Controversy continues over slur, LGBT leaders call for diversity training

Muhammad (center) has admitted ignorance of the LGBT community and culture and has pledged to educate himself and family on issues that the LGBT community, according to local gay advocates.

Muhammad (center) has admitted ignorance of the LGBT community and culture and has pledged to educate himself and family on issues that the LGBT community, according to local gay advocates.

LANCASTER – Controversy continues to swirl around Lancaster Neighborhood Vitalization Commissioner Stan Muhammad, who has repeatedly apologized this week for using an anti-gay slur from the podium of the Community Prayer and Call to Action event on July 20.

Muhammad was the subject of discussion during the non-agendized portion of the Lancaster City Council meeting Tuesday night, as speakers gave testimony both for and against removing Muhammad from his commission post.

Palmdale resident Pharaoh Mitchell said he supported Muhammad for acknowledging the mistake and apologizing for it the very same day.

“We’ve all made mistakes,” Mitchell said. “Are we so small as a human race not to forgive people for their mistakes?”

Lancaster Human Relations Tapestry Commissioner David Paul said he too was a guest speaker at the Community Prayer and Call to Action. Paul said Muhammad’s comments did not diminish the event.

“There was a sense of unity and people coming together and grieving and celebrating, and it was actually a wonderful event…” Paul said. “Nothing diminished what was accomplished there and what goes forward from there.”

Brandon Zavala, one of the coordinators for the Community Prayer and Call to Action, gave a deeply personal statement, during which he came out publicly as a gay man. He also described the hurt he felt upon hearing the slur.

“I spent my entire week dedicated to organizing [the] event, and during that event, I was reduced…the man that I am was reduced to six letters,” Zavala said, adding that Muhammad should be held accountable for his words and should be removed as a Lancaster commissioner.

“Mr. Mayor, I call upon you to do this, not out of spite, or anger or resentment,” Zavala said. “We as a city cannot allow and tolerate intolerance by our own government to our people.”

A woman, who identified herself as a member of the lesbian and gay community, said she too was hurt by Muhammad’s remarks. She asked that Muhammad be temporarily removed as a commissioner to allow him some time for diversity training.

“I think it’s fair to ask him to step down…just until at least training has been had,” she said.

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris called Muhammad’s comments “deplorable” and “inexcusable,” but Parris said he does not have the authority to remove Muhammad from his commission post. He said commissioners can only be removed through a motion by a councilmember and then a vote by the city council as a whole. Parris made it clear that he had no intention of bringing such a motion.

“When people come back up for reappointments, I do consider how extreme they might be [in] whether or not I want to reappoint them,” Parris said. “In this case, I’m anxious to see what Stan does in an effort to fix this thing he created.”

Muhammad has already reached out to and met with local gay advocates, according to an open letter to Muhammad issued by the OUTreach Center. A portion of the letter to Muhammad reads:

“At The OUTreach Center board meeting Monday evening, you submitted to our examination willingly and openly and made no excuses. You admitted ignorance of the LGBT community and culture.  The community representatives who were present heard your pledge to educate yourself, your family, and your religious and political communities on issues which affect the LGBT community and their allies.”

The letter also calls for the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale to require training in cultural competence and diversity issues for appointed commissioners, as well as elected officials.

“Our public officials are expected to serve all residents. Going forward, the actions and statements of our community leaders should reflect both the common interests and unique needs of all community groups,” the letter states. (Read the full letter here.)

More controversy as organizers condemn “anti-semitic” statement

Organizers and coordinators of the Community Prayer and Call to Action are condemning another portion of Muhammad’s remarks at the July 20 event. They say during the process of apologizing for his anti-gay slur, Muhammad offended Jewish attendees.

“It has been brought to the attention of the organizer and coordinators of the Community Prayer and Call to Action event that not only did Commissioner Muhammad make an anti-gay slur, but the Antelope Valley Jewish community has notified us of an apparent anti-Semitic statement made by the commissioner during his remarks at the event last Saturday (July 20th, 2013). When referring to the ‘demonic’ nature of the music industry… he states that the industry worships in the “Synagogue of Satan,” organizers said in a press release reiterating their call for Muhammad to be removed as a Lancaster commissioner.

Listen to Muhammad’s apology at the podium, which includes the remarks in question, here: [sc_embed_player fileurl=”″]

When asked about the remarks, Muhammad said he would not comment on the latest round of criticism. He stressed that he was committed to taking the steps necessary to educate himself on tolerance.

