the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero

Why I will never move to Richland


I try to persuade people to understand that my hometown area is not The Ass End of Nowhere, not culturally deprived, etc., but then ugly racism like this suddenly rears its head.  The kind you'd like to think is from a small town with small minds, but no.  It's in a city that was irrevocably changed by the Manhattan Project, and by that, our area used to have the highest concentration of PhDs (most of them engineers) in the state of Washington until Microsoft rose to power.  Hanford area contractors still employ a significant number of people in Kennewick, Richland, and Pasco.  My father still thinks Richland citizens are elitist (although others tell me such has faded in recent years).  I think he means cultural snobs, but maybe this is more what he means.

To summarize: People believe that a flag hung upside down outside a Mexican restaurant run by Mexican-American residents is an unintentional insult to the national pride of the U.S.  Although the owners claim it was a mistake, they protest loudly, although the city chief of police, among others, believe them.

No offense, but I see political whackery in Richland.  If someone's staging a political protest, the majority of the time it's in Richland– in front of the federal building, or along George Washington Way, which is the main drag through town.  It's not always the right wing, but more often than not, it is.

Perhaps I should share another example.   This is the local NBC/Fox affiliate sharing excerpts from letters they received.  Claims of reverse discrimination.  Implications of excuses and lying.  A thinly veiled suggestion that someone flying a flag upside down somehow insults the troops.  Oy…

I've worked for that city hall.  As far as I could see, everyone was pretty nice.  And yes, it's probably true that the city council cares not a whit for the desires of its citizens, but, I do have to wonder… is what they want necessarily good for them?  As far as this– no, no, I don't think so.

I e-mailed Tim Wise about this; I had to be sure to let him know that another white guy isn't just closing his eyes and pretending he's discriminated against, and that there hasn't been a sense of entitlement. But, then again, depending on how many labels stick to me, I'm not exactly a good, wholesome W.A.S.P. either.

By the way, I was going to restrict access just to avoid backlash, but… that would be covering something that shouldn't be private.  I guess we'll see how many come along to tell me to kiss their…

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Author: jaklumen

Wherever you see "jaklumen", that's me- the username is still unique as of the current year. Be aware that the facet you see, is only a small part of the me that is me.

5 thoughts on “Why I will never move to Richland

  1. Pride is the most insidious sin of all.


  2. Pride is the most insidious sin of all.Aye. It was something a recent president of my church focused on quite strongly– Ezra Taft Benson. Detractors might point to his early John Birch Society associations, but I remember that time, in the late '80s to early 1990's. He wanted very much that we members avoid using the word, although it doesn't always carry such disparaging connotations ("I am proud of you", for example), and so for a time, most I knew complied, although recent leadership has relaxed.(Paging Glen Beck: since you recently joined, yes, the LDS Church, mind reminding your listeners/viewers of this, well, those that didn't crap a load of bricks first?)What bugs me is the "piling on" that inevitably seems to occur afterwardsRead this. To date, this is the only letter to the editor I have seen on the incident, unless I overlooked some. Mercifully, I think the response was level-headed and reasonable. I find it ironic that these are often the same folks complaining of the sense of "entitlement" they perceive in others.Please spell it out, Doug, privately if you wish. Moderate Independent, here, remember. To me, the sentiments smack of right-wing authoritarianism (RWA), mainly, that which would rise up against threats to the status quo, the majority, white male privilege and so forth, but I want to be clear I understand what you mean.I'll put out a little more context, as far as our local situation. Ken Harvey worked for the Tri-City Herald for a time. When he took over publication of a small newspaper called The Tri-City Citizen (I think it had a different name previously; I blogged about this) he shifted the already right-wing tone more to criticism of the Herald and the unfairness of that paper's lack of coverage for the right. This paper eventually failed, however, and so to my understanding, he shifted attention to Tú Decides "You Decide", a small bilingual Hispanic newspaper. (Incidentally, he had remarried at some point; his new blended family includes a Hispanic wife and her children.) Because Latinos as a group, even in our area, cannot be so stridently right-wing, the paper has a softer tone than his previous publication.So I had hoped that things were changing, and this was a rude reminder to me that no, some were still stuck. Although this seems to be a problem on the right, I do keep some conservative values as an Independent, and really, I'd like the right to shake this cancer. My interests lie with the political parties duking it out in their usual healthy debate, and I don't think RWA helps me make my point well as the left is all too inclined to rub their hands gleefully over such things. Yes, RWA depends on passive-aggressive followers, mostly, but… oh blah blah, I guess that'd be subject for a different post.


  3. Entitlements have been, politically, considered the pre-cursor to the welfare state. It's often considered a synonym for "free money" among the conservatives, while they are criticizing various social programs. Some states actually call these disbursements entitlement programs.


  4. I don't see what all the fuss is about. They made a mistake and hung the flag wrong. As soon as it was called to their attention, they made it right. End of problem as far as I can see. Some people just have to be in the middle of everything or they're not happy.


  5. It's par for the course for some Richland residents, sadly. They seem to insist upon giving conservatives a bad name.


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