Press "Enter" to skip to content

First take/supremacists

Turn over a rock around certain places in the Northwest and you’ll see – white supremacists, usually scurrying away when the spotlight shines in their direction. But Sunday night in Seattle, that changed.

Back in and around the 80s, supremacists were highly visible and in the headlines. That was especially true with the Aryan Nations group in the Idaho Panhandle, which held cross burning events and occasional parades in downtown Coeur d’Alene. There were high profile criminal events around the region too. But we haven’t heard so much of that in recent years. It’s not that the supremacists aren’t around, it’s just that they’ve been keeping relatively quiet.

That changed in a big way on Sunday night. In Seattle’s Capitol Hill area (generally a liberal redoubt), a crowd of (masked) supremacists took to the streets. Where they went, the sound of breaking glass was heard; in the area, a TV news van was trashed.

A counter-parade of anti-supremacists appeared soon after.

David Neiwert, a Seattle resident who has tracked supremacist activities for years, remarked, “Normally they’ve kind of hidden from view, but it’s becoming pretty obvious that white supremacists are feeling a lot bolder. After all they have a presidential candidate, obviously. I think they are feeling a lot more emboldened these days.”

So it would seem. The extremes are pushing ever outward, and where white supremacists were not so long ago beyond the political pale, they’re now getting closer and closer to one wing of the political spectrum.” – rs

Share on Facebook