Letters to Editor for Sept. 9, 2021

Clark County: We have a hate-group problem

Wake up Clark County: We have a hate group problem.

Hate groups (as designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center, splcenter.org) showed up at the last Washougal School District School Board Meeting on Aug. 24. One of the speakers from one of those groups threatened board members.

Many in the group further intimidated others out in the parking lot. Why would they show up to a school board meeting, where they neither live nor have children enrolled? Then, Sept. 3, they showed up at Skyview High School to “escort a student into the building that cannot wear masks.” They chanted, displayed signs, prayed and waved flags. They hurled insults at school staff and argued that they just want this student “to get her education.”

Why is this happening? Why is no one talking about it?

I often wonder why this area doesn’t talk more about the entrenched, white supremacy here in Clark County. The Klu Klux Klan has been present in Clark County Washington at least as far back as the 1920s, if not earlier (columbian.com).

Currently, local Northwest hate groups continue that tradition by using intimidation and harassment that is designed to make people cower in fear so that they can do what they want.

Hate crimes are on the rise, and the U.S. will become “minority white” by 2045, if not earlier, as predicted by the Census (brookings.edu). Is this why? Do they think if everyone gets equal human rights, they won’t get any? Is that an acceptable excuse? I do not think so. I am OK if others want to have a different opinion than me, but we don’t resort to bullying, intimidation, threats and harassment. This is not how people should behave.

We must be intolerant of intolerance. Karl Popper, a mid-20th century philosopher, created this idea of The Paradox of Intolerance. It states that if a society is tolerant without limit, its ability to be tolerant is eventually seized or destroyed by the intolerant (aninjusticemag.com). I understand that it can be scary, but it’s not going to get any easier by waiting to do something. According to the SPLC’s “10 Ways To Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide,” there are actions we can take to come together to drive out hate. This is a perfect time to join the fight. We cannot go back in time and change history, but we can do something now. That’s the most important part, what we do NOW.

Wendi Moose,

Washougal