News media, including KVTU and Richmond Standard, including its sponsor, Chevron, should be ashamed for their coverage of Jovonka Beckles, who has been taunted, tormented, stalked and harrassed by a handfull of homophobic yahoos for months.
In the latest episode, a small group of midnight stragglers from the July 1 City Council meeting stayed behind, forcing their way into a conference room adjacent to the City Council Chamber where Beckles was being interviewed and had a right to privacy. This was not a public meeting.
When Beckles called for security, Corky Booze intervened, blocking the private security guard and exacerbating the situation.
Beckles went off on them, which is not an unreasonable thing to do, considering the circumstances. Among other things, one of the yahoos, Wesley Ellis, asked her four times, “Why don’t you die?”
You can see for yourself on http://m.ktvu.com/videos/news/richmond-some-call-for-vice-mayors-resignation/vChzGs/ and
In the KTVU video, reporters chose to feature the opinions of the consistently worst City Council meeting disrupters, including Ken Davis, Wesley Ellis and Pam Bilbo, all of whom have repeatedly made grossly explicit homophobic remarks in public at City Council meetings aimed at Beckles before being ejected from the room for violating the City Council’s rules on decorum. These people have no credibility, and why KTVU chose to dignify their harangues and their call for Beckles to resign because she used an expletive is simply beyond comprehension.
If it were me, I would have used a dozen expletives and maybe more. I have even reserved a few for KTVU and Aldax, as well as Aldax’ sponsor, Chevron. Sorry, the use or non-use of an expletive is not a measure of a good legislator. Let he who has never used a profane expletive, cast the first stone. I’ll take common cussing over homophobic slurs any day.
Homophobic harassment has no place anywhere, particularly in the Richmond Civic Center. I think both KTVU and Mike Aldax owe Beckles a public apology.
Richmond Vice Mayor Jovanka Beckles under fire after video shows her shouting expletive
July 11, 2014 by Mike Aldax
Richmond Vice Mayor Jovanka Beckles’ verbal assault on two public members in council chambers earlier this month was covered by KTVU (Ch. 2) Thursday, as the news station obtained cell phone footage of her cursing during the tirade.
We’ve already reported about Beckles’ drama-filled night, which some residents called a distraction from the city’s budget deficit deliberations, the most pressing matter at the July 1 meeting. Some residents are now calling for Beckles’ resignation.
Beckles claims she was under attack when she called two local reverends ignorant in a public forum and added they are “bullies” and “women abusers.” The spat reportedly stemmed from a vote on an agenda item that Beckles did not agree with, although bad blood between the vice mayor and the reverends have boiled for years. At one point, Beckles shouted at the reverends to “get the F— out of my face,” claiming she felt cornered and threatened during the dispute.
Witnesses to the incident say Beckles was the aggressor.
“Using profane language and cursing, that’s very inappropriate,” witness Pamela Bilbo, of Richmond, told KTVU.
Reverend Kenneth Davis, one of the men she clashed with, added, “She’s vice-mayor and this is something that’s intolerable.”
KTVU also pointed out, as we did, that Beckles’ tirade “ironically came the same night Beckles had proposed an ordinance stating that people disrupting City Council meetings should be banned for six months from attending.”
Beckles’ proposal particularly targets a few residents, namely the reverends, who have hurled anti-gay slurs at her.
Opponents of the vice mayor’s proposal have argued that a ban would give elected leaders undue power to oust their detractors from the governmental process. In a June 26 letter to City Council, City Attorney Bruce Goodmiller said the ban is most likely unconstitutional.
Residents have argued that Beckles signed up to be a politician and thus should rise above personal attacks from citizens and focus her attention on serving the city.
The city attorney’s letter addressed that argument.
“While also acknowledging that ‘it is asking much of City Council members, who have given themselves to public service, to tolerate profanities and personal attacks,’ courts have held ‘that is what is required by the First Amendment,’ Goodmiller said.