Sparks Could Fly Over Councilman's "Proud Racist" Remarks

By Ted Chen
|  Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010  |  Updated 6:59 AM PDT
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Sparks Could Fly Over Councilman's "Proud Racist" Remarks

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Tuesday night's City Council meeting in Santa Clarita is shaping up to be a standoff between supporters of Councilman Bob Kellar and those who say his remarks at a recent anti-illegal immigration rally were out of line.

On Jan. 16, Kellar attended a Minuteman rally near Magic Mountain, where he quoted President Teddy Roosevelt's philosophy that America only has room for one flag and one language. Kellar told the crowd that when he voiced that opinion at a City Council meeting, people told him he sounded like a racist.

"If that's what you think I am because I happen to believe in America, then I'm a proud racist. You're darn right I am," he said.

Before Tuesday's meeting, Kellar stood by his remarks but said he's not a racist and he only used that word because that's what someone called him.

Nevertheless, his words are expected to draw both Kellar's supporters and detractors to the Santa Clarita City Council meeting on Tuesday.

"An elected representative gets elected to unite people, to bring people together, not to polarize them, not to pull them apart, not to inject hate and dislike for ethnic minorities," said Juan Guitierrez, an immigration reform advocate.

Kellar is a former LAPD cop who's been elected mayor twice. Coming to his defense Tuesday will be Roger Gitlin, the leader of the Santa Clarita Valley Minutemen, the group that organized the rally. Gitlin says he's proud of what Kellar did.

"He's no more a racist than lady Statue of Liberty," Gitlin said.

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