Free Speech in Northern Cal
Actress Maria Conchita Alonso -- born in Cuba and raised in Venezuela -- was forced to resign from her role in The Vagina Monologues at the Brava Theater Center in San Francisco's Mission District because of her support for Tim Donnelly for Governor and her views on illegal immigration -- her personal, political viewpoints expressed outside of work. According to the show's producer, Eliana Lopez (wife of San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi and the star of another, long drawn out San Francisco political soap opera):
"Of course she has the right to say whatever she wants. But we're in the middle of the Mission. Doing what she is doing is against what we believe."
Imagine, just imagine, a Hollywood producer telling Sean Penn that he could support gay marriage or fly to Iran to show solidarity with Saddam Hussein, but because it is against the producer's beliefs or the values upheld by the production company, Penn would not be allowed to act in their movies. That would be a cold day in Hell.
Alonso isn't only being judged by her politics. The quality of her "Latina-ness" is also being scrutinized. According to Jim Salinas -- the former president of the San Francisco Latino Democratic Club and a Mission District resident:
"We don't act like that. First of all, that is not a typical Latina."
It makes my skin crawl when people are "excommunicated" from their ethnic group, nationality, race, or sexual orientation because they don't share the same political or religious viewpointsas those advocated by their brethren. As has happened to countless conservative blacks, Jews, gays, and women, in order to be considered an authentic "Latina," one must embrace only Democrat candidates and blindly support illegal immigration. Step outside of the parameters set by the standard bearers of what it means to be a "Latina," and you will be harassed, lose your job, and your reputation will be soiled. It won't be long before brave souls like Alonso are labeled "House Latina" and "Tito Tomas."
In just a few days, we have witnessed Governor Cuomo act like an ethnic cleanser and a politically connected producer of a play act like, oh, I don't know, take your pick -- Stalin, Hitler, Castro, Mao, Chavez, the Taliban? Go ahead, leftwingers, tell me I'm a hater because I compared Cuomo and Lopez to some of recent history's most notorious blacklisters and suppressors of speech. I don't care. The truth hurts.
Alonso and her detractor-oppressors must know this: Conservatives stand with Alonso and will -- in a New York minute -- boycott, march, and rally in solidarity with her, and out of disgust for this totalitarian thought control.
But we first have to acknowledge that this is a pattern we have to combat. Not long after traditional marriage was upheld in California, leftwing activists harassed individuals who made small contributions to Prop. 8 and were summarily forced out of their jobs -- a waitress, the director of a theater in Sacramento, and the director of the Los Angeles Film Festival. They weren't deprived of their livelihoods because of incompetence, for sexually harassing a coworker, molesting a child, or embezzling funds. Their careers were placed in jeopardy because they dared to exercise their free speech rights in support of a political -- or religious -- viewpoint. This was done on their own time, outside of work, with their personal funds.
The same laws that require transparency regarding political contributions in order to make the electoral process more fair, were and continue to be used to undermine our freedoms and the democratic process through true "blue" bullying, intimidation, and harassment.
California state law prohibits discrimination on the basis of political affiliation or activities. Getting fired or forced from your job because you support conservative causes is as odious and as chilling as being fired because you are female, old, gay, black, pregnant, or Jewish.
Thus, Alonso could sue for employment discrimination. Were she to do so, I wonder if her union -- presumably Equity -- would step in to support and defend her just as the teachers union has done in seeking severance payments on behalf of a teacher who repeatedly molested a student over a three-year period?
The double standards are ubiquitous.
Tell me what you think. What's worse? That this is taking place in America in the 21st century? Or, that this kind of discrimination doesn't make headlines when left-wingers stomp on the necks of conservatives, only when conservatives supposedly tighten the yoke around the necks of liberals.