Here's one for the "wtf?" files. Oakland's Community Bank of the Bay has apologized to one of its Muslim customers for refusing to serve her until she took off her headscarf. According to the Trib, the bank has a "no hats" policy to discourage robbers who might want to disguise themselves, and that extended even to hijabs worn for religious reasons. The woman promptly emptied her account and called the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and the bank apologized and promised to apply its security policy with more discretion. Here's the weird thing: the Community Bank of the Bay was explicitly set up to provide microlending to nonprofits and low-income customers who can't get access to credit elsewhere. And yet they have a problem like this? Go figure.
The Prop. 8 dishonor role, courtesy of Californians Against Hate. It's a list of all donors to the Yes on 8 campaign who contributed more than $5,000. They are the funders of discrimination. Some pro-gay marriage folks are using the list to boycott the donors and their businesses. Below is a list of East Bay donors who contributed at least $5,000, according to Californians Against Hate and the Secretary of State's Office:
Wilma Thomas, Dublin, CA $32,500 on 9/10/08
David Christensen, Alamo, CA Nearon Enterprises, Executive500 La Gonda Way, Suite 210, Danville, CA 94526 * $30,000 Gave: $5,000 on 8/11/08 and $25,000 on 9/2/08
Richard & Doreen S. Kopf, Alamo, CA Fremont Group Management, LP, Attorney $25,000 Richard Kopf, Managing Director-Operations, General Counsel and Secretary with Fremont Group Management, LP gave: $12,500 on 8/29/08; Doreen Kopf gave: $12,500 on 8/29/08
Robert N. Packer, Lafayette, CA $25,000 on 8/15/08
Sarah P. Harris, Danville, CA $25,000 on 8/8/08
Alan L. Olsen, Fremont, CA Groco, CPA $25,000 on 9/11/08
William C. Wilcox, Danville, CA $25,000 on 9/5/08
Jana L. Mullen, Alamo, CA $25,000 on 9/18/08
Joanne McColm, Pleasanton, CA $25,000 on 9/10/08
Lorenzo N. Hoopes, Oakland, CA $25,000 on 9/24/08
Robert E. Culbertson, Pleasanton, CA BAE Systems, Electrical Engineer $25,000 on 9/17/08
Marc Barkdull, Pleasanton, CA PJMB Commercial, Inc., Real Estate $22,500 on 9/15/08
Gail A. Sonne, Dublin, CA $20,000 on 9/18/08
James Pergrossi, Pleasanton, CA $10,180 on 8/18/08
R. Jean Taylor, Alamo, CA Retired $10,000 on 9/9/08
Barbara Lee, Walnut Creek, CA $10,000 on 8/11/08
Brian B. Blatter, DDS, Concord, CA $10,000 on 8/8/08
Gwenn H. Webb, Pleasanton, CA $10,000 on 8/29/08
Susan Lathrop, Fremont, CA $9,900 on 8/11/08
Heather B. Callister, Martinez, CA $9,000 on 9/2/08
V. Lance Littlejohn, Alamo, CA West Coast Novelty Corporation, Manager $8,000 on 9/8/08
Christine Cooper, Dublin, CA $6,000 on 9/8/08
D. Walton, Walnut Creek, CA Doneu Hall APLC, Attorney $5,000 on 8/8/08
David C. Van Blerkom, Danville, CA Inflective Asset Mgmt, Investment Manager $5,000 on 9/2/08
David Christensen, Danville, CA Gartner, Inc, Analyst $5,000 on 8/25/08
Dayna D. Bain, Walnut Creek, CA $5,000 on 9/2/08
Debra A. Hawkes, Pittsburg, CA Contra Costa County, Registered Nurse $5,000 on 9/2/08
Delone Bailey, Alamo, CA $5,000 on 9/5/08
Douglas Barton, Walnut Creek, CA Deloitte & Touche, Accountant $5,000 on 8/8/08
Jani Stone, Danville, CA $5,000 on 8/21/08
Jo Anne Gardner, Clayton, CA $5,000 on 8/8/08
John Blatter, Danville, CA $5,000 on 8/8/08
Julie Schull, Pleasanton, CA $5,000 on 8/8/08
Kay Bohne, Walnut Creek, CA $5,000 on 8/8/08
Keith Bradburn, Concord, CA Dr. Randall Gardner, DDS, Dentist $5,000 on 8/25/08
Krystalyn Judd, Walnut Creek, CA $5,000 on 8/8/08
Larry Wilson, Alamo, CA $5,000 on 8/20/08
Linda S. Doll, Walnut Creek, CA $5,000 on 8/14/08
Sherman L. Doll, Walnut Creek, CA Capital Performance Advisors, Consultant $5,000 on 8/14/08
Luann Warren, Livermore, CA Warren Associates, CFO $5,000 on 8/25/08
Michael Peterson, Danville, CA Pascal Mgmt, Financial Services $5,000 on 8/18/08
Nancy F. Lockhart, Piedmont, CA $5,000 on 9/2/08
Paul Larson, Pleasanton, CA P D Larson Co., Construction $5,000 on 8/21/08
Ralph Severson, Orinda, CA $5,000 on 8/25/08
Richard Chapman, Walnut Creek, CA JES Engineering, Owner $5,000 on 8/8/08
Richard D. Cardall, Walnut Creek, CA Transamerica Capital Management, Sales Management $5,000 on 8/8/08
Robert Blazer, Pleasanton, CA Validity Sensors, Manager $5,000 on 8/18/08
Terry Lloyd, Walnut Creek, CA Terry Lloyd, CPA, Analyst $5,000 on 8/27/08
Thalia M. Cutt, Concord, CA $5,000 on 8/21/08
Janelle A. Palmer, Walnut Creek, CA $5,000 on 9/15/08
