Human Rights Task Force
Does Absurdity Know No Bounds?
Guest Editorial by J.S. Hammer
I would like to respond to an outrageous letter in the Kootenai Valley Times from the self-proclaimed Boundary County Human Rights Task Force. First, I would like to say to anyone having questions about the so called redoubt movement, and its effects upon our community, that they should realize that this little citizen’s task force, despite its name, does NOT represent the collective views of the citizens of Boundary County in this instance, nor do they speak collectively for us, and SHOULD NOT be construed as doing so. They are nothing more than a small group of private citizens, apparently pushing to further their own leftist and liberal ideologies. A fact that is clearly evident in their latest letter.
Never ones to disappoint, our ever wise local “task force” now seems to feel both the need and the right to caution us all not to fall for a “divisive message of fear, hatred, intolerance and violence”, as if we are incapable of coming to such decisions on our own! However, they are not being truthful with us about whose message that really is. Most of us would likely agree that those are all bad things. Things which this “task force” group would also like us to believe, are synonymous with a category of people THEY THEMSELVES have chosen to segregate and classify as “Redoubters”.
How did they come to believe that they have the right to both categorize other people, and then in a public newspaper imply, as though it were fact, that they all share characteristics such as mental instability, paranoia against imagined enemies, the possession of “armories” for survival, and tolerant or even embracing white supremacy and religious zealotry? Did I miss the coronation of these new “lords of the realm”? They offer no legitimate validation of these things. Instead they only make harmful, vague insinuations and innuendoes. In point of fact, they are the very kinds of insinuations and innuendoes that produce divisive fear, hatred, intolerance and violence. So as I said, whose message is it really?
Again, who empowered these private citizens to make such classifications of those who may be our friends or our neighbors? Linda Hall, listed on the letter as a task force board member, is a former educator at our high school. Does her participation in this behavior mean that perhaps we all need to be more concerned with the character of those teaching our children? If this is representative of the type of person we are entrusting them to then perhaps so.
However, that is a decision for each of us to make on our own, and not based upon the forgoing innuendo about her, correct? If you agree, as I do, then it also demands that the same standard be applied to these so called “Redoubters”. They should be evaluated based upon who they are as individuals as well, not vague innuendoes by this “task force”. To do anything less is to be intellectually and ethically dishonest.
In the past we have seen the results of such segregation; the Jews and Germans in Europe, the blacks and whites here in our own nation, and the list goes on. Apparently this “human rights task force” chooses to forget the lessons of recent history.
Ironically another board member, Tim Braatz, states he was a history professor. Evidently this group embraces the concept of such segregation, as they appear to be proactively advancing its use right here in our community against “Redoubters”, as indicated via their published letter.
Last time it was their push in support of bringing potentially dangerous, and more importantly, un-vetted Middle Eastern refugees into our communities, and now this? It looks as if it is way past time for these would be “guardians of human rights” to take a few steps back and start caring about the rights of all people, even “Redoubters”.
Causing fear and division is NOT part of protecting human rights. As a service member I dedicated my career to the “hands-on” side of defending lives and human rights, regardless of my agreement or disagreement with their views. While doubtless college was more fun, perhaps they would have a more well-rounded understanding of human rights had they had the experience of actually “standing the wall”, so to speak, in defending them.
This task force’s attempts to create fear and divisiveness regarding these “Redoubters” concerns me, and should concern us all. Such fear and alienation is a prelude to persecution, and we cannot allow that to take root in our community.
Let’s take a closer look at what this “task force” group tells us about these deplorable sounding Redoubters: Evidently they are “unique”, implying mentally unstable, and they “imagine” that north Idaho is a place to “best survive a future collapse of society”. Just vague enough to tell us nothing, yet just alarming enough to cause us concern and foster division, i.e. SEGREGATION. Is there not enough divisiveness in our nation as it is, without an alleged “human rights” group creating more?
Next, according to the “task force”, the rhetoric of “Redoubters” is one of “armed defense against imagined enemies”, implying that they are both armed, and mentally unstable. Now there is some great news, right? Apparently we should really fear them.
