"Views aside, it's still called vandalism"
June 9, 2008 · Updated 3:58 PM
"Subcommandante Frederico wants a retraction, and an apology.The quaintly named representative of the Bainbridge Island Liberation Front - which last week pasted graphic political fliers on a dozen downtown storefronts - feels unfairly maligned in being included in recent reportage on local hate crimes.We wish to clarify...that the BILF are extremely opposed to all forms of racism, Frederico wrote in an email to this office, and deplore the childish 'white power' graffiti appearing across Bainbridge.Instead, he maintained, the group intended the fliers as a satirical piece about disgustingly affluent people living in all-white neighborhoods (such as those prevalent on Bainbridge Island). The phrase bullets, bullets, bullets, he said, was not a call to violence, but a criticism of violent regimes U.S. corporations often rely on to protect their international investments. And further:We claim solidarity (with) the non-affluent working class, gays and lesbians, people of color...liveaboards, the homeless, underpaid custodians, teachers and unskilled laborers...(and) the few Bainbridge residents who question the status-quo PC pseudo-liberal mindset...So there you have it. The Bainbridge Island Liberation Front doesn't have a problem with minorities. Just upper-middle-class whites.Hm. The subcommandante will forgive us for being less than amused. If the best thing that can be said in defense of our little self-styled revolutionaries is that they have poor timing - blanketing Winslow with post-WTO, Marxist-lite propaganda at the same time others are harassing the Filipino community and kicking over the gravestones of Jews - we don't think they deserve any applause.And satirists should know they run the risk of being read at face value, so the poster's opening line - My wife and I decided on the Cascades Active Adult Community. It's got a tanning salon, golf course, and a homeowner's association that cares enough to exclude blacks and hispanics - is not likely to be well received in any event. As to the merits of a retraction: We'll spare readers the fliers' more graphic imagery, which we described last week as violent and still hold as such.Note to Subcommandante Frederico: Thanks for the letter, and we give you great credit for giving some thought to the world around you. But in the eyes of your community right now, you're still a punk.Not, mind you, because of your views - the more benign of which, many certainly agree with - but because you don't have the courage to stand up for them. Want to change the system? Hold a rally. Rent a hall. Try to enlist others in your cause through free and open discourse. If you want to make a political statement, you don't have to skulk around in the middle of the night, trashing the town. You can be an activist in broad daylight. This is, after all, America - whether you like it or not. "