Previous related stories:

Lancaster commissioner apologizes for using anti-gay slur

Community Prayer calls for unity, justice

  61 comments for “Controversy continues over slur, LGBT leaders call for diversity training

  1. KOUI
    July 26, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    It wasn’t a slur, it was his preferred term for a category of people he doesn’t approve of. He has shown his stripes, fire him and do it quickly.

    • Green is a cover-up
      July 26, 2013 at 10:28 pm

      R. Parris, Marvin (the RAT) Crist and Pharaoh Mitchell all support StaN Muhammad keeping his seat on the commission. That says volumes about their leadership for the city of Lancaster. They make our city proud.

      • Green is a cover-up
        July 26, 2013 at 10:29 pm


  2. JustaMom
    July 25, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Hopefully he will learn to think before he speaks. No matter who you are or who you worship, once something has been said it is almost impossible to retract it, specially when it has been said in public. I think Proverbs 29:20 says it well: “Do you see a man who speaks too soon? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”

    • sikntired
      July 25, 2013 at 9:50 pm

      Actually let’s hope he doesn’t ,it’s a gift that he exposed himself the way he did.

      • Sjgranai
        July 26, 2013 at 6:16 pm


  3. sjgranai
    July 25, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    I also cannot believe he is refusing to speak on the anti-semitic statements he made!
    He got scared of the gays….but said IDGAF about offending Jews?
    Way to go!

    • taxichef
      July 30, 2013 at 4:12 pm

      Time for Mr. Paris to take leave along with his cronies from the political scene before the ADL and JDL start proceeding against King Rex. What started out as a sensitive statement will turn to a death rattle for the Rexasouris.

  4. sjgranai
    July 25, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    I hope folks don’t just let this topic die out. We have to do ,ore if we want results

    • sjgranai
      July 25, 2013 at 9:15 pm


  5. Notagain
    July 25, 2013 at 8:39 pm


  6. Briart
    July 25, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    A Slur is a Slur so let me see if I have this correct. A person who is well known used a Slur to call out a group of people and some people got offended. Paula Deen… She admitted her mistake and apologized also! She did not however do it at a vigil for a murdered child nor did she do it in front of a crowd. Hate knows no boundary nor is it racist, it’s purpose is to destroy. Stan is only practicing what is in his heart. Muhammad did not teach him that. I say he should be judged by a jury of his peers just like Zimmerman.

  7. July 25, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    “diversity training”? people are who they are. No amount of “training” can change a persons beliefs.

    I know know nothing about the Lancaster Neighborhood Vitalization Commission so I looked them up- it says this:

    “The Lancaster Neighborhood Vitalization Commission is tasked with garnering community support and working with the City Council and City staff to facilitate stronger neighborhoods. This Commission works with citizens, community leaders, other government agencies and local organizations in an effort to achieve its goals.”

    Well, maybe its time they got their priorities straight discussed some real issues that actually affect us.

    You see, If I have to walk to the store or take a bus, I always make sure I am home by 7pm, know why? Well here is a hint- Its not because I am worried about being stabbed, shot, robbed or beaten by a group of gays.

    • Quigley
      July 25, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      Right on Sammy P!!

    • sikntired
      July 25, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      Two thumbs up!

    • Liberty13
      July 25, 2013 at 11:16 pm


    • KOUI
      July 27, 2013 at 12:06 am


  8. AVGirl
    July 25, 2013 at 11:50 am

    For those interested in having Stan removed, please read the following municipal codes pertaining to ad hoc committees:

    Here is a link to the most recent revitalization committee meeting:

    If you would like to view additional videos:

    And lastly, if anyone who lives in Lancaster and wants to run for city council:

  9. PD
    July 25, 2013 at 9:58 am

    The Lancaster Neighborhood Vitalization Commissioner is a waste of resources. It just a platform for “race watchers” to stand on their soapbox.

    A public figure used inappropriate language. It is not the end of the world… Calm yourself, stop being so sensitive and go back to work.

  10. July 25, 2013 at 9:15 am

    This is what Islamics believe. Get over it already. The person that was responsible for checking out the background of all speakers, plain and simple.
    The meeting was not intended for hate speech.

    • Up2here
      July 25, 2013 at 11:44 am

      Well if he can say words that are offensive why can,t I? It’s not their world, it’s OUR world. I am a senior white woman and I want an apology for being called a HONKIE. I was walking my dog and three black teenagers walked by and said “move over for the HONKIE. Well I RESENT that. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander!

