“Hate Makes Comeback in Pacific NW”
“Nearly two decades after the Aryan Nations’ Idaho compound was demolished, far-right extremists are maintaining a presence in the Pacific Northwest.
“White nationalism has been on the rise across the U.S., but it has particular resonance along the Idaho-Washington border, where the Aryans espoused hate and violence for years.”
“But a series of incidents in recent weeks show far-right sentiments never really left the conservative region. In the county that is home to Hayden Lake, for instance, Republicans last month passed a measure expressing support for U.S. entry of a prominent Austrian far-right activist who was investigated for ties to the suspected New Zealand mosque gunman.”
“Last month, The Guardian published internet chats from 2017 in which a Washington state legislator and three other men discussed confronting “leftists” with a variety of tactics, including violence, surveillance and intimidation.
“The messages prompted Washington House Democrats to demand that the Republican lawmaker, Rep. Matt Shea of Spokane Valley, be reprimanded for a history of far-right speech and activities. While Shea did not propose violence, he did not speak up when violence was proposed, Democrats said.
“House Republican Leader J.T. Wilcox of Yelm responded that Shea should not be punished before investigations are completed. The House, led by Democrats, will conduct an independent investigation of the lawmaker.
“Shea, who rarely speaks to reporters, did not return numerous messages from The Associated Press.
“He has served in the state House since 2008, introducing bills to criminalize abortion and roll back gun laws and pushing for eastern Washington to secede from the rest of the state. The military veteran attracted international attention in 2018 after a document he wrote laid out a “biblical basis for war” against people who practiced same-sex marriage and abortion, and instructed: ‘If they do not yield, kill all males,'” by the Progressive Farmer. Read more