Joseph Turner: The Face of Hate in the Inland Empire

Living in the Inland Empire has provided many opportunities to be disgusted by racist, xenophobic behavior. Over the years, I have witnessed many instances of hate, intolerance, and injustice. Long before Donald Trump, the Inland Empire had its very own resident evil. Joseph Turner has crawled out from under a rock to promote more hatred by filing a hate filled racist petition (American Children First) that seeks to ban undocumented children from attending public schools. This long time redneck rabble rouser is now rearing his ugly head, this time in Yucaipa and is targeting kids at Yucaipa-Calimesa Unified School District. Sadly, when the Superintendent of that district, Cali Binks was informed about the petition filed on April 3rd, she refused to denounce the petition. Does Yucaipa-Calimesa Unified condone and support this racist ban? We have to wonder.  

Joseph Turner is a right-wing White power activist, who some may remember in 2006 led an effort to ban immigrants from renting in San Bernardino. The following information is from wikipedia in reference to that failed attempt:  

*From wikipedia:  “In 2006, an initiative circulated by Save Our State leader Joseph Turner regarding illegal immigration was sent to the electorate. According to the impartial analysis prepared by the City Attorney’s Office, much of the initiative, even if passed, would have probably been ruled unconstitutional or would have been preempted by federal or state law. Later, Superior Court Judge A. Rex Victor disqualified the measure from the ballot after the City filed a declaratory relief action based on a challenge by local attorney Florentino (“Tino”) Garza. The court ruled that Turner had not gathered enough signatures to qualify the measure. Turner, acting on the advice of City Clerk Rachel Clark-Mendoza, had based the number on the 2001 mayoral election (in which Judith Valles ran unopposed), instead of the 2005 mayoral election (which was contested). After the defeat, Turner vowed to bring a new, harsher measure to the ballot, and he mounted an ultimately unsuccessful campaign to replace Clark-Mendoza, herself, as City Clerk by arguing that her alleged incompetence and/or corruption resulted in: uncollected tax revenues; unlicensed home rentals; and, absentee landlords that were lowering property values across the entire city.”

Yeah, this happened. Right here in my city. On May 15, 2006, the item was actually on the agenda! On Monday, May 15, the city council in San Bernardino, California held a vote on this question. The ordinance did not receive the required votes and was eventually struck down by a judge. Disaster averted. The bill included language that would have made it illegal for landlords to rent to undocumented immigrants and would have would have prohibited the hiring of day laborers.


There are so many other instances where this hate monger and racist has attempted to promote his hate filled agenda in San Bernardino County. For example, in 2009, he was hired by then County Supervisor, Neil Derry, a white supremacist and went to work for him in the office of the County Board of Supervisors to promote racist policies. Yes, he was paid tax dollars to hate immigrants in San Bernardino County.

It goes back even further, in 2004, Turner founded the racist, xenophobic organization SOS (Save Our State) in the hopes of promoting his hate filled agenda and to purge the county of San Bernadino of pretty much anyone he deemed undesirable. In fact, he held several anti-immigrant protests and rallies in the Inland Empire and frequently had radical Neo-Nazis there to incite violence. In reference to those violent protests, Turner simply said, “…I do believe that violence is a legitimate means to an end.” Clearly.

Now, Turner is back at it and this time preying upon children of the Inland Empire.  Joseph Turner is nothing more than a coward and a bully! He seems to get off on attacking those who cannot defend themselves. Anyone who does not denounce his crazy right-wing ban should be dealt with accordingly! Including Cali Olsen-Binks!  She must denounce this petition that specifically targets the children in her school district.

It seems obvious that his most recent resurrection is a move emboldened by the Trump debacle we are currently plagued with at the national level as well as desperate attempt to be relevant. Turner specifically chose Yucaipa-Calimesa to file his racist petition for a reason. The petition filed on April 3, 2017 was filed with the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters, which would have provided a ballot title and summary of the measure and would have required 3,200 signatures to qualify for the ballot. How unfortunate is it that in 2017, this conservative stronghold and immigrant hating community is a long standing racist bastion in America!  I have no doubt that the backwards thinking people of this city could have in fact found enough hateful votes to pass shameful petition!

As predicted, a potential pitfall for Mr. Turner was fortunately, his own ignorance and stupidity as his petition has failed to meet requirements at the County level.  He appears to have underestimated the protections in the United States Constitution, the Constitution of the State of California, The Education, The General Code, Current School Policies and precedent setting cases such as Plyler v. Doe* (457 U.S. 202 (1982) was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States struck down a state statute denying funding for education to illegal immigrant children and simultaneously struck down a municipal school district’s attempt to charge illegal immigrants an annual $1,000 tuition fee.)

We have been dealing with this hideous individual for many years in the Inland Empire. In 2006, he ran for school board in San Bernardino and actually received the endorsement of CSEA (California School Employees Association)!     

In fact, he was on the John & Ken show when he ran for school board to explain how he received their support.  Take a listen here:  Incredibly, (California School Employees Association) CSEA actually endorsed this hateful scumbag!  

If you are interested in reading his press release on the matter, feel free to look at the presser he provided regarding his hateful petition.  It should be noted that he isn’t even a resident of the area anymore.  

*More information on the racist From The Nativist

I’ll leave you this final sobering thought about this demagogue. In 2006, Turner said the following to the Ventura County Star, “Deep down I feel like I’ve been called to greatness.”

So, we have been through this before with this God forsaken bully.

Thankfully, Joseph Turner’s petition was declined by the County.* We will have to wait and see what his next move will be.

*IMPORTANT UPDATE: On 04/11/2017, the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters sent the following letter, citing lack of authority as denial of petition to the petitioner. In California, admission standards to public schools fall under the authority of the state legislature. Note how Turner’s address is actually in Torrance, California, at least an hour drive from the Inland Empire.

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Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia is a Mother, Grandmother, former Middle School Teacher, former Member of a School Board of Education and an Education Advocate for hundreds of parents and students in the Inland Empire. Having become a mother at 15, Leticia knows what it’s like to be a single mother trying to navigate the education system. Leticia received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and Public Administration from California Baptist University and a Masters’ Degree in Education Technology from Cal State Fullerton in her 30’s. Leticia has used her knowledge and experience to help hundreds of families as an Education Advocate in the Inland Empire and currently works as an Education Specialist.

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