And if we’re not ready to do the values component to it, it’s important to say we are a Welcoming City and we are part of a Welcoming America. And you had asked a question earlier about is it good or bad to vote [sanctuary city status for Anaheim] up or down. The fact is when people are evil they’re gonna use whatever you do and say against you. So, for example I was personally hit politically in a right-wing political blog for my comments in this space last month. So people that want to mess with you will still do it. So as long as we all are in good faith that we wanna advance social justice and actually welcome people to our fair city then we just need to march on regardless of the political hits that we’re gonna be taking because people are evil and that’s them sleeping at night. SO as long as we can all sleep at night and say we’re trying to do what’s best for all of Anaheim then we’re good with it. Let’s just move forward. [Emphasis added]
Tait: For the common good.
And that was it. No one in the room had any comment on Perez unkind;y condemning as “evil” people who disagree with his immigration politics – and he clearly counts me among the evil for accurately quoting his comments at a previous Welcoming Anaheim meeting.Mind you, several task force members in the room were various progressive people of faith who had plenty to say about how disturbed they were about Kring’s decision to bring the sanctuary city issue to the council dais. But when Perez smeared those with different politics as “evil” – crickets. Not even a “Hey Julio – that’s not a very kind or welcoming or inclusive thing to say.” Just Mayor Tait’s tacit agreement and weird, inappropriate exhortation “for the common good.”
Perez’ j’accuse is another example of the Left’s reflexive tendency to demonize others over political differences (not to mention draining the word “evil” of meaning by using it so carelessly). Being opposed rapid, easy citizenship for illegal immigrants or sanctuary city status isn’t a difference of opinion – it renders one evil and presumably unable to sleep at night. Not to me
If nothing else, Perez’ eruption and the non-response from his fellow task force members should give readers an idea of where this body is coming from ideologically and where it is heading in terms of policy recommendations.