A Huntington Beach planning commissioner who found himself in hot water for comments he made assailing Islam and political correctness during a Nov. 19 speech, resigned from his post Monday.
Hoskinson, who was unavailable for comment, hotly refuted claims point-by-point on his Facebook page, writing that, “Political correctness is being used in an attempt to silence and remove me from public life.”
Councilman Erik Peterson, who appointed Hoskinson to the commission, thought many of the criticisms were unfair.
“I know Mike and he’s not what they’re portraying him to be,” Peterson said.
However, Peterson said that the perceptions about Hoskinson made it impossible for him to continue. And Hoskinson’s provocative language and occasionally profligate social media postings made him an easy target.
“In the Planning Commission, you’re supposed to be unbiased,” he said. “If people think you’re not giving them a fair shake, it might be a problem.”
Peterson also suggested that Hoskinson’s use of sarcasm also rubbed people wrong and may have taken away from the points he was trying to make.
Mayor Barbara Delgleize said she had received calls and complaints throughout the week from residents.
“I think it’s a good thing,” she said of the resignation.
The imbroglio arose on the heels of a video of a speech Hoskinson gave to a conservative group in Santa Ana called “Political Correctness: The Death of America,” that surfaced on YouTube. The speech along with posts from Hoskinson’s Facebook page became the basis for a story by blogger John Earl on Surf City Voice titled “Surf City Commissioner Pushed Jewish-Marxist Conspiracy Theory.”
That story ignited a storm of criticisms that eventually led Hoskinson to resign. The speech was about the Frankfurt School in 1920s Germany that pushed a line of social theory and philosophy. Hoskinson said the school infested American universities and created a toxic stew that “combined into what we now call Political Correctness.”
However, it was some of Hoskinson’s extemporaneous remarks and tangents that caught the most notice.
He said “I think Islam is definitely a threat, I don’t call it a religion at all” and of billionaire liberal philanthropist George Soros, “I’d shoot him myself if I had a chance. He’s a horrible human being. He’s an enemy of this country.”
On his Facebook page, Hoskinson wrote that many of his comments were taken out of context, misconstrued or simply or purposefully misunderstood and made false inferences.
“A small and vocal group of hardcore Progressive activists in Huntington Beach who have attempted to silence me since I was appointed,” Hoskinson wrote.
Delgleize said some of Hoskinson’s remarks and posts went against the city’s 20-year-old Human Dignity Policy, which “declares that everyone should be treated with courtesy and respect, regardless of their racial background, their nation of origin, the religion they practice, their sexual orientation, gender or disability status.”
About being an elected or appointed official, Delgleize said, “I think you serve at a higher standard.”
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