Yelm Councilor James Blair responds to rally reports, Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen upstaged his appearance!
- Editor’s note: I post news stories about Yelm that are published in local, state, national and international news media so that you, the reader, can be informed about what is being said about our community.
- Last Sunday morning, I posted the headlines of many Yelm news alerts received about the surprise appearance of comedian Sacha Baron Cohen at a conservative rally in Olympia on Saturday, which quoted a Facebook post by Yelm city council member James Blair, who was a scheduled participant.
- Mr. Blair wrote to me saying he preferred I reached-out to him for comment.
- On Sunday evening, I responded to Mr. Blair and offered to publish his Guest Entry of what he wished to share with Yelm Community Blog readers, and have received no reply to-date.
- My invitation still stands for Mr. Blair to submit a Guest Entry for publication on this blog.
- In fairness to set the record straight, Mr. Blair did post this on his Facebook page, “Here’s the article that should have been written. Thank you, Rolf Boone.” [an excerpt from The Olympian in today’s print edition is posted below].
“Those at rally share details of comedian Sacha Baron Cohen’s surprise appearance”
“Saturday’s rally was called “March for Our Rights 3,” which was held at Heritage Park in downtown Olympia.”
“Event emcee and guest speaker, Matt Marshall, and Yelm City Councilman, James Blair, both attended the rally.
“Cohen was dressed in a strange hillbilly costume,’ Blair said in an email to The Olympian Sunday morning. ‘(Cohen) was noticed by quite a few people throughout the event prior to going on stage, and (some) raised red flags. It was when I actually heard his voice I had my suspicions it was him. Others identified him as well.’
“Organizers and others tried to get Cohen off the stage, but security guards, which they thought were there for the rally, suddenly prevented them from getting to the stage, Marshall said. They finally broke through security, but Cohen quickly exited to a privately hired emergency medical vehicle, he said.”
“‘There were people throughout the crowd with communication devices in their ears, and cameras on the crowd, which is not something that normally happens at these events,’ Blair said in his email. ‘All of those people, along with the individuals who were singing along with Cohen in the crowd, all disappeared when they retreated off the stage to the ambulance and left.'”
“‘I haven’t been contacted by anyone claiming to be associated directly with Cohen,’ he said in his email. ‘However, in the last 12 hours my post has been distributed throughout many social media channels, with who knows what commentary. I’ve had hundreds of people calling me a racist, Nazi, and white supremacist, none of which has any ounce of truth,” by Rolf Boone, The Olympian. Read more
“The Washington State Three Percenters, who organized the rally, also addressed the performance on their Facebook page, calling it a “display of disgusting antics.”
“‘We of the WA3% were appalled at the performance of an entertainer adorned in clown-face, who — much to our group’s mutual repugnance — voiced a series of racist and antisemitic jokes and songs, while on the stand,’ the organization wrote. ‘This display of disgusting antics was neither condoned nor accepted by WA3%, and we disavow any affiliation with this lamentable individual. Our ranks enjoy the membership of every race, religion, and creed, and such despicable behavior is NEVER allowed within our group, and if it ever arises, it causes the immediate dismissal of the perpetrator.'”