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Re: Hatred and Bigotry in WDP

[Recently I posted an editorial to the Newslinks section in which the Chair of the Washington Dem. Party said some very offensive things about gun owners and Christians. I also sent to Liberty Letters my letter decrying the obvious bigotry of these comments. Here is the reply from the WA State Dem. Party Treasurer. The alert reader will notice that this idiot has the audacity to claim that the slur "gun nuts and religious nuts" was justified. Why, you ask? Because of the existence of psuedo-religious groups such a the KKK. In other words, Republicans who own guns or go to church must be white supremacists. Can you believe this guy?

Rob Lyman]


The Original Letter:

Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 11:02:53 -0800 (PST)
From: robert n lyman <rlyman@u.washington.edu>
To: waparty@democrats.org
Cc: paul@wa-democrats.org, mkinetics@turbonet.com, joenilsson@aol.com,
skmast@worldnet.att.net, kcdcc@msn.com,
46th Dist. <jacobsen_ke@leg.wa.gov>, kenney_ph@leg.wa.gov,
mcintire_ji@leg.wa.gov
Subject: Hatred and Bigotry In WDP.

To the Democratic Party of Washington State, and prominent members thereof: Allow me to quote from the online version of your platform: "Every individual deserves the opportunity to succeed and the right to live free from discrimination; "

"We...affirm that recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world."

Permit me also to note that you have failed in your platform to explicitly support the freedom of religion. Perhaps that has something to do with the following quite from Paul Berendt, taken from the Nov. 10 Seattle P-I: "[W]hen all those gun nuts and religious nuts from Spokane, Yakima and Moses Lake pile off those buses, we will win in Edmonds and Lynnwood for sure .. If I had your typical Republican activist from Spokane or Vancouver showing up on my doorstep, that would be pretty scary. They're probably packing heat or the Bible."

I will not mince words. Mr. Berendt is a bigot. Let me say that again. MR. BERENDT IS A BIGOT! There is no other word for it. If a Republican activist had referred to the "niggers and faggots from downtown Seattle" giving him an edge in a suburban race, your party would be rightly incensed. _I_ would be incensed. If that hypothetical activist was not immediately fired, the repercussions would be very, very serious indeed, just as they ought to be. That kind of bigotry would be immediately and mercilessly punished, as it ought to be. Apparently your party is more tolerant of bigotry against other groups and does not regard this remark as worthy of censure.

Mr. Berendt has used offensive slurs no less hurtful than the more familiar racist and homophobic slurs. He promotes hatred, fear, and discrimination against innocent people who are different from him. For all the talk of "diversity" which comes from your party, one would have thought your leader could be more respectful of people with sincere religious beliefs. For all the talk of "tolerance" of "different lifestyles" which your party indulges in, one might have imagined you to be tolerant of those whose lifestyle includes meaningful self-defense and the annual fall hunt.

The failure of the Democratic Party to immediately censure Mr. Berendt and demand his resignation shows you to be spineless hypocrites. Where is the outrage at this outrageous comment? Are you so unfamiliar with your own platform that you are unaware of its affirmation of the "inherent dignity" of every individual? Or do you simply regard gun owners and Christians as somehow sub-human, and therefore unworthy of your respect? Are you fools, or bigots yourselves?

I am utterly repulsed by Mr. Berendt's comments, which I regard as unforgivably prejudiced and offensive. He has tipped his hand and shown himself to be a bigot no better than the average Klansman. He is of course entitled to his prejudiced beliefs, but I see no reason whatsoever to trust him or anyone who willingly works with him.

I am a non-partisan voter who has always moved between the various parties, voting for whomever I thought most qualified. With the failure of the Democratic party to support is own (alleged) principles, I can see no reason to ever bother voting Democratic again until Mr. Berendt is fired by his fellow party members, or resigns under pressure. Prove to me you mean what your platform says, and perhaps I will trust you again. Failing that, forget it. I will not vote to send bigots to Olympia or D.C.

I will not support hate in any form, against anyone.

Robert Lyman

 


Their response:

Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 00:57:01 EST
From: JOENILSSON@aol.com
To: rlyman@u.washington.edu, waparty@democrats.org
Cc: paul@wa-democrats.org, mkinetics@turbonet.com, skmast@worldnet.att.net, kcdcc@msn.com, jacobsen_ke@leg.wa.gov, kenney_ph@leg.wa.gov, mcine_ji@leg.wa.tirgov
Subject: Re: Hatred and Bigotry In WDP.

Dear Robert:

Thank you for sharing your viewpoint. Here is mine. As a person of faith, I would point out that a reasonable person could find significant evidence that many persons who most individuals would describe as "nuts" do try to use religion as a vehicle to lend creditability to questionable, illegal, immoral, or even evil viewpoints. I would reference the KKK and the Aryan Nation as the worst examples in the United States, and recent comments by Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell after the September 11 attacks as slightly less horrid illustrations.

Given this context, I understand what Paul was attempting to convey and as we live in a Democracy, I will defend his right to express his viewpoint just as you would wish others to defend your right to express your viewpoint. Paul has been, is, and will continue to be a wonderful Chair of the Party and a fine human being.

May Your Journey Be One of Peace and Enlightenment,

Joe Nilsson



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