The following is the full text of a letter of resignation from a former member of the City of Santa Clarita Human Relations Roundtable. The letter was submitted to the City Council and City Manager Ken Striplin on April 9, 2021:
Mayor Pro Tem Weste, Councilmember McLean, Councilmember Gibbs, Councilmember Smyth and City Manager Ken Striplin,
I wanted to thank you for your efforts in supporting the relaunch of the City of Santa Clarita Human Relations Roundtable.
I subsequently applied to serve on the roundtable and was delighted to be selected as a member.
After four meetings I designed to resign and I wanted to respectfully share with you my reasoning, (which I also shared with Mayor Miranda and co-chair Cherise Moore).
I was under the impression that the purpose of the roundtable was to bring together a group of individuals representative of the Santa Clarita population to “eliminate all forms of racism and discrimination, and to promote inclusion, understanding and appreciation of human differences.” In addition the website, states: “…..promotion of equity for all residents.”
Sadly, after four meetings (and four 1:1 meetings) I began to see two very clear narratives emerging and it became apparent that if you didn’t wholeheartedly accept these narratives (which were to form our activities and efforts), the only contribution you could make was to be silent, listen and learn more about the two narratives.
The two narratives are/were:
- That “systematic racism”, “white supremacy”, “white privilege” and “white fragility” are a unquestionable fact, and they are very present in Santa Clarita.
- That the LGBTQ+ agenda should be celebrated, amplified and applauded at all opportunities. I can honestly say as white male who has lived and worked in four countries in Europe as an employee, and now having served clients across 28 states, China, India, Europe and Australia for the last 15 years, I have never participated in; overhead or had it reported back to me of a group of white males whispering to each other behind closed doors, “How do we keep the best jobs and the best vendor contacts just for us?” Like never. As a resident of Santa Clarita for 17 years, the city I love, I have never sensed that we’re a racist city.
Obviously, we have significant race issues as a world and as a country, but some of the dialogue on the roundtable (and my subsequent 1:1’s with one of the members), gave me grave concern that this is being blown out of all proportion and if the conversations are not facilitated well, this can be very inflammatory and indeed dangerous. What I found on the roundtable was that if you dare question the narrative that there is indeed extensive racism within the SCV, you were considered out-of-step with reality. I attempted to share that being accused as a white man of “systematic racism,” “white supremacy,” “white privilege” and “white fragility” is indeed reverse racism, and very offensive, but it landed on deaf ears.
I made it clear on my application that I am a Bible-believing Christian, and so I was also intending to represent that (very significant) proportion of our community. I wanted to share my concern that when we celebrate, amplify and applaud the LGBTQ+ agenda, it’s actually an affront to Christians. When I raised the Christian perspective that there are only two genders, I was essentially told to be quiet and get with the program. Likewise, I was amazed that in the week leading up to Resurrection Sunday, (the Super Bowl of the Christian faith) that so much discussion was focused on how, this time next year we should be amplifying Ramadan and Passover. In an inclusive and pluralistic society this is understandable, but to ignore the resurrection is an affront to the many residents of Santa Clarita who are Christians.
All this to say, I don’t believe the roundtable can truly be described as seeking “diversity, equity and inclusion” but rather it’s being allowed to form into a type of exclusive inclusion whereby your voice is only welcome if you wholeheartedly accept the above two narratives.
I hope this email is received in the positive manner intended and I hope the roundtable is carefully monitored to ensure it’s not evolving into a forum that could be very unhealthy.