      • taxichef
        July 30, 2013 at 4:20 pm

        absolutely true.

  11. T-Bone
    July 25, 2013 at 8:21 am

    This Guy is a Joke and is now making the Mayor and City of Lancaster look like one!

    • DrinkYourKoolAid
      July 25, 2013 at 9:38 am

      Mayor and City Council do that well enough on their own.

      • T-Bone
        July 26, 2013 at 7:07 am

        True Enough!

  12. Chris
    July 25, 2013 at 8:13 am

    So much for removing double standards.“We’ve all made mistakes,” Mitchell said. “Are we so small as a human race not to forgive people for their mistakes?” YEAH WE ARE SO SMALL! ASK PAULA DEAN.

    • justbeingreal
      July 25, 2013 at 8:23 am

      Paula Dean got the shaft!!!!

    • Up2here
      July 25, 2013 at 11:47 am

      Mistake! Are you joking? He meant what he said! He’s a racist and he should be ousted!

      • J. Ripper
        July 27, 2013 at 7:16 am

        Racist? Well, probably, but I don’t see the direct evidence for that.

        Homophobe? Yes.

        Sexist? Yes.

  13. TossHimOut
    July 25, 2013 at 8:08 am

    I am horrified to learn this anti-Semitic homophobic bigot is on our City Council. Where do we sign-up to have him ousted?

    • justbeingreal
      July 25, 2013 at 8:21 am

      I’m with you ! Better watch out or we might find Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton in the AV !!!!

    • Up2here
      July 25, 2013 at 11:48 am

      Where’s the form? I’ll sign.

    • taxichef
      July 30, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      I WILL be contacting the ADL and JDL on this subject and make Mr. Paris pay with the end of his political career for this matter.

      • sikntired
        July 30, 2013 at 4:55 pm

        I hope so because he seemed to find the whole thing amusing judging from Scott Pelka’s video. Disgusting,he thinks nothing can touch him.

  14. J. Ripper
    July 25, 2013 at 5:56 am

    I think what a lot of people are missing is what Stan said immediately prior to using the slur: “I can’t even speak the way I want to speak ‘cause sisters is here.” Let’s dissect this a bit further:

    1. Stan actually wanted to use an even stronger, more offensive term than the one he used, and admitted it.

    2. Stan believes there is a double standard in how he should speak publicly, in an official capacity, in front of women than in the absence of women.

    • AVGirl
      July 25, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      Makes me wonder what that term might have been.

      I am a bit sadden by the fact that I didn’t hear any gasps or sounds of protest from the audience when he used that word.

      • KOUI
        July 27, 2013 at 12:12 am

        Hopefully it was just stunned silence. Who am I kidding, never mind.

  15. Sjgranai
    July 25, 2013 at 12:47 am

    Had this reporter been listening to the young man speak.. they would NOT have posted his name in this article. SMDH

    ps.. *I* was the other person who stood up and spoke at that council meeting. I believe Mr Muhammed should step down from his commission position. It was said during the meeting he did not make that speech as a Lancaster representative. However, it was discovered today that Mr. Muhammed requested to be introduced, at that event, as a Lancaster Commissioner. So yes, he did go in an official capacity.

    I had agreed for a temporary suspension based on all the information I had at the time. With this new information and under what capacity he was under while attending that meeting…. the City of Lancaster truly does not have a choice but to remove this man from his appointed position.

    He will not step down voluntarily. He will force the hand of the City to either accept his blatant disregard for the LGBTQ and Jewish communities or call them ‘racists’ for removing him. I believe the city council is TERRIFIED of the latter.

  16. July25
    July 25, 2013 at 12:23 am

    If Paula Dean wasn’t forgiven for her slip of the tongue, why should he?

    • so true
      July 25, 2013 at 4:21 am

      Well said, guess it’s only for people of diversity to be heard. Please, the remark hurt the feelings of some….what?? it’s a word folks, used for many years and for many reasons other than being gay. Fat people are called names all the time, hurtful mean names, some fat folks can’t help the extra weight due to medical reasons, do they get on the band wagon and protest? NO!!!

      • AVGirl
        July 25, 2013 at 8:19 am

        Actually there are cases where overweight people have protested. Perhaps not en mass, but there is a growing trend in the modeling profession to show women who aren’t 100 lbs.. Not to mention growing pressure for advertisements to not depict women as stick figures.

