Logic and Allen West: what me, worry? This guy really is Looney Tunes (albeit with a nice retro flat-top fade going on). Rep. Allen West (R-FL) says that if the government is going to mandate that people purchase health care coverage then they should also require that everyone buy a Glock 9mm handgun. During a [...]
|By: Pam Spaulding Tuesday July 3, 2012 9:28 am|
|By: Clarknt67 Wednesday August 3, 2011 12:30 pm|
Representative Allen West (R-FL) tried to reach out to the Wilton Manors Business Association for an audience. He found many in that community weren't too receptive.
When word leaked out that he was scheduled to address the Wilton Manors Business Association in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the local reaction was swift.
Legislative Director of the Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus, Michael Emanuel Rajner, wrote Business Association President Celeste Ellich:
This morning I was shocked to read your email below announcing that WMBA is hosting anti-gay and fear-mongering Allen West who in his role has publicly worked to advance social injustice.
In 2000, I moved to Wilton Manors because it was a community that openly welcomed GLBT-people. Since that time, we have watched the City grow, embrace its diversity, enact anti-discriminatory LGBT-inclusive protections for all City employees, and extend the same protection mandate to vendors doing business with the City. I personally worked with our mutual friend, former City Commissioner Joe Angelo, to advance these protections in a City Ordinance. I know we share this vision for the City.
He included many examples of West's unacceptable positions and inflammatory, uncivil rhetoric. Rajner concluded:
Celeste, I’m demanding that you take a courageous stand of leadership for the rights of GLBT-Americans as President of the Wilton Manors Business Association and disinvite West to your August 8th meeting. If not, GLBT-community leaders and other social justice advocates will: Call for your resignation; Call on businesses to disavow the Wilton Manors Business Association for placing profits ahead of human rights; and Call on the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender-community to boycott any and all businesses who are a member of the Wilton Manors Business Association, including GLBT-owned businesses willing to put profits ahead of human rights. Yours in the struggle for social justice.
The response was populist as well as political. Reports the Florida Sun-Sentinel:
John Zieba, an owner of Rosie’s Bar and Grill, which caters largely to a gay and lesbian clientele, said he wanted the event cancelled.
His business was one of the newest members of the Wilton Manors Business Association – and as such was listed prominently on the business group’s website. After the West invitation made news last week, he got about 15 emailed complaints from angry people, some of whom said they wouldn’t patronize his establishment.
He emailed Celeste Ellich, president of the association, said that if the group “was going to continue to welcome this speaker or any other speaker with those messages of inequality and injustice we would be resigning from the association.”
He said plenty of other speakers could talk to association members about business issues who “don’t vehemently oppose the basic values of a lot of people in our community.”
Zieba said he respects “anyone’s right to be able to come into speak. I respect anyone’s right to come and rally against it.” He also said the proposed boycott of business association members was ill conceived.
The Association rescinded the invitation.