Back on June 30th, citzensteve posted "MADness in Everett" about the impending visit to Everett by Minutemen founder, Jim Gilchrist. The keynote speaker for an event billed as an "Illegal Immigration Summit", Gilchrist was invited to speak by "something called "the Reagan Wing" and a MAD woman named Shawna Forde who's trying to take her insanity to the Everett City Council." Others in attendance at the "Summit" included former 2nd CD Republican Congressional Candidate, Doug Roulstone and current Snohomish County Sheriff's candidate, Tom Greene (whom I had previously written about here.)
After the event was reported in the Everett Herald, local educator and human rights activist Ed Glazer wrote the following letter to the editor bemoaning the silence of local leaders:
Sunday, July 8, 2007
Why didn't leaders denounce group?
With the recent gathering of the right wing, anti-immigration, racist group here "in River City" (July 1 article, "Minuteman rally draws 100"), I find it most interesting, and yet par for the course, that apparently not a single local elected official has one word to say about this group and what they represent.
Does their overpowering silence indicate acquiescence?
Does their "commitment" to a multicultural/pluralistic society only come out every January when they spout "... keep the dream alive ... "?
I am disappointed and disgusted in the supposed "leaders" of our community.
For, to quote Pastor Martin Niemoller: "First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me."
School board members, mayors, city council members, the county executive and county council members and county officials - your silence is deafening!
While the Everett Herald has not seen fit to print my response to Mr. Glazer, I offer it for you below.
"I share the sentiments of Ed Glazer when he bemoans the silence of our elected officials before, during, and since the arrival of the racist vigilante Minuteman gang to our city. I would add a couple of personal observations. Inside the Elks Lodge; embracing Mr. Gilchrist, were two candidates for local elective office. One is a candidate for Everett City Council; the other a candidate for Snohomish County Sheriff. It is the latter that most concerns me.
While it is the duty of all law enforcement personnel to protect and defend the rights - both legal and civil - of all the citizens they serve, in Tom Greene we find a man who publicly embraces the likes of nationally recognized anti-gay activist, Rev. Ken Hutcherson (keynote speaker for Greene's campaign kick-off breakfast) as well as noted vigilante leader Jim Gilchrist. This is not a matter of defending "gay rights" or "illegal immigrants" but, rather a case of maintaining a perception of "equal protection under the law" while enforcing the law equally toward all. What message would be sent to the members of our minority communities if Mr. Greene moves beyond the primary ballot in August? What leadership message would be sent to the officers of the Sheriff's Department about defending the rights of all the citizens they serve? More importantly, what picture of our diverse Snohomish County would be painted with the election of Tom Greene to the position of Sheriff?
Finally, while there was also a city council candidate inside the Elks Lodge, it should be noted that there was one candidate joining the group outside the event. Jackie Minchew, candidate for Everett City Council, stood proudly with those who denounce the welcoming of Jim Gilchrist and his ilk into our town."
Chad (The Left) Shue