        There is one major difference as well, sexual orientation and religion are protected classes. Hate crimes are federal offenses, nothing to scoff at.

      • Up2here
        July 25, 2013 at 11:56 am

        I don’t need to be told I’m overweight. I see it. It’s not just a word. People are generally hurtful. It starts as children. Humans have a mean nature. It comes out of their MOUTH. The mouth is a dangerous tool…but the words come from the brain. We’re still as ignorant as children. TRUTH BEING… WE JUST DON’T LIKE DIFFERENCE!

      • KOUI
        July 27, 2013 at 12:18 am

        That is the lamest defense of a bigot I’ve ever read. You must be related or something.

  17. Stinger
    July 25, 2013 at 12:05 am

    “Parris said he does not have the authority to remove Muhammad from his commission post.” this is a blatant lie. All Commissioners in the City of Lancaster serve at the direct pleasure of the Mayor. He can remove anybody that he wants to… And we ALL know that.

    Remember: “We’re growing a Christian community, and don’t let anybody shy away from that.” – R. Rex Parris, 2010

  18. Notagain
    July 24, 2013 at 11:52 pm


  19. Green is a cover-up
    July 24, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    The trial attorney/Mayor supports the homophobic commissioner. They are great example of leadership for our city of Lancaster. You really cannot make this stuff up.

  20. Liberty13
    July 24, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Gotta love when liberal’s agendas collide and everyone has a fit!

    • sikntired
      July 24, 2013 at 10:52 pm


  21. Rooney
    July 24, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Training isn’t going to change the way he feels. He is what he is! Be a man of honor and step down. It’s not the job for you!

    • sikntired
      July 24, 2013 at 10:51 pm

      He won’t step down ,he wants that foothold in local politics so he can stir up some more trouble .
      Wonder if he was one of the residents of CSP 60th st west who was relocated in Lancaster.

      • Not Malcolm X
        July 25, 2013 at 7:13 am

        I wonder whether Mr. Muhammad is “counseling” his LA gangsters to get away from it all and ‘get a new start’ in the AV. I wonder if he’s telling them to get away from the gang lifestyle, move up to the quiet AV, and lay low to avoid that 3rd strike.

        So he may be importing more than his poor vision for mankind, he may be importing known troublemakers to live among us.

        You can take the knucklehead out of the hood but can can you take the hood out of the knucklehead. I’m sure that we’ll see all the new Venice Shoreline Crips helping old ladys across the street and volunteering in the AVH ER.

        Sure we will… We’re going to see nothing but agitating and race hatred from the likes of the Muslim Brotherhood…. er, correction, the Nation of Islam.

        R. Rex Parris has to know that if this guy is new to his ‘job’ as ‘commissioner’ and already bringing trouble with his, that this will only get worse as he gets more entrenched and more emboldened.

        I think that Mayor Parris will someday regret not distancing himself from Ansar Muhammad”… AKA “Stan” Muhammad. It’s not a matter of whether it’ll happen, it’s a matter of when. stand by.

        • sikntired
          July 25, 2013 at 9:52 am

          Strange bedfellows, a Baptist and a Black Muslim ;perhaps Rex can relate to the felon part of the equation, wasn’t he a troubled teenager?

  22. FUNNY
    July 24, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Give him just what pala Deen got strip him of all he has

    July 24, 2013 at 10:18 pm


  24. sikntired
    July 24, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Sorry that happened to you,Brandon,a cold shot when you least expected it.

  25. sikntired
    July 24, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    How will diversity training change a core belief , a tenet of his religion ? SMH.

  26. Resident Cynic
    July 24, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Rex has a history of supporting bigots. Why change now?

  27. where is my share?
    July 24, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Now if Mr.Muhammed had voted against Walmart, he’d be out in a minute! Slamming gays and Jews is fine, but don’t vote against development! At least Mr. Parris still has his priorities straight! Sarcasm intended.

  28. DrinkYourKoolAid
    July 24, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    So, according to Rex, his statement was deplorable and inexcusable, but he has no intention of bringing a motion to the council to have the commissioner removed?

    Rex just seeps integrity, doesn’t he?

    • BGF
      July 24, 2013 at 9:38 pm

      It’s all part of the same superstitious nonsense & mythology. These delusional idiots need to stay inside their churches etc.

    • William
      July 25, 2013 at 3:38 am

      That ain’t integrity he’s seeping.

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