Hateful and Threatening Messages Filled Seattle City Council Inboxes Last Year, Especially Sawant's

Comments

1

But Seattle is supposed to be such a progressive city (eye roll). So many shitty people who believe they have a right to commit acts of violence against people they hate for no other reason than they hate them. I am so sick of it. Trump brought them out in droves. They are worse than sick animals and sick animals in this society are put down.

2

It's so damn bloody shameful that a progressive city can have such a sexist underbelly. I mean there's this book called "Tackling Tsimerman" about how clumsy Seattle City Hall & Sound Transit have been with Alex Tsimerman - http://bit.ly/TT1stEd

Not that CM Sawant is a good guy, but please leave your sexism at home everyone. Better still, throw it off of the West Seattle Water Taxi.

I can't wait for Mayor M. Lorena "The Gavel" Gonzalez. Shame we can't have HER as Council Prez for life!

3

It's a shame we can't see who has donated to the "Recall Sawant" campaign to cross reference with these disgusting messages. From now on I will just assume that anyone with a "Recall Sawant" sign is a misogynist and a racist.

4

@3 i think that is quite a stretch - plenty of people can't stand her and her tactics. that group of folks is not limited to "misogynists and racists". that is just lazy.

5

22.2% in King County voted for Trump in the last election (slightly more than 2016).

That's a lot of shitty people and they like to make their voices heard. Some of the ones who wrote these messages probably don't even live in her district.

6

1) Any and all harassment is wrong, and left-wing or right-wing politics do not make it right. 2) One group all too often linked to harassment are the police and their blue code of silence. Seattle's finest have at times targeted the most honorable cops for the mistreatment--see the cases of Eugene Corr and Jon Mattox, among others. So who can be surprised about the recent case of the Fire Department member threatening Sawant. 3) Two huge issues shadow the entire discussion of harassment--a) reductive, dehumanizing, us-versus-them stereotyping (e.g., "Dims," "stupid libs," "right-wing assholes"); and b) the effect of social media on civic discourse--how the physical distance and relative anonymity create an atmosphere in which vicious personal attacks become normalized and even required to get attention and to look authentically passionate. 4) Sawant, Durkan, Mosqueda, Herbold, and many of those harassed are not angels or mere victims. They've done their share of undermining, unfair stereotyping and labeling, bullying, and, quite likely sanctioning of harassment, provided it stay clandestine and publicly denied. And The Stranger has promoted hate-filled, dismissive rhetoric toward not simply conservative but those deemed moderately liberal or centrist; well, if you call a person a fucker, asshole, shithead, and moron, eventually you get push-back and often from crude, angry, violent people for whom bullying becomes a source of self-esteem. And then it becomes nearly impossible to stop. 5) But we can stop it. Empathy; acknowledgment of life's complexity; the search past easy dogma and one-stop-shopping Answers. And in that respect, I like the tone of Joe Biden's White House: less petty, thin-skinned, and stupidly combative than that of his predecessor. Let's turn this around. No one deserves the hateful, disgusting harassment detailed in this article--and that includes the candidate running against you or voters who reject your views.

8

Not surprised The Stranger is going to help paint the Sawant as victim narrative as part of her recall defense strategy. No one should be subject to personal attacks but it’s hard to feel too much sympathy for someone whose entire brand is based on vitriol and demonizing others to promote herself.

9

Did any of the persons who wrote these offensive messages actually organize and accompany a vandalizing crowd to the homes of any of the recipients? Because such threatening of an elected official, and her family, in their home, is worse than any words could possibly be.

None of these messages should have been sent, all should be condemned as uncivilized, and prosecutions should commence against the senders if they broke any of our laws. But our City Council had already watched silently as one of their own took bullying, threatening actions against a political opponent. Our Council then took no disciplinary or even investigatory action, even after the latter was requested by the target of the CM's harassment. If they had no problem with threatening actions, why do they bother to complain about ugly words?

10

@District13Refugee: Katniss Everdeen would probably support Sawant, since she's the only political figure in Seattle who would actually defy the tyranny of President Snow and make sure all of the Districts are finally able to get enough food.

11

Yes, Sawant should be thrown out of office, but she does not deserve the level of vitriol described here.

12

@1:

The orcs aren't necessarily FROM Seattle...

