Wednesday, May 10, 2017

"B-b-but...COMMUNISM!" I'm sure someone said while pearl clutching

It is the year 2017 and the California state government is just now getting around to dumping the last vestiges of the Red Scare.
California may end a decades-old ban on members of the Communist Party working in its government, after the state Assembly approved a bill that would delete references to the party from its employment requirements.

The bill's sponsor, Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, said that California's laws should focus on individuals' actions and evidence rather than political affiliations and what he termed "empty labels."

Speaking on the floor of the Assembly, Bonta called the legislation a "cleanup bill that removes archaic and outdated references to the Communist Party in our state laws, specifically those stating that a public employee may be dismissed from employment if he or she advocates or is knowingly a member of the Communist Party."
Amazing, but not as amazing as the fact that 30 legislators voted against the bill and several made arguments against it by invoking Vietnamese (and presumably, Hmong) refugees and war veterans who fought against communists in Korea and Vietnam.

My two cents? While I understand why the ban against communists was put in place, I no longer think they apply. A person should not be excluded from employment because of their ideology except when they advocate the overthrow of the government or if the ideology is hate-based. According to the article, the bill includes a provision that would continue to bar the former from working in the state government, so I fail to see any reason why someone who identifies as a communist shouldn't be allowed to be a government employee.

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