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Rob Richards is one of the Olympia area’s most interesting bloggers. Unlike Janine Gates, he doesn’t do journalistic style reporting. And unlike Emmett O’Connell, he doesn’t focus largely on local politics. However, Richards addresses a remarkably broad range of topics in his essays.

For example, he regularly grapples with race, class and gender dynamics, both at the local and national levels. HIs analysis can be tough-minded but he is also exceptionally self-reflective, such as in talking about his own past when addressing the topic of male promiscuity. — Free access, donation suggested

“City Council – meet me at camera three… Hi there… Listen…This is your JOB. It’s what you signed up for when you threw your hat in the ring. If you don’t want to do it anymore, then resign or don’t run again. But you can’t suppress the voices of people who disagree with you or communicate in a way that makes you uncomfortable. Period. The Constitution says so. Also, there’s no faster way to escalate this than an ordinance like this one. Once again… you don’t want to talk to people, you don’t want to listen, you just want all those “others” to go away and leave you to your nice little town-building-happy-fun-time. Shutting people out never fixed anything and it’s not the kind of attitude about people that I want from my city council.”

— The Olympia City Council Says Your 1st Amendment Rights Stop Where Their Comfort Zone Begins (July 17, 2017)

“We have a lot of work to do as a society. Step one: admit there is a problem. I’m not talking about segregation, income inequality, police brutality, the new Jim Crow, or any one specific issue. The problem we have and need to fess up to is that every single white person, whether we like it or not, perpetuates racism and white supremacy through prejudice and implicit bias that has been transmitted over generations. Some of us are confederate flag waving racists who are proud of it and wear it like a badge of honor. Most of us see those people and write them off as relics, and proffer an ‘ignore them and they’ll go away’ approach of dealing with them. Well we can’t ignore it anymore. Every single white person who claims to be at all liberated should be there to shout them down. Yet we don’t show up. We don’t show up any time racism rears its head, and especially in its more surreptitious manifestations. The racist joke, the hate crime, the hiring panel – we remain silent, because it’s easy, because nobody expects otherwise.”

— We’re All Racist and It’s Not OK (Aug. 14, 2015)


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