Of course the “task force” group gives us nothing to validate any of that, but then as history has taught us, that is in part how the initiation of segregation works, isn’t it? The closest this group comes to validating these wild assertions is that it comes from un-named “self-proclaimed redoubt spokespeople, and their websites”. Seriously? Oh, that’s right, it’s because we all know that if we see it on the internet it has to be true, and of course websites never lie! Just like people never believe fake news stories that come from faux web pages so closely resembling the authentic news sites, that they are almost indistinguishable.
Seems to me like that was like another news story being reported on not all that long ago. Has the “task force” never heard of fringe elements, the ever present radicals in any group? The far left radical progressives no more reflects mainstream democratic ideology, than the Black Panthers reflected Martin Luther King Sr.’s ideals. Evidently the “task force” has not considered that the same may be true concerning their sources of information regarding all of these people that they are wrongly demeaning and segregating.
Apparently these expansionist “Redoubters” also intend on “colonizing the Inland Northwest”. Well, I sure hope they lower my taxes and provide free cell phones and health care when they do, because that’s about as likely as “Redoubters” intending to colonize the northwest. Seriously? How stupid does this “task force” think we are? Perhaps somebody needs to clue them in to the fact that here in north Idaho we still know “field apples” when we smell ’em, so they can just quit shoveling.
Finally, the illustrious “task force” provides us with their final blow, aka coup de grace, stating that within “redoubt literature”, literature which they conveniently neglect to identify so that readers can verify content and context, exists “an undercurrent of white supremacy” and “outright claims of protecting Christian Culture”.
Of course the obvious intent of the “task force” is to imply through vagueness that these “Redoubters” tolerate or embrace to varying degrees white supremacy, and religious zealotry. What a simply outrageous and offensive statement! The arrogance of this “task force” is astounding.
In case this “task force” doesn’t realize it, legal battles regarding Christian culture, as well as cases both for and against religious liberty, are being waged in courts across this nation virtually every day. All of those people are not coming to north Idaho to fight those battles!
Do we enjoy religious freedom and Christian culture here in North Idaho? Absolutely! Do people seeking to enjoy the same also come here? Undoubtedly so. Although this “task force” doesn’t seem real big on history, isn’t that very much the same as some people who left England and arrived here some two hundred plus years ago to plant our new nation? Again, absolutely!
In closing their letter, the “task force” shared a scripture verse with us, perhaps to indicate the righteousness of their crusade against hate mongering “Redoubters”. However, cherry picking bible verses in an attempt to validate a faltering ideology is a dangerous prospect. The bible has much to say, including very interesting and relevant stories about casting stones, and removing a plank before looking for a splinter. I would suggest them as recommended reading for the “task force” before they continue this rhetoric against these “Redoubters”.
Demanding tolerance and acceptance, yet giving neither in return, seems to have become the new norm for rabid leftists and “progressives” in our society. This, however, is not our way here in Boundary County. This “task force” group’s apparently unprovoked act of, in effect, segregating and the demeaning of fellow members of our community would make it appear as though it is their view for here as well. It appears they are better suited as court jesters, than defenders of human rights.
Do we really need to fear this bogey man image of “Redoubters” that the “task force” has tried to scare us with? We live within the rule of law, and the enforcement of those laws. We have an excellent Sheriff, leading a department of excellent deputies committed to ensuring that it stays that way. So no, I do not believe we need to worry about “Redoubters”.
Does there seem to be an influx of traditional, conservative people into our area? Sure, we’ve all seen that. However, they are not a category of people to be feared and segregated; they are individual Americans just like you and I. I would suggest that these “task force” members, and anyone else with questions, grow a pair, then do what I do; go introduce yourself to your new neighbors, and get to know them. You will probably discover, as has been my experience, they are generally great people, making wonderful neighbors and friends.
Most of all, do not allow this “task force” group to use their tactics of fear, hatred, intolerance and violence to create divisiveness and segregation in our community. It’s a slippery slope we cannot afford to start down.
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