13

@7:

Are you suggesting the Jews are behind this? How very Aryan of you...

14

@10 at first, but like Alma Coin, the fictional leader of district 13, Katniss would soon realize Sawant has no interest in improving the lives of the repressed in each district. She just manipulates and uses people to install her own dystopian society.

15

"As per usual, the women on the council have felt the brunt of this hate." This may have something to do with two-thirds of the council being women. Or more so with the Gang of Five having done plenty of stereotyping themselves. Publicly.

If your prosecution consists entirely of anecdotes you may want to question your case. When the anecdotes consist of emails you are batting at less than zero.

"As per usual, the women...have felt the brunt of this hate." One need not unearth emails to find that it is not women who are publicly maligned daily in the mainstream and "leftist" media. Case-in-point: the above posted Samantha Bee video. She (and Nathalie) would have us believe that the women of the council only want to save Port of Seattle jobs while bumbling CC men are solely concerned with "big throbbing civic pride hard-ons." In fact, Gonzales, Sawant and Herbold, three of the video's still serving protagonists, have spent the past year throwing rhetorical bombs and catering to a fringe mob.

16

And yet hardly a peep from the Stranger or the City Clowcil when left-wing bullies drive SCC candidate Chris Rufo from the race by making threats against his POC spouse and child.

While I don't endorse these vile messages directed against CM Sawant, the 'Broadway Bolshevik' is getting a taste of what she's sewn. Civility is a two-way street.

18

"Do everyone around you a favor and end your life," read a different email. "Seriously, you are a worthless human being. Suicide is legal up there. Please, please kill yourself."

This is precisely the language hurled (along with bottles, rocks, fireworks, etc.) night after night for weeks on end at the SPD by many Sawant supporters, with her active encouragement. Sawant finding such language disturbing or offensive is rather rich.

19

@svejk Please let me know where the article states that Sawant finds such language disturbing or offensive? Curious.

20

Welcome to the internet...

21

A SLOG article about Sawant attracts the Usual Dirt Bag Brigade like flies to a pile of shit.

22

@4 “People can’t stand her and her tactics” - vague statements singling out a WoC as the primary target of conservative criticism for being too angry and uncivilized. If you don’t want to be lumped in with racists & misogynists maybe stop perpetuating such common racist & misogynistic stereotypes.

23

The internet is like lifting up a rock and seeing the vermin lying beneath, then scattering when exposed to sunlight, as the The Stranger has done with this disturbing expose on the abuse heaped upon our courageous council members. All council members, particularly the women, should be assigned professional security details to protect them from these right-wing gunslinging whack jobs. These people sound like the Rush Lumbaugh contingent getting it on with a horse in the horse-loving town of Enumclaw, with a delightful view of Mount Rainier. Ironically many of these hostile purveyors of perversion are well-known members of law-enforcement and the business community. Absolutely disgusting, and notice how they tend to single out women..?

24

@6 - agreed & seconded.

25

If violence is the final refuge of the incompetent, are threats of violence the final refuge of incompetent cowards?

Anyone who says Sawant is slightly more deserving of this abuse because of something she said, I'll need to see a similar example of the council member leveling personal death threats laden with slurs at other individuals for that argument to seem like anything more than endorsing hate speech as a valid reaction to an political dispute. Morons.

26

Shouldn't we excuse these threats as simply being "the language of the unheard?" /s

Gonzales, Mosqueda, Herbold and particularly Sawant should carefully consider the full implications of aiding and abetting violent mobs intent upon destroying our city. They have been apologists for violence and in some cases have explicitly endorsed it. Now they're shocked to be reaping the whirlwind.

It'll be interesting to see the disparity in Satterberg's prosecutorial zeal between suspects who merely sent threatening messages to elected officials vs. other suspects who actually drew blood on police officers. Color me skeptical that the latter will be dealt with as harshly as the former.

27

Also, Debora Juarez is oddly left out of the poor victimized wimmins, snif snif. Could that be because she attempts to govern her district like a fucking adult?

28

@22: '@4 “People can’t stand her and her tactics” - vague statements singling out a WoC as the primary target of conservative criticism for being too angry and uncivilized.'

