June 1, 2023
Shasta County Board of Supervisors
1450 Court Street, Suite 308B
Redding, CA 96001-1673
Shasta County Board of Supervisors:
As United Methodists, we are committed to challenging unjust systems of power and access by standing against, speaking against, and working against racism. We abhor the racist hate speech used and condoned at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, May 30.
The fact that the Board of Supervisors did not stop the speaker immediately, admonish his use of such language, and remove him from the meeting is appalling.
When an audience member admonished the speaker for his hate speech, Mr. Jones asked the Sheriff to remove the audience member from the meeting. The Officer stated the gentleman had done nothing wrong and could not be removed. Mr. Jones then appeared to take the law into his own hands and had private security remove the audience member.
Mr. Jones’s behavior is unconscionable. He violated California Law, which forbids hate speech at public meetings, claiming it was acceptable under the pretense of freedom of speech. He disregarded the Board’s own rules for proper conduct by speakers, which are clearly written and given to each speaker.
Allowing hate speech in our government meetings sanctions such behavior and attitudes. It undermines public trust and confidence in our elected representatives. It promotes division within our community and disregards public safety. As people of faith, we work to educate, inspire, and create community where differences are acknowledged and celebrated, and where equity in justice for all prevails.
We expect nothing less from our elected representatives. Public amends by the Shasta County Board of Supervisors needs to be made. Mr. Jones needs to be reprimanded for his behavior, removed as chair person and or removed from office.
A strict code of conduct at Board of Supervisors meetings needs to be implemented immediately.
First United Methodist Church
Anti-racism Task Force Chair
1825 East Street
Redding, CA 96001