An elected official under fire for a series of Tweets blasting Muslim immigrants as “sub human” and “scum,” made things worse when he tried to defend his viewpoints during a public meeting.
More than a dozen people attended Wednesday’s Otay Water District board meeting calling for an apology and the resignation of board member Hector Gastelum, the 4th district director.
One of the tweets reads:
“Let’s pressure our legislators to prevent #subhuman #scum from #USA to #MAGA”
MAGA stands for make America great again."
Another tweet reads:
“This is how the left learns #Muslim #Islam #Sharia aren’t compatible with any form of #civilsociety #equality.”
When we asked him about the tweets last week, Gastelum told 10News:
“It's never my intention to be hurtful but nowadays sometimes people are hypersensitive. My comments were specific to the people that are doing gang raping women, stoning them to death, throwing homosexuals from the roof."
Gastelum’s response to 10News over the tweets also angered people who spoke against Gastelum during public comment.
“I’m asking you to resign, and I’m not someone who is silent. I’m not going to be here one time and then you are not going to see my face again," said Mona Dibas, a Muslim college student, during public comment. "You are going to see me again and again until you step down from your position or we will force you, as a community, to step down from your position,”
Gastelum was booed when it was his chance to speak. He said he apologized, but then defended his statements as not directed towards “good Muslims.”
“When women get treated like second-hand citizens it makes me insane,” Gastelum said before being cut-off by a chant from the audience to resign.
Several people commented that he is greatly misinformed about the religion of Islam.
Other board members distanced themselves from Gastelum and his comments during the meeting, saying his views do not represent those of the water district.
10News asked Gastelum if he plans to resign and he said “No.”
Mona Dibas said if he does not step down they will pursue a special recall election.