Judith Wagner, Alamo, CA Retired $5,000 on 9/9/08
This month has the dubious distinction of being the thirtieth anniversary of Jonestown, and the dailies are doing their retrospectives. The Chron goes multimedia, with contemporary television accounts, slideshows of the dead lying under the Guyana sun, and the audio recording of Jones exhorting his followers to drink the cyanide Kool-Aid. The Trib has a quieter recollection of some of the victims, more slideshows, and a video Q&A with one of the survivors. Taken together, you get a striking and varied composite impression of the tragedy.
The San Francisco Chronicle ran another story Sunday that wrongly downplayed the role of black voters in passing Prop. 8. Now, let me start off by saying that I have great respect for the story's author, Matthai Kuruvila, but his analysis -- and that of the people he quotes -- is just plain wrong. African-Americans, along with Latinos, tipped the scales in favor of Prop. 8, and the numbers prove it. More after the jump.
Syndicated columnist Dan Savage, always one of the smartest guys in the room, schooled Tony Perkins of the relgious right last night on CNN:
Savage was so on the money about the constitution's protection of the minority from the tyranny of the majority.
Crazy couple of stories out of Fairfield from MediaNews. A Catholic priest tossed out one of his parishoners on Sunday because her car was adorned with Barack Obama signs. Parishoners said that cars with McCain-Palin signs have not been targeted. Then when a reporter from the Vacaville Reporter goes to the church to ask questions about it, the priest attacks him and tries steal his notebook, yelling, "No, we're not writing that!" Then the reporter starts cursing at the priest, threatens to call the cops, and ends up filing a police report. Wow.
With all due respect to Dan Walters and Bob Gammon, blacks didn't make the difference in the Prop. 8 vote. They may have voted 70-30 for the ban, but 64 percent of Catholics voted for it as well, and they comprise 30 percent of the electorate. In addition, Mormons provided at least 40 percent of the Yes on Prop. 8 funding. Sure, there's a lot of homophobia in the black community, and Obama produced an elevated African-American turnout. But when it comes to organizing and financing the Yes on 8 campaign, no one can compare to Roman Catholic archbishops and the Mormon church leaders.
The dean of California opinion writers, Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters, crunches the numbers on why state voters decided to illegalize gay marriage. And it appears that all the vitriol against Mormons and Catholics, while understandable, is a bit misplaced. It was the huge surge in Barack Obama-supporting black voters, who according to exit polling voted for Prop. 8 by 70 percent to 30 percent, who gave the anti-gay marriage forces the votes they needed to win. Anti-gay blacks got an assist from Latinos who backed Prop. 8 by 53 percent to 47 percent. Walters' Money Quote is after the jump:
Proposition 8 may have illegally enshrined a religious belief in California's constitution -- namely that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. That's the compelling argument made yesterday in a San Francisco Chronicle op-ed by James Brosnahan, a well-known San Francisco attorney. Money quote: "That the supporters of Proposition 8 were motivated by religious beliefs cannot be denied. Now the religious beliefs of some Californians are in our Constitution and, until overturned, govern us all whether we like it or not."
Looks like the Roman Catholic Church played a more important role in banning gay marriage than previously thought. During the campaign, everyone was struck by how much money the Mormon church was dumping into the Yes on 8 coffers, but the Chron reports that it was San Francisco Archbishop George Niederauer who personally recruited the Mormons to the effort. Niederauer had been bishop of the Salt Lake City diocese for 11 years, and he tapped his Mormon contacts when the time came to slap the homos around. Of course, as the story points out, the No on 8 campaign made its share of stupid mistakes, downplaying gays and lesbians, as if they weren't front and center in this whole conversation. In addition, Prop. 8 opponents instructed their volunteers to steer clear of talking about children when chatting up voters, but it turns out that was what most people wanted to talk about, and the team had no answer ready.