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When is enough enough? 

It's time to admit white cisgender bigots are under attack, and they need our protection. They're people too, and they don't deserve to be triggered by a multicolored flag designed to make historically marginalized people feel like they're equal to straight white men and women. Where's their safe space? Is there a local Ku Klux Klan chapter? They've got nowhere to go!

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Arroyo Grande is once again trying to force the progressive Pride flag down the delicate straight white throats of these incredibly fragile people whose entire identities are wrapped up in the fact that they're not LGBTQIA-plus or any skin tone darker than orange bronzer. The City Council just voted unanimously to fly the flag during the month of June, and some folks are hopping mad.

Take Gaea Powell, who went tit for tat with Mayor Caren Ray Russom during the public comment period. Of the good ol' American flag, Powell ranted, "It seems clear to me that some city staff don't respect or understand what this flag symbolizes for most Americans. It's the symbol of patriotism, freedom, and justice for all. This flag reminds us that no one has more rights than others."

To which Russom interrupted and reminded Powell, "Let me be clear: This is not the flag item ... ." To which Powell interrupted, "You don't need to be clear to me. I'm talking about this flag," she retorted, swinging her American flag.

"Can you please address the council and not the crowd?" Russum asked.

"Then don't cut into my time," seethed Powell. Gee, she seems ... impassioned.

Obviously, Powell is under attack, and seeing a multicolored flag symbolizing acceptance of the LGBTQIA-plus community, life, healing, new ideas, prosperity, serenity, spirit, people of color, trans people, and intersex people is deeply offensive since those overprivileged people should all feel fully represented by the Stars and Stripes—the only flag they need! Why should they get a special flag? If only Powell had pulled out a Gadsden flag to make her point. Don't Tread on She, indeed.

Online commenter Brenton (no last name) wondered why we have Black History, Pride, Asian-American, and Jewish-American months, but not white history month? Or year? White people have done so much!

"We need a white history year, not just a month, a year," Brenton said. "Year-round, everyday [sic], white fucking power."

Where's our cultural sympathy for Brenton? Where?

In one of the most interesting public comments of the meeting, Yvonne Kendall mentioned, "Another argument against it is, 'Can we please hang a white pride flag,' and I believe once the white race becomes marginalized, we should consider it."

I think for people like Powell and Brenton, that time is now. Perception is relative, and it's hard to take note of your white cisgender privilege when you're standing on top of it.

"This flag is ruining my view!"

All told, 20 people spoke for and against, but in the end, white cisgendered bigots' feelings were ignored. Apparently, the City Council thought signaling openness to LGBTQIA-plus special interests was more important. Why?

Councilmembers explained: "I firmly believe that flying the Pride flag is suicide prevention, without a doubt," Councilmember Kristen Barneich said. "I know people, I know young adults that have taken their lives that have lived in Arroyo Grande because they were afraid they wouldn't be accepted."

"'I feel afraid' is what someone said tonight," Councilmember Lan George noted, "and we will continue to fly this flag until our residents don't have to say that anymore. If that's not enough of a reason, then I don't know what is."

"I get a little frustrated hearing people say that the American flag represents everyone, and that should be fine, and if there's a problem then they can go to the police. That's not true," Councilmember Kate Secrest asserted. "It's not acknowledging what this population puts up with every day, in all sorts of aggressions and inappropriate and inhumane treatment."

"The American flag is the ideal; it does represent unity," Russom added. "It represents what America stands for, but the Pride flag flying not above it but below it reminds us that there's still work to be done."

Sorry fragile white cisgendered bigots. Better luck next year.

Meanwhile at the proverbial Ivory Tower, Cal Poly is being sued by student journalist Elizabeth Wilson for ignoring Public Records Act requests she made 18 months ago related to school officials' response to campus sexual assaults, alleged student labor violations, and hiring tenured business professor Joseph Castro who allegedly mishandled Title IX complaints prior to his role as CSU Chancellor.

The First Amendment Coalition offered Wilson pro bono representation—the first time they've represented a student journalist.

"It shouldn't have to take this long for public information to be available," Wilson told New Times. "The Mustang News' readers want and have the right to know how the Cal Poly administration was discussing the different matters in the lawsuit of campus sexual assault and other controversies. The motive is to get these records. We're suing for information not money damages."

Wilson's quest underlines the essential role of the Fourth Estate. Godspeed! Δ

The Shredder lets its freak flag flutter. Tell it your kink at [email protected].

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