Beautiful John Day, Oregon
Apparently, the "national director" of the Aryan Nations movement, Paul R. Mullet, and several cohorts, came to John Day on Wednesday, appareled in full Nazi regalia, and checked into a local motel. They proudly displayed their Nazi flags from their room, causing people in two other rooms to check-out early.
Is this our new neighbor?
I lived in Eastern Oregon for nearly half my life, and I can tell you, there are definitely racist sentiments over there. When you live amongst rednecks, you will inevitably hear ugly racist remarks and bear witness to racist incidents. Ask anyone who has lived east of the Cascades for any length of time.
But it is hard for me to believe that the people of Eastern Oregon will give much of a welcome to overt and organized racism. The same people who might make tasteless and offensive racist jokes in the privacy of their own homes will recoil in fear and horror when faced with the truth of the Aryan Nations creed. The people in Eastern Oregon are not bad people. They're not Nazis.
Folks, I'm a lifelong Oregonian, and I'm damned proud of it. And I'll be god-damned if I'm going to let my home become a hotbed of the most virulent and poisonous of human attitudes. It remains to be seen what can be done, but acquiescence is certainly not an option.