We stand in solidarity with the NAACP Spokane in condemning the recent hate crimes that have targeted our Black and Brown communities in Spokane. Specifically, we denounce the use of anti-Black rhetoric and vandalism. We echo the call to our Spokane City and County officials to promptly remove the vandalism and increase monitoring of these horrendous hate crimes. White supremacy has no place in our community; its presence threatens everyone, but especially those who hold Black and Brown identities. We make a direct call to white folks in Spokane to call out these blatantly racist, hateful, and violent actions. The time is now to seek out anti-racist education and object to these hate crimes.
Transcript of the above letter issued by the NAACP Spokane Branch on August 24, 2023:
NAACP Spokane Branch
Condemnation of Regional Hate and Racist Vandalism
August 24, 2023
As the Executive Committee for the Spokane Branch of the NAACP, we have sworn to uphold the duties of community solidarity in the fight for social justice. Over the last two weeks, our Spokane region has seen an uptick in anti-Black vandalism, White Nationalist propaganda, and antidemocratic leaders hosting events dangerously disguised as Christian worship.
Racism is deplorable and disgraceful, yet anti-Black racism is deliberate and demeaning. The vandalism of schools, public parks, and buses with exploitive language that demeans Black and Brown people is despicable. Vandalism is a crime, but racist vandalism is a hate crime. These hate crimes threaten the safety of our community, and in particular, our Black community. We are asking that our city and county officials work expeditiously to remove the vandalism and to increase the monitoring of these subtle yet damaging hate crimes.
Websites and flyers in our region calling for a “Northwest American Republic” promote white supremacist ideology demanding extreme separation from non-white individuals and communities. This act of radicalism is, in fact, fundamental racism. This level of community organizing mirrors the same behaviors that established Jim Crow laws, segregation, redlining, and mass incarceration of Black and Indigenous people across the nation. We look to our elected officials to represent all people in their constituency and protect our communities by ensuring outrageous requests of separation by race are denied, derailed, and destroyed in their tracks.
Antidemocratic ideologies threaten our democracy. When controversial, politically turned religious leaders are at the helm of those ideologies in our community, promoting dangerous rhetoric, it is a blatant act of political violence. It is corruptive and potentially corrosive to our city. We ask the community, as a whole, to silence such ideologies.
The sudden rise of these activities is not a coincidence but a pattern as our region embarks on a season of political campaigns. The air becomes thin with hidden agendas, political ploys, and deceitful divisiveness, which all distract us from our quest to be stewards of justice. However, our vigilance will not be suffocated!
We urge our neighbors, allies, religious groups, small businesses, non-profit organizations, social clubs, elected officials, and civic community leaders to take notice and speak out against hate, discrimination, and harmful ideologies. Let’s work together to ensure the safety and civil rights of everyone in our Greater Spokane region. Stay vigilant and committed to the importance of social justice.