Mayor of Berkeley [California] apologizes, yet keeps digging the hole he has excavated

Mayor of Berkeley [California] apologizes, yet keeps digging the hole he has excavated

By Thomas Lifson

The new Mayor of Berkeley, Jesse Arreguin, made a fool of himself on Twitter both in the run-up to and the aftermath of the riots that denied First Amendment rights to Milo Yiannopoulos and the many students who bought tickets to his sold out speaking engagement at the University of California.  The rookie mayor, now in a national spotlight, bears some responsibility for signaling the rioters that their attack is understandable because, as he put it in a tweet just a couple of hours before the event was scheduled to begin, “[h]ate speech isn’t welcome in our community.”

Using speech to silence marginalized communities and promote bigotry is unacceptable. Hate speech isn’t welcome in our community.

— Jesse Arreguin (@JesseArreguin) February 2, 2017

This was highly irresponsible.  How does “speech … silence marginalized communities”?  Milo or anyone else who expresses ideas the mayor doesn’t like is not silencing people.  But by maintaining that allowing him to speak would “silence” groups that the mayor likes, he provides justification for those who would and did silence Milo.  After all, in the mayor’s telling of it, Milo was striking first by “silencing marginalized communities,” so retaliatory silencing is only fair play.

As the riots predictably happened, the mayor must have had an “oops” moment.

Violence and destruction is not the answer

— Jesse Arreguin (@JesseArreguin) February 2, 2017

Twitter exploded with well justified mockery of the mayor.  Twitchy has collected a number of gems, but this one documents the mayor’s consistent fanboy attitude toward protesters and hostility toward police.

@JesseArreguin you demonized police and were cool with protesters engaging in criminal behavior

— Razor (@hale_razor) February 2, 2017

But the mayor wasn’t done making an ass of himself.  He went on the throw the Berkeley Police Department under the bus:

Police strategy was ordered by the department, not me. They did an excellent job in preventing further risk to safety. (4/5)

— Jesse Arreguin (@JesseArreguin) February 2, 2017

Now, I have a lot of sympathy for the Berkeley Police Department, working in the most politically correct city in the world.  But the officers on the line were guided by policy of the department, and there was ample time for the mayor to review the threat posed by enemies of free speech and discuss the use of force by the cops.  The last time the BPD used tear gas on rioters in downtown Berkeley, they came in for criticism from then-mayor Tom Bates, a man who used to vacation in East Germany before the wall came down.  His successor, Mayor Arreguin, is widely considered to be well to his left.  In fact, it is widely believed that the endorsement of Bernie Sanders was a key to his election victory. [Sanders and Arreguin pictured below.]

Now this is what must be understood:

The Berkeley and university cops, and whatever other law enforcement might have been present (Alameda County sheriff?), allowed over a hundred masked demonstrators, carrying weapons and dressed in all black uniforms, to march through the streets of Berkeley onto the campus.  That violated multiple laws but went unopposed.  That was the moment to act, and for reasons that ought to be investigated (Hello, A.G.-to-Be Sessions!), nothing was done to stop this imminent threat.

That is the scandal.

But Mayor Arreguin still was not done beclowning himself.  He issued an official statement via Twitter that called Milo Yiannopoulos a “white nationalist.”  After a firestorm…

@JesseArreguin YOU are attacking a LGBT jewish immigrant with a black boyfriend, and calling him a “White Nationalist”? Seriously? 😡😡😡😡😡😡😡

— 2017:Exit the Matrix (@ShutdownDUMBS) February 2, 2017

…he apologized:

I consider much of what Mr. Yiannopoulos says to be hateful. But I regret and apologize for the white national label.

— Jesse Arreguin (@JesseArreguin) February 2, 2017

…and issued a revised statement that called Milo an “alt-rightist,” another trigger word for violence by the fascist left.

The mayor now has to face the consequences of signaling that Berkeley is not a safe place to invest money in downtown real estate.  That’s a shame, because there has been a huge building boom, as people unable to afford San Francisco rents are flocking to Berkeley, which has fast BART trains into the city and which is slightly less outrageously unaffordable, though still quite expensive.  These new developments have been providing a lot of tax revenue to the city, and a lot of new business for downtown restaurants, bars, theatres, and merchants.  A lot of people are going to be very unhappy if some of the big new projects in the pipeline get canceled because Berkeley is unsafe.  A few more minutes on BART will take commuters to safe spaces for normal people, like Lafayette, Orinda, and Walnut Creek.

Mayor Arreguin has made himself a virtuoso of politically correct incompetence.  If the mainstream media were conservative, not leftist, he would be driven from office over his comic (except for the damage to people and buildings) ineptitude.  Somehow, I suspect he has not learned his lesson.  We’ll see.


Original article

TLB recommends a visit to American Thinker for other pertinent articles.

About the writer Thomas Lifson


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