Church Flies Black Lives Matter Banners, Loses Its Polling Place Designation

Three months before the 2018 midterm elections, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno, a congregation of about 450 in an affluent and mostly white part of town in California, flew Black Lives Matter banners in solidarity with people of color against police violence.

But some white people in Fresno just could not handle it.

An anonymous voter wanted to know “why it was okay to have a Black Lives Matter (a known domestic terrorist group) sign in front of our polling place,” according to court documents, according to The Washington Post.

The voter filed the complaint with the county clerk and registrar of voters in the city.

The county clerk, Brandi Orth, also white, decided she agreed with the voter and that it wasn’t okay for the church to fly the banners. In August, the county official asked the church, which has been a polling place since 2016, to take down the banners.

But the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno said no way. The signs were 200 feet way from the church building itself – beyond the 100-foot radius inside which state law prohibits “electioneering.”

Even though the church wasn’t breaking any laws, Orth dropped the house of worship as a polling location for the fall election.

But the church and the ACLU are not going to let it slide. The church and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing the county clerk in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. According to the lawsuit, the ACLU says stripping the church of its polling designation endangers its constitutionally protected speech.

The people of Fresno have reason to fly the banners – the rate of black infant mortality in Fresno County is nearly triple the county’s overall figure and is similar to rates in parts of the developing world, as the civil liberties group notes in the legal filing, according to The Post.

“I said, ‘You’re looking at that though a white primacy culture lens,’” the minister of the church told The Post. “You’ve determined that to make this safe for one or two or three racist white people, it’s necessary to take a place that was safe for people of color to vote — and snatch that away.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Latest News

PwC: The Future of Recruiting

Originally published on PwC.com. What do job seekers want? Your recruiting practices could be driving candidates away. Giving every applicant a great experience can change that. Imagine finding the candidate of your dreams—great skills, deep experience, and a terrific cultural fit. You’ve spent weeks getting to know them, talking to…

Kaiser Permanente Takes Workforce Health to Heart

Originally Published by Kaiser Permanente The American Heart Association recognizes Kaiser Permanente’s actions to support employee health and well-being. When Don Nishita, a Kaiser Permanente employee and a Total Health Champion in the IT department decided to foster a healthier work environment for himself and his team, he turned to…

Hilton Opens 700 New Work-From-Home Positions

Post Courtesy of Hilton New openings with the #1 company to work for in the U.S. offer remote work opportunities across the country Hilton has announced the creation of 700 new full-time work-from-home positions, significantly expanding its remote career program and flexible work opportunities across the United States. As part…

Wells Fargo: Giving Students a Head Start on Financial Education

Originally published on stories.wf.com by Dustin Wilson and Jessica Pacek Leah Johnson is using the financial lessons she learned at Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s Teacher Quality and Retention Program Summer Institute to teach her fourth-grade students in Texas how to spend and save their money wisely. When Leah Johnson attended…