The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

17 January 2005

Seattle, Tolerant? Guess Again

Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist Joel Connelly, once a rare voice of reason at the radical leftist paper, has been drifting into silly territory lately.

While sometimes Connelly is willing to take on his (Democrat) party's establishment, unheard of Seattle's partisan elitist media, lately he's been using their sheet music exclusively.

Certainly that's been the case in the stolen governor's race in Washington State. The man who isn't afraid to take on Baghdad Jim McDermott sure didn't want to alienate staffers and Demo activists when it came to Gregoire vs. Rossi.

Connelly has history and experience on his side but what sets him back is provincialism. He doesn't see much beyond WA and BC and it's clear in his writings (this is also common in Seattle journalism).

This is his most short-sided piece yet, making a laughable claim that liberal Seattle is a bastion of racial tolerance. I've lived in several Seattle neighborhoods and I've never seen a town with more leftist white racists anywhere. I know I'm not the only one who has noticed this.

Regardless of what kind of lip-service these white liberals might give to African-Americans or other ethnic minorities, the fact is they don't want them living on their block or in sight. It's common in Seattle when whites are in groups free of minorities (which is almost all of the time) to hear slurs and other language I've never encountered anywhere else.

I feel sorry for any minority new arrival to Seattle lured in by the promise of ethnic harmony in one of America's most segregated cities.

"The Seattle Way" to me means endless meetings and a lack of action. If Connelly or others take the expression to mean the town is some kind of tolerant utopia, they are living in a dreamworld. Especially funny is his assertion that "Democrat" and "racially tolerant" go hand-in-hand.

(Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

The 37th District sends a multiracial legislative delegation to Olympia, reflective of the multiracial neighborhoods within its boundaries. It's entirely Democratic, of course. On Nov. 2, precincts voting at the Madrona School gave 823 votes to John Kerry and only 68 to President Bush.

As a whole, Seattle has elected African Americans to the area's highest offices (mayor and King County executive). The 37th District has watched a former legislator, Gary Locke, go on to become the first Asian American governor on the U.S. mainland.

What was once the racially tense, edgy, deteriorating business district at 34th and Union is now home to a half-dozen restaurants, a winery and an upscale pet care place.

A particular pleasure of Madrona dog walks is going past St. Therese Church when rehearsals are under way for either the Shades of Praise Gospel Choir or Jubilation Gospel Choir.

The church rocks. Its parishioners hail from 75 different ZIP codes in the Seattle area. Yesterday, St. Therese hosted an ecumenical celebration of Dr. King's birthday, with Epiphany Episcopal Parish and the multiracial Madrona Presbyterian Church.

In the title of his last book, Martin Luther King asked the provocative question: "Where Do We Go From Here. Chaos or Community?"

My neighborhood and others in Seattle can give an upbeat answer.


  • Let's not make generalizations. I am a minority in Seattle and I have never been anywhere more tolerant in my life.

    By Anonymous Sophia, at 15 June, 2008 16:52  

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