Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Buca di Beppo - silencing political discussion in Claremont

There are people that believe that the expression of a diverse range of views is important. Witness this Inquisitr post that states that John Kerry objects to the closure of newspapers because this would have "serious consequences for our democracy where diversity of opinion and strong debate are paramount." The post also includes author Duncan Riley's reply, "Someone needs to send Kerry a laptop with a mobile broadband card, because anyone who has ever been on the internet knows that diversity of opinion and strong debate has never been stronger than at any time in human history."

But this devotion to listening to diverse views isn't shared by at least one business in Claremont, California, according to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin:

An event headlined by Minuteman founder Jim Gilchrist on Monday was canceled by the restaurant it was to be held at.

Gilchrist was set to speak at the Buca di Beppo restaurant in Claremont on Monday to the local Republican Club on protecting the Mexican border from illegal immigration....

The restaurant decided Gilcrest's views were not conducive with Buca Di Beppo's family atmosphere....

You will note that I did not refer to this as "censorship," because this was performed by a private party, not the government, and private parties have the right (within limits) to invite or disinvite anyone they choose.

But are limitations of political discussion truly "family-friendly"?

What a difference nine years make:

Thirteen community members representing a wide range of community interests have been appointed to serve on the City of Claremont's Community Dialogue Planning committee. The appointments, which were developed by an ad hoc committee of the City Council, were approved by the full council at its regular meeting last night.

The Dialogue Committee has been established to examine diversity and inclusiveness in Claremont. The primary objective of the committee, as outlined in a charge statement to the committee also approved by the council last night, is to: 1) identify any specific problems related to inclusiveness, and; 2) research and recommend a community dialogue process to address any problems identified.

If this committee were still constituted today, I'm sure that the committee would have a huge uproar over this silencing of political views within the city of Claremont.

Well, I think they'd have a huge uproar.

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