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Slavic Students in Sacramento Community College Counsel Endorse Prop 8

Timothy Kincaid

October 1st, 2008

Community colleges are not where one would expect to find endorsment of anti-gay discrimination. But at the American River College, a large community college in Sacramento, Russian immigrant have a large representation on the student counsel, five members.

We have commented before on how the Slavic Immigrant community in Sacramento has become incorporated into an international anti-gay effort, one which has resulted in violence and death. Now in this college student government, the Russians, motivated by their religious ideals, pushed through an endorsement of the anti-gay amendement.

By an 8-3 vote with three abstentions, the council endorsed Proposition 8, the Marriage Protection Amendment that would overturn the state Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex unions if passed Nov. 4.

All five Russians voted for the resolution and the Sacramento Bee is reporting the story with its ethnic overtones.

Councilman Vladimir Musorivschi, 25, of Moldova said the resolution spoke for ARC’s large Russian-speaking population, “mostly all of whom are Christian.”

But even “Christianity” took a back seat to blatant homophobia.

Choban was cursed and shouted down by some of the 200 students in the audience when he told his fellow council members, “don’t be intimidated. The homosexuals are masters of presenting themselves as a civil rights issue. It’s not a civil rights issue; it’s personal choice.”

“They’re the aggressors. They won’t tolerate my opinions,” Choban said.

However, this decision may be one which will result in an immediate termination of their representation of their fellow students. Only 300 students voted in the last student election and “students who support gay marriage said they’ve already collected 450 signatures – enough to force a recall election of the eight council members who voted for the resolution.”

It is disturbing that there does not appear to be a voice of tolerance speaking from within the immigrant Russian community. It would be most welcome.

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Pomo
October 1st, 2008 | LINK

Yes… they’re a very hateful community. They’re the ones picketing every pride parade and bringing their children out to hold signs. So much for protecting the children. They’re one of the most unloving christian groups i’ve been in contact with.

Here are some of the first media coverage of it, even before the Bee:

http://www.redcounty.com/sac/2008/09/american-river-student-council/

http://americanrivernews.blogspot.com/

AJD
October 2nd, 2008 | LINK

I don’t have any first-hand experience with these people, but it’s really scary to think that they’re exerting an increasing influence on the West Coast.

Who the hell do these people think they are? When I read about the xenophobic backlash against them in the SPLC’s article, I can’t say I was completely sorry; it’s not that I’m against immigrants, but I have no patience for people who want me to feel unsafe and unwelcome in my own country.

My experience living in China was rewarding enough that I was willing to adapt to the local culture and even go back into the closet. When you go and live in another country, even permanently, you should adapt to the local culture, regardless of whether you approve of it; if you can’t do that, then find some place else to live.

From what I’ve read, these Russian immigrants are similar to Islamic fundamentalists in Europe: They’re so far-gone in their religious hatred for gays, that pleas for tolerance and mutual understanding will be ignored.

It’s not that they’re psychopaths — they just don’t get that they’re hurting people. They don’t know any better. They’re like a 2-year-old tormenting a kitten: The toddler will find the kitten’s yelps of pain funny, but he’ll learn his lesson when he gets scratched.

I’m not advocating physical violence, but if these people found themselves on the receiving end of rhetoric as nasty as what they dish out, they might behave better.

Ephilei
October 2nd, 2008 | LINK

I completely expect to find community colleges full of anti-gay sentiment, equal and opposite to pro-gay sentiment in universities.

Laura
October 2nd, 2008 | LINK

The part of this which does NOT surprise me is that the student body not only ALLOWED this to happen, but made it EASY for them by…hmmmm…what could it be?

NOT VOTING.

Only 300 people bothered to vote, so naturally anyone who just showed up to run and got all their friends to join them, won.

NOW, suddenly, there are 450 people who object? Where were they when the voting needed to be done?

Maybe they excused themselves by saying, “it’s just student council, who cares?” Maybe they thought, “All candidates are the same and none of them think exactly as I do and the system is corrupt to begin with, so why bother?”

