San Francisco Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors today condemned nationally syndicated radio talk-show host Michael Savage, whose program originates in city by the bay, for “hate speech.”
It was the board’s second attempt at a resolution to condemn Savage for his criticism of illegal aliens in the U.S.
The previous vote was 9-1, with third generation San Franciscan Ed Jew turning in the veto vote, after getting up and affirming Savage’s First Amendment right to express his opinion.
Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval had introduced the resolution in August to condemn the radio talker. After the vote, he called for the tally to be rescinded and the proposal sent to committee, which essentially is a polite way of letting the issue die.
“For the record, I do not agree with comments allegedly made by Mr. Savage, but the First Amendment gives him the right to make those comments,” Jew said.
Sandoval responded with a personal challenge to Jew.
“If this commentary was directed at the Chinese-American or the Asian community, you would not be resorting to this rigid formalism on your part,” he said.
That first effort was an attempt to pass the hate crimes condemnation unanimously to avoid a committee hearing. Having missed out on the unanimous vote, the measure is back now from committee.
“This is a dry run against free speech in America by the Islamists and the illegal aliens who are now becoming one and the same,” said Savage in August. “It’s the same organizational structure. … I am the target of this dry run. They want to see how far they can get in silencing a voice of freedom in the United States of America. They want to see which, if any, governmental agencies will stop them.”
“Guess what they learned so far?” he continued. “That not only will no governmental agency stop them in their attempts to kill free speech, they will aid them in their attempts to kill free speech. We have lost our freedoms already.
“Lady Liberty has been hog tied. She is being raped by the illegal aliens. She is being raped by the landlords who are using the illegal aliens. Lady Liberty is there in bindings screaming for us to release her,” he said.
Sandoval, who spearheaded the measure, said condemnation of immigrants “leads to the beating of Muslim-Americans and many other Americans.”
“This attempt to vilify Latino-Americans will not be tolerated,” he said. “We are saying first that we are recognizing this speech is hateful and we are condemning it. Don’t fool yourselves. This kind of speech just incites behavior that is nothing short of hysteria. It’s the kind of hysterical behavior we saw in Nazi Germany 60 years ago.”
One of the nation’s top civil rights attorneys offered his assistance to Savage in suing Sandoval.
Daniel A. Horowitz of Oakland, Calif., wrote to Savage after Sandoval introduced his resolution.
“You have a strong federal civil rights action that you can file against Supervisor Sandoval and the city of San Francisco,” he advised. “You have a constitutional right to state your political opinions and no city official has the right to lie about what you said or to call for a mob to come to your door to threaten you and to try to have you fired.”
Horowitz said the Civil Rights Act of 1871, designed to tame the terror of the Ku Klux Klan, can be used as the basis for a federal civil rights action against the official and the city.
“You are protected by this civil rights act because you are the victim of the same type of mob terror that (the) Klan used to inflict,” wrote Horowitz. “This terror is being organized against you simply because people do not like what you say. Translated into legal language, you are being attacked by a type of terrorist because you have exercised your First Amendment rights.”
Horowitz wrote: “The Klansman in your case is wearing a suit and not a white robe. He is doing his dirty work under the hood of his elected position instead of under the coward’s hood of the Klan.”
The call for action against Savage came at the same time city supervisors were considering using taxpayer dollars to pay for immigrants’ green cards and citizenship.
Sandoval’s resolution condemns Savage for “defamatory language … against immigrants.” The resolution was in response to Savage’s July 5 broadcast, when the talker commented on a group of students who had announced they were fasting in support of changes in immigration policy.
“I would say, let them fast until they starve to death,” quipped Savage, “then that solves the problem.”
Sandoval’s resolution calls Savage’s comments “symbolic of hatred and racism.”
“I really for the life of me cannot understand why there is not more media outrage to what Michael Savage said,” Sandoval said. He plans to hold a press conference on the steps of City Hall Tuesday just before the entire Board of Supervisors votes on his resolution against Savage.
“The intolerant and racist comments of Michael Savage demand a strong condemnation,” Sandoval insisted.
In response, Horowitz wrote: “This Sandoval fellow accused you of using ‘defamatory language … against immigrants.’ Of course, this statement by Sandoval is slander. I have listened to your show. You are very complimentary of immigrants. In fact, you frequently mention that your parents were immigrants. The slander by Sandoval arises because he claims that your opposition to illegal entry into this country is somehow a stand against Hispanics. That is like saying that every Border Patrol agent and every Congress person is anti-immigrant because they don’t condone illegal border crossing.”
“I will back you, Michael, and file this lawsuit if you wish,” concluded Horowitz.