If you think I’m arrogant and delusional to call myself Seattle’s only activist, join the crowd. There are probably thousands of people in Seattle who will tell you that claim isn’t even in the ballpark.
But things can get kind of weird if you start asking questions. Like “Who is Seattle’s most notable activist?”
At the moment, many people would likely answer “Kshama Sawant.” But this Indian-born self-proclaimed socialist and Bernie Sanders cheerleader who recently got (s)elected to the Seattle City Council isn’t even close. About 90% of her public image consists of cheer-leading for the $15 minimum wage.
That is a cool enough issue — so cool you probably can’t find any elected officials who are against it. Campaigning for the $15 minimum wage is about as gutsy as campaigning for blue sky. Sawant was also endorsed by the Zionist tabloid The Stranger, and her non-existent websites are yet another puzzle.
Sawant’s closest counterpart was probably the late Charlie Chong, an American-born Asian American who served on the Seattle City Council. The media promoted Chong as a hell-raiser, but when he died . . . well, he just died. His legacy can be described as a blank slate. He never really accomplished anything notable and left no words of wisdom. I doubt that anyone can even name any issues that were associated with him.
When I first became politically active, I focused on education. Unlike many self-proclaimed education activists, I actually worked in the classroom — for sixteen years. I spent five of those years working as a substitute, which is one helluva education. I was the only individual in Seattle who made a public stand against the late derelict general turned Seattle Schools Superintendent St. John Stanford.
I’ve seen dozens of education shactivists (sham activists) come and go. At the moment, bloggers Melissa Westbrook and Charlie Mas are perhaps Seattle’s most familiar contemporary “education activists.” I could dig through their archives and find tons of incriminating posts (they certainly don’t waste much time holding John Stanford or Bill Gates accountable), but Seattle Magazine did the job more eloquently with a single photograph.
Just look at the photo gracing Seattle School District Watchdogs (Seattle Magazine, May 12, 2011). In my opinion, that photo qualifies as pornography.
How could a genuine education activist associate with anyone representing the corporate Alliance for Education? All the other organizations listed are also sleazy; check out some of their board members. Yuck.
Seattle Pacific University calls one of its trustees (or former trustees), Donald Nielsen, an education activist. That’s utterly absurd; it would be more accurate to call Nielsen a pedophile. Though he hasn’t been literally charged with pedophilia (that I know of), Nielsen screwed thousands of children when he sat on the Seattle School Boards. In fact, the bastard is still a member of the sinister Alliance for Education’s board of directors.
Microsoft Connector Bus Activists
“It’s [charter schools] kind of like the Microsoft Connector bus from Seattle to that company’s headquarters, he said, saying he wonders why the city isn’t running that as a public service instead.”
How can one compare education with a shuttle bus service? And if Microsoft’s shuttle bus program is so successful, why the Hell should taxpayers subsidize it as a public service?! Not surprisingly, the Seattle Times has apparently scrubbed this article from the Internet.
Yet Mike McGinn was promoted as a neighborhood activist and is now being advertised as a Gates Foundation watchdog.
To be precise, I don’t honestly consider myself Seattle’s only activist. There are probably many unsung heroes who have fought lonely battles against the machine.
But how many of them had websites? How many ever ran for public office? How many took a stand against John Stanfordmania? How many criticize Bill Gates?
Virtually anyone labeled an activist in the corporate media or alternative media (e.g. Seattle Weekly, The Stranger) is anything but an activist.
On the state level, the competition ought to be fiercer, but it appears to be just the opposite. Of course, one can hardly address political issues in Washington State without addressing the Seattle Mafia.
Perhaps Washington’s most familiar statewide activist is Tim Eyman, a conservative political activist who has promoted some twenty initiatives. Most appear designed to protect citizens from high taxes, but take a closer look.
Eyman hit the stage with 2000’s I-695 ($30 car tabs), which is actually a regressive tax recognize by the Conservative Political Action Conference’s Ronald Reagan Award. Moreover, Eyman is relatively narrowly focused on taxes.
But isn’t it kind of arrogant to call oneself the only activist in Seattle or even Washington State?
It certainly would be if there were other notable activists. But there’s actually a rather remarkable leadership vacuum in Microsoftville.
I like to promote myself as the lone activist partly to make people think and partly to tweak people’s noses. Angry people who are stupid enough to challenge my claim are going to get hit with my inevitable comeback: “Name another notable activist — and explain why they haven’t networked with me.”