TALKING BACK (Talking union!)
North Orange County Community College District Union Statement
by Faculty and Classified Professionals
In late July, North Orange County Community College District Trustee Ryan Bent called for a resolution that would have banned “religious, ethnic, racial, political, or sexual orientation group flags and banners” from display in the district. In response, dozens of community members showed up to the special board meeting, most to object to the motion, and to speak in support of LGBTQ+ rights and against what many identified as anti-queer and anti-human rights hate. Among the fastest to respond to the proposal was the leadership of the three unions which represent faculty and staff in the district, at Cypress College, Fullerton College, and the North Orange Continuing Education (NOCE) satellite campuses. Only the American flag and a handful of other government and college flags would have been allowed, as well as the POW/MIA flag.
Thirty-six speakers, some representing organizations and local elected officials, spoke against Bent’s proposal. Eight spoke for it, citing their religious faith and patriotism.
Citric Acid reproduces, below, the three unions’ Joint Statement, which was delivered to the board. A large turnout of students, community members, staff, faculty, and representatives of local elected officials offered moving and compelling testimony against the proposal. It was widely apprehended as a transparently lame attack on flying the Pride flag. Duh.
The episode's happy outcome was almost too perfect, if disappointingly under-covered by local press. After 90 minutes of testimony, Bent's motion was read. A call for a second of the motion was profoundly (!) not offered so that, per Robert's Rules of Order, it died.
No doubt Moms for Liberty, a national network which offers a reactionary, racist and anti-human rights template for proposals which surely inspired Bent, will, we expect, target another Orange County community college district or K-12 district board. Oops, as of our launch date, another hate-o-gram has been sent by the odious leadership of the Orange Unified School District.
Meanwhile, we share the photograph of a favorite piece by activist artist Andrea Bowers whose recent work was featured at last summer's big show at the Hammer. Educate, agitate, organize, indeed!