Accusation is false

Your end of the year round-up included the following disinformation about the Sierra Club and the 2004 elections for Board of Directors.

“The Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club is back in the news when Robert Roy van de Hoek, Sierra Club activist and former Malibu City Council candidate, announces his candidacy for the Sierra Club’s national board. The board race is particularly hot this year because a coalition of animal rights activist have combined with a coalition of anti-immigration groups, some of which are accused of being racist, to try and seize control of the Sierra Club. Their try will ultimately fail when their candidates go down in defeat.”

There was never a coalition of animal rights groups and anti-immigration groups running for the Sierra Club Board. This was an accusation that became accepted as “fact” because of the media parroting the accusation. Any investigation would have shown that this was a bogus charge. There were no anti-immigration candidates running. There were population stabilization advocates who were accused of being anti-immigration. Again an accusation is spun into fact for and by the media. I am pro-animal rights and hardly anti-immigrant since I am a recent immigrant myself from Canada. I am for population stabilization both globally and in the United States. This does not make me a racist.

One of the problems we have in the United States is the gullibility or perhaps the laziness of the media to accept gossip, accusations and opinion as fact. Surely the media should be more credible than the Internet, where facts are routinely distorted and situations are grossly misrepresented. The real fight during the 2004 Sierra Club elections was between the old guard wanting to maintain power and its fear that the democratic process would remove their power. So they pulled a Karl Rove and accused the opposition of being bigots and racists and in so doing they treated respectable environmentalists like former Gov. Richard Lamm, Professor David Pimental and African American social reformer Frank Morris with contempt.

Any challenger for a position on the Sierra Club Board will find the resources of the Sierra Club will be used to spin their positions negatively so as to give advantage to candidates favored by the establishment directors and staff. Don’t take my word for it. Check it out yourself with old-fashioned journalism.

Paul Watson

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National Director

(2003-2006)

The Sierra Club

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The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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