From the Editor

Young Democrats Against the First Amendment 

Eduardo Stanley

As most of our readers already know, the Fresno County Democratic Party decided to cut ties with the Community Alliance because our newspaper refused to ban one of our writers who they don’t like.

The party approved a long resolution with unsubstantiated accusations against the writer, Kevin Hall, demanding that the Community Alliance ban him. The resolution was brought to the party by three members of the Fresno Young Democrats.

In a comment posted on our newspaper’s Facebook page, Navkaran Gurm, who works for Fresno City Council Member Nelson Esparza, acknowledges that he is the author of the party’s resolution—and proud of it, apparently. He also engaged in a dialogue with some readers who in most part criticized the party’s resolution.

To ban a newspaper because these Young Democrats don’t like one of its writers smells like Trump’s and Devin Nunes’s tirades against some newspapers and journalists.

According to Gurm, Hall “has engaged in misogyny, racism and Islamophobia in his online presence and that has also slipped its way into the Community Alliance.” 

Some of the Young Democrats sent messages to our newspaper accusing Hall of aggressive activity on Twitter. They seem not to understand we have nothing to do with that online platform. And regarding his “misogyny, racism and Islamophobia,” we are still awaiting proof.

We offered the Young Democrats and other Democrats and elected officials who have taken issue with the newspaper’s reporting space to present their arguments and engage in a civil discussion. Instead, the Young Democrats reiterated their rejection of Hall. It is black and white for these Young Democrats—which is different from “democratic.” I wonder what the “Older” Democrats think about this.

In his dialogue with Facebook readers, Gurm, responding to a critical reader, says that the Democratic Party doesn’t need to cut ties with GV Wire because it has no relationship with that online media outlet. But he stops short of explaining how GV Wire’s publisher, the Assemi family, “owns” Fresno City Council several members through generous campaign donations.

Almost at the same time that Democrats were investing time and energy pushing for our newspaper to ban a writer, Democrats at City Hall approved a shameful resolution banning the media and homeless activists from attending encampment “cleanups.” Obviously, they don’t like being held accountable. Several local and state media organizations have complained about the resolution, and the City is being sued over it.

Looks like “to ban” is the favorite verb of these Young Democrats.

But the pearl of Gurm’s text comes when he explains in a paternalistic tone what the Community Alliance should do to be welcomed back by the Democratic Party. “I also hope one day the CA [Community Alliance] will choose to cut ties with Kevin Hall, and we can welcome [it] back into our Democratic Party Headquarters with open arms!”

This is a good example of patriarchal “love” (thank you, Dad Gurm!), which is different from a mother’s love.

The father loves his children if they obey him. If not, they are grounded until they correct their behavior. Then, the father welcomes them back with “open arms.” This is pure paternalism. Which means hierarchy. And hierarchy means class division, inequality and abuse.

The Young Democrats’ behavior is not only despicable and anti-democratic but also class-oriented.

That’s why there are no real changes in power when we choose Democrats. Choosing the “lesser of two evils” isn’t the solution.

The Young Democrats decided that our First Amendment isn’t important, and they have shown repressive and retrograde behavior. This is their real portrait. Let’s not forget that.

Till next month.

  • Eduardo Stanley is the editor of the Community Alliance newspaper, a freelance journalist for several Latino media outlets and a Spanish-language radio show host at KFCF in Fresno. He is also a photographer. To learn more about his work, visit www.eduardostanley.com.

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Sean Boyd
Sean Boyd
4 months ago

I am an ‘older’ Democrat, and the move by the FCDP Central Committee troubles me greatly. It’s no different than the far right-wing GOP’s modus operandi. I would have expected better from the ‘younger’ Democrats. Having said that: While this issue should not be forgotten, it should not be divisive. I tend to adhere to what “Auntie Maxine” Waters says, paraphrasing: “Any Democrat in office is better than any Republican.” My hope is that the younger Dems will gain some wisdom from this error -sooner, than later.

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