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Feb-27-2010 04:35TweetFollow @OregonNews
Nazi Racists Unwelcome in Eastern Oregon's John DayTim King Salem-News.com
A black President is a huge step in the fight for equality, but this group in John Day is a huge step backward.
(SALEM, Ore.) - A mostly conservative community in eastern Oregon is putting its foot down on the goose step, you could say. "No Nazis in John Day" is the word of the day and it makes me proud to see these Americans refuse to allow a group of mindless neo-Nazis to move in.
It sounds like if these extremist white supremacists had their way, they would pull a move similar to what the Bhagwan Rajneesh did in Antelope, Oregon. In that case, a group of religious fanatics literally took over an Oregon town and implemented their own politics. It may have been a smart move for a bad group, but it didn't last, and I don't think people in this state have really forgotten about it.
I'm no fan of the whole tea party movement, but I know that within even those ranks, there are great people who I disagree with, but would probably never be disrespectful to. We've aired a YouTube clip of a tea partier attacking a group of Nazis who tried to join their event. It gives me some faith.
All men are created equal. I can not explain why this is taking place, but I do believe that prejudice is a hard thing for some people to get beyond. They are often raised that way, but some are simply convinced later in life. They all need to sit down some day and watch the gut wrenching movie, American History X and get a real feeling for the future of hardcore racists. It is a bad formula; people mixed up in it need to bail out.
Since these white supremacists have a propensity toward hate and violence, it is too bad they aren't in Afghanistan getting their asses shot off, instead of the good guys who keep getting killed. Good war or bad war, the Americans doing that are actually living their lives, rather than simply acting them out. Maybe the first time their life was saved by a soldier or Marine who was black or brown, they would understand. I always feel compelled to remind Americans how many fantastic Afghan and Iraqi soldiers, Muslims - have saved the lives of Americans.
Then you have the huge number of Americans who are Jewish; how utterly offensive this whole neo-Nazi crap must be to them, knowing what their ancestors suffered under the wrath of this symbol that came to be known as the swastika. My ancestors suffered under the Nazis too, all Americans who lived then suffered, and many, like our own Dr. Phil Leveque, joined the Army and killed a bunch of them, Go Doc!.
My dad was involved in the machining of parts for the fuel system of the P-38 Lightning twin-engine fighter, an extremely fast plane that blasted Nazi aircraft out of the sky. His friend Basil Dell, was a Liberator of concentration camps, and an avid photographer. I don't need to spell out that recipe I'm sure, but I did see the pictures as a kid.
I've been fortunate to be able to interview two gentlemen who were Tuskegee Airmen, and I have spent a bit of time researching the life of the only black pilot of WWI, Eugene Bullard, who was an American but was only allowed to fly for France. Back in the early part of the twentieth century, people of color were still treated with total prejudice in this country, with few exceptions.
I have also studied the WWI German aviators who were Jewish. There were several; some, like Rudolph Bertrand, wore the highest honor given to an aviator serving the Fatherland: The Blue Max. I find this period very interesting.
A site I will never forget is the German WWI military cemetery at Romagne sous Montfaucon, France. Row after row of black tombstones crosses stand for these soldiers slaughtered during the Great War like so many young French, British, Canadians, Belgians, Americans and others.
But every few tombstones, was a different design; a Star of David grave. I found this very, very interesting and questioned my friend who lived nearby, but he was not exactly sure. I later learned that the Israeli government identified the Jewish soldiers and replaced the Christian style markers with ones representing the soldier's actual faith.
Americans, like people of all cultures and societies, have had to learn, and we have a ways to go. A black President is a huge step, but these characters in John Day are a huge step backward.
Sadly, and I won't cite any names at this point, but some Oregon media groups are giving way too much credit to the leader of this group whose name is reminiscent of a bad 1980's haircut, a racist named Paul Mullet. He has been interviewed and given some fairness; I think that is a bad joke.
Call it media bias, but there are not two sides to every story... when half the story is coming from a racist Nazi, forget that nonsense.
It reminds me of a great scene from the movie Blues Brothers - I Hate Illinois Nazis..."
People from this historic Oregon town turned out in number a few days ago for a rally opposing plans of this racist group to call John Day its new home. And both the mayor and police chief say the people of John Day stand united in their position opposing this group.
They have a city largely based on tourism, and they know that skinheads aren't the kind of attraction people and their families will be out looking for.
Just to be clear, I won't consider approving any comments on this story that in any way represent Nazi propaganda. You can send it, I will log your IP and then hit the delete button and flush it away.
Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. You can send Tim an email at this address: email@example.com
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