Our Regional Reputation
Matt Shea, Northwest Grassroots, and Rod Higgins, Mayor of the City of Spokane Valley, are making national news, this time in the Los Angeles Times, further sullying our region's reputation in the eyes of the rest of the country. We need to pay attention, not by decrying the publicity, but by reacting to it in a way that makes news and deals with these putrid ideologies that have once again emerged in our midst. The last time our regional reasons for shame were so much on display was during the time of Richard Butler and the Aryan Nationscompound near Hayden Lake (intermittently in the news between 1980 and 2000). The implicit message of the article: the Aryan Nations compound has been bulldozed, but the ideology it nurtured never went away.
I encourage everyone to click and read the LA Times article, "Far-right Washington state lawmaker faces backlash against white nationalism." Besides Matt Shea (WA LD4 Rep) and Rod Higgins, the Mayor of the City of Spokane Valley (at least until January), the article ties in the Marble Community in Stevens County and "...Spokane’s Covenant Church, whose Pastor Ken Peters, the end-days preacher who told congregants recently that the government was coercing Christians." Peters leads the disruptive protests near Ruby and Division in Spokane, disguised as a church, "The Church at Planned Parenthood."
The results of an independent investigation into Shea's activities was presented to the Washington legislature last Monday, December 2. It will be made public in the coming weeks. The terms under which Shea will continue to "serve" (or not) as a State Representative from Legislative District 4 (Spokane valley north to Mt. Spokane) to the legislature in Olympia, Washington, will likely depend on that investigation.
These folks deserve all the negative publicity we can provide them.
Keep to the high ground, Jerry
P.S. During the time of Richard Butler and the Aryan Nations there were two schools of thought as to how to deal with such hate groups: 1) Ignore them, don't give them a platform, and they'll eventually get tired and go away vs. 2) Shine a spotlight on them, shame them, attack them by all legal means. With people like Shea, Higgins, and Heather Scott (ID State Rep from North Idaho) having infiltrated our governance and with websites and Facebook already providing a glossy platform (check out the Church at Planned Parenthood website or the Liberty State website) the time for ignoring these people is long past.