Maybe they thought that *obviously* these candidates were too stupid/bigoted/uninformed/extreme and therefore no one would vote for them.

You may never not the governing body you vote for; but you can count on getting the one you didn’t bother to vote for. Every lefty/liberal/progressive/democrat who is considering not voting or doing a “protest” vote might consider looking at this little election story here.

AJ
October 2nd, 2008 | LINK

“They just don’t get that they’re hurting people.”

Actually, they probably do. They just don’t care.

Having had a “history” with the Russian Orthodox Church, I can assure you that these attitudes are representative of what most Russian “Christians” really believe about gays and lesbians.

The Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin commented on the phenomenon of “mutual aid among animals.” He writes: “If an ant which has its crop full has been selfish enough to refuse feeding a comrade, it will be treated as an enemy.”

The tendency toward authoritarianism can be traced back to the human desire to minimize his own struggle for survival. By creating and enforcing a system where he is a beneficiary, he is tipping the balance (the natural distribution of struggle) in his favor, so that others, weaker than him, bare not only their burden but a substantial portion of his. Thus the allure of authoritarian regimes and Russia’s history of tyranny and repression, still fondly recalled and romanticized today.

John
October 2nd, 2008 | LINK

Timothy: Personally I think the 3 council members who abstained should be recalled as well. It’s difficult not to view their votes as being anything other than cowardice. Yay or nay they should have take a position since the matter was before the council.

AJD: They’re in for a very rude shock when their next generation grows up as Americans and not Russians. Each succeeding generation will only increase their shock at the difference. :-)

AJD
October 2nd, 2008 | LINK

John: I hope that’s true, but considering that many of these immigrants are pretty young (often in their late teens and 20s), it’s going to be a long time before the next generation takes hold. Also, they’re likely to raise their kids with the same values that they have, so their kids will probably be similarly conservative. I’m saying this because that’s what I’ve observed among the Russians living in my part of NYC.

Also, I’m not an expert on the history of immigration in the United States, but I believe most immigrants who have come here over the years have been generally tolerant of the local culture, only challenging it when it directly oppressed them (the Irish are a good example). These Russian immigrants, on the other hand, are openly hostile to the local culture, and they’re the ones who want to do the oppressing, hence my comparison to Islamic fundamentalists in Europe who want to implement Sharia law there.

AJ: What’s important to note is that a lot of the Russian immigrants in question aren’t Orthodox, but “Russian Baptist.” They mostly converted during the Soviet era and were accordingly mistreated. Many of them have moved to Sacramento because they were inspired to convert by shortwave radio broadcasts from that city. It gave them this image of the U.S. as a Christian utopia, but then they came here and found gay people all over the place.

Kel Munger
October 2nd, 2008 | LINK

Here’s my blog post for the meeting (I covered it for the Sacramento News & Review).

http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/snog/blogs/post?oid=861680

Also, it’s important to note that at least two of the abstentions were cast by student reps who did NOT know the abstentions would count with the prevailing vote. They were trying to force the tabling of the resolution, since they did not believe the student council should be taking a position on the issue.

Kel Munger

Jerry Sloan
October 2nd, 2008 | LINK

When most of the Slavic students (I think there were 9) filled out their application forms of the council the majority of them either stated they were Christians or wanted to represent Christians or righteousness on campus.

One can see much of the discussion on videos posted on http://www.americanrivernew.blogspot.com

adam kautz
October 3rd, 2008 | LINK

This makes me hate those Russian evangelicals even more. Notice I didn’t say Russian, just the evangelical Russians. Most Russians I know aren’t that hateful or bigoted. It just proves that conservative evangelical Christianity attracts intellectually challenged people.

AJD
October 3rd, 2008 | LINK

Adam, I agree. I’m not against Russians in general, either (hell, I slept with a Russian guy once…). But these Russian Baptists scare the living crap out of me. The hatred emanating from the Orthodox church is bad enough, but these people are just over the top.

