Russian radical-right sends its children to cheerlead bigotry
“I never thought I’d live to see this [flagrant bigotry] in Lynnwood” — woman in local business
“Look at those girls. They’re just kids. They don’t know what they’re doing to people. This is just a right – this should be a right.” — another woman in local business
“I was just driving by, I felt I should do something. I went home and made a sign.” — pro-equality demonstrator
Saturday “our friends in the Russian/Slavic community” led an anti-domestic partnership “reject R-71/SB 5688 Side Walk Rally” in Lynnwood, just north of Seattle. A crowd of about 150-200 showed up. Like the anti-equality lobby day in Olympia this past March, this crowd was heavily populated by high school-age kids and young adults. Most of the younger folk I spoke with said they were not old enough to vote.
I was told that this event represented the combined efforts of 5 Russian/Slavic churches. Only a few among the participants seemed not to be part of that community, and those people didn’t seem to have much if any interaction with the others.
There was a certain amount of car horn hooting, but it was hard to tell how much of it was genuine since demonstrators were themselves driving back and forth laying on the horn.
The young ladies’ cheering and sign waving was identical to that of the nubile barkers always set out on the curb to lure drivers into high school fundraiser car washes. One of these gals said she was perturbed that drivers weren’t honking horns more. Another demonstrator standing at an intersection, apparently thinking I was part of the demo, said with reference to cars going by, “they sure like giving us the finger, don’t they?”. It didn’t seem to dawn on these young folk that they would or should experience any reaction other than positive to their message of bigotry. After speaking with several, it was clear that many didn’t truly understand what Referendum 71 is about. I don’t blame them for wanting to have a fun day cheerleading, because they don’t control their own lives. No, it’s the parents of these children who I take issue with.
I hope that those in the Russian/Slavic community who stand for fairness and equality for all will not let this “reject” group be the sole public face of their community.