Community college trustee Dr. Luis Reynoso launched online fundraising early this month for potential legal action against the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District (CLPCCD) Board in California.
The CLPCCD Board censured Reynoso in a heated board meeting on Feb. 22, followed by a slew of controversies and standoffs between Reynoso and the LGBTQ+ community.
“The CLPCCD Board censure sets a dangerous precedent for our country. I invite you to join me in fighting for and defending true conservative officials,” Reynoso wrote on the fundraising website.
The censuring was due to an apple meme Reynoso posted on a personal LinkedIn account in September 2022.
The meme was a picture of an apple, titled “This is a Banana,” with a footnote reading “If you see an Apple, you’re a Right Wing Extremist.”
The meme and the comments posted after it are no longer available on Reynoso’s LinkedIn page, which has over 4,000 followers.
Since Reynoso is a long-term elected trustee, the censuring would not be able to remove him from the Board of Trustees but would jeopardize his teaching career and re-election, Reynoso told NTD, a media partner of The Epoch Times, the day after he was censured.
The week before the board meeting voted to censure, Reynoso received a notice from a high school he’s been teaching at that next year’s contract has been canceled.
According to an archived pdf file, a user named Kyle Johnson posted the first reply to Reynoso’s meme about one month after Reynoso posted it. The reply stated that “this picture is commonly used as an Anti-Transgender joke.”
“If you try to Google for that picture that the group claimed to be offended by, I can’t find it anywhere,” Reynoso told NTD.
East Bay Insider searched and only found that a similar apple meme was used by CNN in 2017 as a campaign to push back a “fake news” accusation by then-President Donald Trump.
“My meme’s intent was the fact of the piece that the CNN did before, where the report had fire in the background and yet the reporter was telling us this is a peaceful protest,” Reynoso said. “That’s what it was. It’s more of a summary of what we see is not what we are supposed to see.”
In the discussion following Reynoso’s meme, after Reynoso pointed out that his post “never mentioned any group,” Johnson still asked Reynoso to offer “support for the LGBTQ+ community” in order to prove that what Reynoso said is true.
After Reynoso declined to apologize, LGBTQ+ community members brought the issue to the CLPCCD Board of Trustees.
According to an investigation report by the ad hoc committee, during the Nov. 15, 2022 Board of Trustees meeting, Reynoso also refused to apologize.
As for the reason, Reynoso told CBN News, “I am a Christian, and it is against the word of GOD to support that type of lifestyle (LGBTQ+).”
Reynoso told NTD the whole process is “a good example of what a witch trial looks like.”
Reynoso said that the really scary thing it will cause is the loss of critical thinking, “because free speech has literally been squashed by powerful groups, and they wanted it that way.”
“It’s either their way of thinking or that’s it, nothing else,” he said.
David Lam contributed to this report.