ARC_student
October 3rd, 2008 | LINK

This blog fails to mention that the recall effort includes Jacob Johnson, the Council President who, as the Bee reported, “did not have a vote in the matter.”
Being an active, voting student at ARC, I understand what the recall effort is about, and why Jacob Johnson is on the recall allegedly about the Prop 8 vote.

The Recall effort is really about the last Student Association administration still being upset that they lost their seats on the Council, including the President position. They are using this Prop 8 vote as a thinly veiled attempt to give an excuse for kicking the current Council out.

Kel Munger
October 6th, 2008 | LINK

First, simply because Johnson didn’t have a vote, don’t think he’s not involved in this mess.

Second, you’re right; the resolution is just the flash point for a great deal of resentment at the way this particular slate of officers handled their campaigns and the way that they have been conducting business.

But don’t discount the amount of anger directed specifically at them for the Prop 8 resolution.

Paul
March 26th, 2009 | LINK

Thanks God for all students who ENDORSE PROP 8! Keep up the good work.

Richard Z.
March 26th, 2009 | LINK

GAYS DON’T DESERVE ANYTHING!! First of all, Prop 8 is over and done. The gays there should sit quiet and not be heard. CA voted and it’s done. We don’t want to embarrace California with your stupid sickness and perversion. Nobody won’t care about your lawsuits. Take a look at how munch money the proposition was spent on. YES for RUSSIANS, No for GAYS!

Yes on 8 – Always and Forever!

Jason D
March 26th, 2009 | LINK

“The gays there should sit quiet and not be heard.”

This is a rather anti-freedom, anti-American statement. America is the land of opportunity, of freedom, of living as you see fit — not the land of sitting quiet and not being heard.

And history shows that no minority, no matter how strongly disliked, gives up, gives in, or loses the fight. Sooner or later, they win. It is merely a matter of time before we overcome this. Prop 8 is not the final word, again, this is not how our government works, we reserve the right to revisit our rules, laws at any point in time. The sale of alcohol was legal, then it was not legal, then it was legalized again. The only thing set in stone about our government is it’s principles of representative government and freedom…and even then, we do talk about both limiting and expanding freedoms.

Nothing lasts forever, especially not legislation born of fear, lies, and distortions. Gays deserve everything that every other America deserves. We will accept NOTHING less.

Emily K
March 26th, 2009 | LINK

Hey Richard Z., ever hear of t.A.T.u.??

LOL

Even though they’re not gay – but they sure love kissing each other full on, on the mouth, with tongue..and they’re very um “close.”

Seems pretty gay to ME.

So sometimes you get the best of both worlds – russian and gay!

(OH also, I’m 3rd gen. Russian-American and *actually* gay. Yup! best of both worlds.)

SCC student
April 17th, 2009 | LINK

Ok, so what if t.a.t.u are kissing? they are performers trying to attract males to their concerts. they don’t yell to their fans, hey guys, you saw us kissing, now go marry each other and sleep with each other. if they did, then they would be hated too cause that for-real homosexual behavior is so ammoral it’s disgusting. marriage is not a civil rights issue. civil rights movements are for people who ended up in a minority by fate, not by choice. otherwise everyone who wants to dance in the city shopping mall naked can yell his/her freedom and civil rights as a nudist minority are being violated when they get thrown out. or mexican illegals can yell their freedom of life is being violated when they get deported. if you decided to be ammoral and live your life that way, go hide in your house and don’t try to convert normal people and their children to your sick ways. perversion is the reason why polygamy and incest and inbreeding were outlawed and homosexuality is in the same category.

ARCStudentsWin
May 15th, 2009 | LINK

ARC Students spoke up in record numbers during the last elections and overwhelmingly voted against the bigoted Russians. One word to you hateful bigots, this is MY country, if you don’t like it go back to your own s**tty backwater. You have no right to immigrate to this country and then treat its citizens with disrespect. No immigrant should make an American feel unsafe in their own country.This is not Russia, if you want to live in hatred and bigotry go home!!!

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