Chabot-Las Positas District board censures trustee over a meme
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CHABOT-LAS POSITAS COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT
—‘I’M NOT GOING TO APOLOGIZE’—Chabot-Las Positas Community College District Trustee Luis Reynoso was censured by his colleagues on Tuesday night for posting a meme that some interpret as anti-transgender.
—In the board’s comments, they admonished Reynoso for failing to apologize for the meme that features an apple with the tagline “This is an banana. If you see an apple you’re a right-wing extremist.”
—In a lengthy presentation, Reynoso denied he had any discriminatory intent when posting the meme.
—None of the Chabot-Las Positas trustees, in addition, to a report by an ad-hoc committee of two board members, suggested that Reynoso was aware the meme had other meanings. Some say the meme is also used to undermine and denigrate the transgender community.
—However, the meme is mostly employed as a critique Republicans and President Trump. CNN used a variation of the meme in a 2017 ad campaign to push back at the Trump’s incessant claims of “fake news.”
—On Tuesday night in Dublin, Reynoso attempted to methodically break down his original LinkedIn posting and the comments it elicited. Like a church responsorial psalm, Reynoso repeated after each comment, “What is so hateful about that?!”
—Reynoso has repeatedly argued that no written or formal complaint was ever made against him. The Board of Trustees said a number of no-confidence votes by faculty and other stakeholders against Reynoso constituted a complaint.
—A number of speakers registered support for Reynoso. Some called the board’s plans for censure a “witch hunt,” “kangaroo court,” and a “fascist act.” A member of the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee labeled Reynoso a “bigot.”
—While the posting of the meme initiated the controversy late last year, the board’s censure vote was mostly predicated on Reynoso’s decision to avoid apologizing to those who felt offended by it, and comments he made at November 2022 meeting that they deemed unbecoming of a trustee.
—Board President Tim Sbranti said his reaction to the meme was that it’s a matter between Reynoso and his constituents. Reynoso’s behavior last November, in which Sbranti said he offended the board’s staff, made improper allegations of bias against fellow Trustee Harris Mojadedi, and for Reynoso “storming out of the meeting.”
—Trustee Linda Granger admonished Reynoso for failing to acknowledge his detractor’s point of view. Instead, Granger said, Reynoso “told them they were wrong.”
—Trustee Hal Gin, who along with Granger, authored the board’s ad-hoc committee report that recommended censure, said he voted to sanction Reynoso because of his views.
—Last November’s incident involved Reynoso calling into question Trustee Mojadedi’s ability to remain open-minded on the matter. Among the board’s comments, Mojadedi’s comments were the most measured.
—“Perhaps you were not aware of the images,” Mojadedi told Reynoso, but added, “I thought you would apologize at that first board meeting.”
—Reynoso shot back, “I’m not going to apologize.”
“You need to be held accountable for your actions,” Mojadedi continued. “I’m not calling you out. I’m calling you in.”
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