A few weeks in the past, I used to be speaking with a pal in regards to the current firing of Senator Marko Liias (D-Mukilteo) from his soft $85,000-a-year job for the Metropolis of Mukilteo (appointed by his pal, Jennifer Gregerson) and we obtained on the topic on how wacky native politics could be if you begin to concentrate.
While you look nearer you begin to discover outrageous moments like efforts to destroy candidates’ indicators, juvenile rumor-spreading by disgruntled ex-husbands, and ethically wicked media stunts. So, it didn’t come as a giant shock that there had been some drama within the races for Lynnwood Metropolis Council and the mayorship over a chunk of marketing campaign literature that some had spoke out towards due to the racist tone it took concerning Koreans.
What my pal was speaking about was this piece titled “Lynnwood Sister Metropolis Leaves Unhealthy Style” from a publication referred to as “Lynnwood Information & Views”. The article talks about Lynnwood’s sister metropolis standing with Damyang, South Korea, a challenge of Lynnwood Mayor Nicola Smith that concerned Metropolis Council member Ruth Ross. It claims that “Damyang made headlines all over the world in 2015 because the main metropolis within the elevating and slaughtering of canines and cats for human consumption”. A reasonably sensationalist declare, certainly! The unnamed writer goes on to quote a Google seek for “Damyang South Korea Canines” that allegedly consists of references to Lynnwood due to their sister metropolis standing.
When you had been to comply with the unnamed writer’s analysis, you’d discover Google seek for “Damyang South Korea Canines” doesn’t flip up any mentions of Lynnwood among the many 15 outcomes which might be discovered. Nor do you discover the “headlines all over the world” that the article claims had been made two years in the past.
What you do discover, nonetheless, is the one reference the article cites: a weblog publish from an internet site referred to as Korean-Canines.org recommending strain be placed on Mayor Smith to finish Lynnwood’s sister metropolis standing with Damyang.
What isn’t disclosed within the nameless article is that Korean-Canines.org runs a marketing campaign the place they contact each American municipality that has a sister metropolis with South Korea to induce them to finish their packages over what Korean-Canines.org claims. They allege that each single South Korean sister metropolis tolerates and even promotes the consumption of canine meat, in line with their findings.
To show this, the weblog publish reveals outcomes from the Korean web site naver.com for the search queries “Jeollanam province Damyang County Well being Meals Store” and “Jeollanam province Damyang County canine meat soup”. It then alleges that each result’s a location that could be a brutal and steadfast supporter of the slaughter of canines for human consumption, with none extra proof in any respect. For Korean-Canines.org that is sufficient proof to “reveal the sickening scale of Damyang’s canine meat demand”.
This system is used each single time for different locations like Bellingham, Seattle, Grant County, King County, Federal Approach, Spokane, Shoreline, Snohomish County, Tacoma, Wenatchee, Snoqualmie, Whatcom County, Auburn, Duvall, and Lakewood. Often, the web site will get responses, normally of officers saying nothing extra aside from that they welcome the dialogue.
To indicate how completely shoddy this proof is, I posed the same seek for Google, “King County canine meat soup”, identical to how Korean-Canines.org did for every municipality they aim.
Oh my goodness! Take a look at the proof that reveals the sickening scale of King County’s canine meat demand!
It’s onerous to consider that anyone would cross this as onerous proof to make such a wild declare, but Korean-Canines.org did and Lynnwood Information & Views is parroting it with completely no objectivity.
The subsequent paragraph within the Lynnwood Information & Views article goes on to assert that “some [Korean business interests] have pulled their backing due to the embarrassing connections made with Damyang,” with no proof, direct quotes, or names to again it up. Then, the unnamed writer wraps up the article with a very unrelated, and in addition not cited, declare that Mayor Smith failed to substantiate the small print of the resume of a baseball coach employed (then allegedly fired) by Edmonds Group School. I’m unsure how that in any respect pertains to Damyang, however I suppose an editor determined it was worthy of together with anyway.
I used to be confused on why anyone would assume it was a good suggestion to publish a narrative like this in a metropolis with a large Korean minority. An article the place its solely piece of onerous analysis is from a single web site that clearly spams the identical weblog publish about each U.S.–South Korean sister metropolis settlement that they’ll get the contact data for and cites the identical obscure search engine outcomes as proof. Other than failing to scrutinize the supply of the knowledge, the article additionally doesn’t point out South Korea’s ongoing heated debate over canine meat within the lead as much as the 2018 Winter Olympics. Attitudes are largely altering in favor of banning the follow and most issues that canine farmers cite are financial — a concern of shedding their livelihood.
