Much Concern About the County Human Relations Commission


Dr. John E. Warren, Publisher, The San Diego Voice & Viewpoint

By Dr. John E. Warren, Publisher

The San Diego County Human Relations Commission (HRC) appears to be stuck in a place that will render it dysfunctional and useless if corrective change is not undertaken.

The following is a clear example of the problem. This week’s HRC meeting received public comment concerning conflicts among the members of the Lemon Grove City Council and its Mayor that have resulted in specific name calling at the Mayor that would fit into allegations of “hate speech”, if reported. This represented the second such meeting in which the same remarks, with racial connotations, were directed at the Mayor, even though she was not present at this last meeting.

The Chairperson of the HRC was present, briefly, at the first Lemon Grove City Council meeting where the name calling was repeated, having been mentioned in a closed session before that public meeting. This week, instead of expressing any interest in this matter, the HRC focused on Bylaw drafts and changes intended to address speech in HRC meetings by fellow commissioners and, or, the public. There was a laser focus on the idea of offensive speech by fellow commission members and what the necessary number of votes should be to take formal action against such members. This was clearly related to ongoing concerns about a biblical statement made by fellow Commissioner Rev. Dennis Hodges in response to questions about a vote he abstained on. Related to this was a statement made in the public comment section of Tuesday’s meeting in which the President of the United African American Ministerial Action Council stated that the Biblical views expressed by Rev. Hodges were shared by his Association and hundreds of thousands of Bible believers around the county, the country and the world.

If the Commission, which is named after one of San Diego’s most tolerant and patient statesmen and who happens to be African American, can’t overcome its disagreement with one Commissioner, then it certainly can be of no value to this county and its diverse people with their many conflicting points of view. Perhaps the Board of Supervisors should disband this group and start all over with a view toward people who can work more inclusively, even when they disagree with each other’s speech. Let’s face it, if you can’t overcome speech, what’s left to talk about.

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  1. Tolerance, appears to be absent in the County Human Relations Commission. One’s’ faith was a strong consideration when appointing Rev Hodges. Is he expected to leave his faith at the door? As Christians we accept everyone, but don’t bend our faith to accept those actions against doctrine; mindful several denominations have adjusted themselves on same-sex issues “tolerance”. Don’t punish Rev Hodges, understand him.

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