May 18, 2016, Fox40 (video) Sacramento: Richard Pan Holds Forum on Hate Speech; Protesters Say Senator Doesn’t Moderate Hateful Comments on His Own Facebook Page
SACRAMENTO -- It was meant to be an evening all about words -- a forum on how hate speech damages society.
But, as host, Senator and Doctor Richard Pan couldn't have guessed he'd confront these words on a protester's sign: "Senator Pan encourages hate speech."
"It just seems extremely hypocritical," said Joshua Coleman.
"When you talk about hate speech, it's a very interesting thing for him to be talking about because when you go to his Facebook page, um, you see really hateful comments, people saying they're going to kill our children in front of us," said Kim McCauley.
And these hateful comments have been up on Pan's Facebook page for months, according to protesters.
Fox40 didn't make this a debate over vaccines and autism. They made the issue the unfair and hateful comments made about parents who question forced vaccination in California.
Fox40 actually confronted the senator about his questionable actions for someone hosting a forum on hate speech.
FOX40 asked Senator Pan about some of the comments living in threads on his page.
After a long pause he said, "Extremist speech is concerning."
"Trying to patrol the social media accounts, if you've ever tried doing that, is very challenging."
What Fox40 also did here was wake up viewers to the reality of vaccine injury. Several children were mentioned in the coverage.
"My oldest daughter Ella was injured by the Prevnar vaccine," said McCauley, a mom who supports choice in vaccinations.
She's suing the federal government through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program about the reactive airway disease Ella has now.
"Vaccines are bad. They could get you paralyzed like I did," 7-year-old Otto Coleman shared from his wheelchair.
"My son at 17-months-old, he had a vaccine injury. He has vaccine-induced transverse myelitis. So, vaccines are reprogramming your immune system. Well his immune system got confused, attacked his spinal cord and did permanent damage," said Coleman, another parent for choice in vaccination.
Senator Pan comes out of this looking like a hypocrite. In a related piece, also on May 18, "Senator Pan Hosts Forum on Hate Speech and Its Effects on Society," we read this about the discussion:
More than a hundred people came out to the California Railroad Museum Wednesday to discuss how speech that seeks to exclude and inflame could lead to punishing national policies.
Hate speech could lead to other things besides "punishing national policies. It would seem that allowing comments about killing the children of parents who want vaccine choice would fall under inflammatory speech. Pan should probably start on his own Facebook page. And while it may be "challenging" to moderate social media, Pan could pay someone to do that out of the nearly $100,000 in pharma money he received during 2013-2014, as reported in the Sacramento Bee in June, 2015.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.