If the article in Lynnwood Information & Views actually wished to convey this difficulty to the eye of Lynnwood residents and open this matter for dialogue, you’d assume they might additionally discuss in regards to the in depth marketing campaign to crack down on canine meat consumption – aside of a bigger development towards canine meat consumption that’s on the rise throughout East Asia.
This text is tone deaf at greatest and borderline racist canine whistling masquerading as having good intentions at worst. By seemingly deliberately leaving out particulars and information that might make the article goal, it’s designed to current a specific angle that’s disparaging towards Koreans with the purpose of dragging down Mayor Smith and Council member Ross with them. It’s one thing straight out of a clickbait web site seeking to lure readers into blindly believing issues primarily based upon shaky or non-existent proof.
Whereas there isn’t a byline on the article to know who wrote it, on the backside of the flyer it says that it was “Paid for by Ted Hikel” of Lynnwood.
I believed that this was all fairly appalling, and I wished to understand how this occurred and who Ted Hikel was. After I started trying into it, I shortly discovered that Hikel was the recipient of this yr’s 32nd District Democrats’s “Patty Murray Trailblazer Award” meant to acknowledge “transferring in a constructive course that had by no means been considered earlier than, [and] turning into an instance for all who’re hoping to enhance the neighborhood and world”. Confused, and now extra mad, I made a decision to affix the 32nd’s Fb group and publish about it.
Whereas Hikel’s propaganda items not function Lynnwood’s metropolis emblem, the flyer is intentionally designed to be misleading and to seem to return from an actual information group.
In an period the place the center-left and leftists are going through a barrage of pretend information and misleading articles, I fail to grasp why any individual with a historical past of manufacturing such content material would warrant receiving an award.
Quickly after calling out Hikel for this misleading piece of marketing campaign literature posing as a information supply, commenting was locked by group directors. Not figuring out which particular administrator determined to dam public remark, I reached out to admins on their Fb web page in search of solutions.
Considerably surprisingly, I used to be instantly dodged by the 32nd’s admins and met with an enchantment to fulfill privately. After a couple of minutes that preliminary message was adopted up with them asking in regards to the intentions or motivations behind my publish. Apparently what I used to be speaking about was a very delicate matter for the leaders of the 32nd, which additionally shocked me as a result of I thought of this to a fairly easy-to-take-care-of downside. I actually would have thought that reconsidering and even merely discussing a racially tone deaf article written by a man who simply obtained an award for being a “neighborhood position mannequin” was a straight ahead factor.
So, the intention of my publish wasn’t essentially to disparage or disgrace (although, I do assume what that faux publication was making an attempt to do is worthy of being shamed) however to have a dialogue about it.
What do folks give it some thought? What do folks learn about it? Does anyone know extra details about why it was produced, and by who? That’s a type of dialogue that deserved public visibility as a result of it’s essential for political leaders to be held accountable in a public area.
After I defined that I used to be simply in search of an evidence or remark from folks within the group in regards to the piece, I obtained an especially dismissive reply saying that the admins “assume this is a chance to speak about communication and dialogue”.
“I agree with you, so I might assume that public dialogue can be welcome on the subject,” I responded.
“Dialogue is definitely welcome [and] inspired,” they replied again, “these questions could also be greatest answered by Mr. Hikel to extra totally inform a [broader] dialogue.”
Clearly it was an try and attempt to get me to resolve or talk about the matter in personal, away from public scrutiny. I wasn’t joyful in any respect with their reply.
“I’m sorry, however I fail to grasp why one thing of this nature deserves to be brushed beneath the rug and dealt with in personal,” I stated, “it’s [undemocratic] in spirit at greatest, [and a] malicious try at hiding the issue at worst.”
I by no means obtained an actual response to that, solely a message telling me that feedback had been reopened and that the “difficulty of communications and factors raised” was on the agenda for his or her subsequent govt board assembly. There’s no telling how that assembly, held behind closed doorways, will go or what sort of assertion (if any) emerges out of it.