@9, I described very clearly what some of her tactics were: organizing and leading a vandalizing mob to the family home of another elected official. Should my accurate description of the actions CM Sawant freely chose to perform automatically get me "lumped in with racists & misogynists"? Or was her bullying behavior just not "too angry and uncivilized" for you? (You'd have excellent company: the CM's who are now loudly complaining about rude words and obscene images didn't see anything wrong with CM Sawant's threatening actions, either.)

29

It goes both ways. The activist mobs have covered Capitol Hill in "Kill 12" graffiti and spent the summer protesting outside the private homes of city councilmembers, intimidating their families and children, and covering their property with threatening graffiti. Sawant's people especially are like this 24/7. They're always dialed up to 11 when it comes to vitriol against their perceived enemies.

This is happening because under the rule of activist mobs and Socialist Alternative, division and hatefulness is the order of the day and the volume is always at 100. The only thing that matters is rhetoric, rhetoric, rhetoric. Angry speech after angry speech. A million gallons of spray paint for graffiti. Threatening and screaming at everyone who disagrees with you.

The city council brought this upon themselves by bowing to those folks and allowing them to dictate the course of our city's politics. Now they've created this environment, and their enemies are adapting to it. Have you noticed that the level of vitriol in national politics has been toned down since Trump left office? It'll be the same in Seattle once the current council, but especially Sawant, are out of power.

Get some adults running the show, not losers who survive politically by catering to the angriest, most divisive, most hateful voices in the room.

30

I really have no sympathy for Sawant in particular. I guarantee you the Recall Sawant campaign people are getting obscene, hateful, threatening messages like this every single day. Many of them coming from people on Sawant's payroll, with taxpayer-funded salaries!

Me personally? I had a RECALL SAWANT sign outside my apartment for a week, and then came back one day to find not only my sign gone, but also my garbage bin overturned, garbage bags torn open, and garbage strewn all across my patio. It didn't take very long to clean up, but I don't really want to do it again so I didn't put a second sign up. That's the kind of politics Sawant has brought to our city. I have no sympathy for her being on the receiving end of it for once in her life.

31

The vast majority of these hate trolls are either altright trolls (who frequent the comment sections here and elsewhere) or local law enforcement and fire departments, most of whom live in South King County or Snohomish County, far away from "progressive" Seattle.

The threats are a sign that they fear your influence. MLK, Malcolm X, Ceasar Chavez, Suffragists, all received the same kind of "anonymous" threatening correspondences from scared, bigoted racist white people. Most of these cowards run across the street at sight of more than 2 Brown or Black faces.

The dangerous part is the fact that not only are these people ingrained in vital city services (the police and the fire department), but they're support of racist violence and murder is protected by their employers. The city is aware it has an army of armed white nationalists seeking to harm it's elected leaders, not to mention residents who aren't white enough. Yet, like Washington, it's easier to pin it all on one or two figure heads than address the widespread problem.

32

@28 you are falling for racist lies. Sawant did not lead a “mob” to another politicians house - she joined angry protesters that were already going there. Protesters who were rightfully angry at spending weeks getting sprayed with chemical weapons & beaten in the streets while the mayor sat safely in her walled mansion. You might believe that the Mayor’s home was off limits, but the people of the city also didn’t deserve to have their homes filled with chemical weapons by an excessively confrontational force that is employed by the city she is the leader of. There is a reason why people gave her the name “Mayor Teargas” - and at least the protesters didn’t didn’t drive the Mayor and her neighbors out of their homes with teargas. We all saw how the protesters were treated (it was in the NYT, the whole world saw). Honestly, it would have been more abhorrent of CM Sawant NOT to be angry along with the people of her district. Choosing to be appalled by someone’s anger while ignoring the sources of that anger is willful and weaponized ignorance.

33

Maybe Sawant can have a chat with Greta Thunberg, who was recently burned in effigy in India.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/04/greta-thunberg-effigies-burned-in-delhi-after-tweets-on-farmers-protests

34

Why for the ever loving christ in the sky does anyone respond to these Trumpist rightwingers, be they state republicans insulting Black residents, National republicans supporting a coup, or local loudmouth dipshits defending racism against Black, Latino and darker Asian residents...why the fuck is anyone arguing with them as if they're deflections and defenses come from a place of good faith?

They aren't "falling for lies". They know its all lies. They're assisting with disseminating them. Tucker Carlson and Q anon aren't hyponotizing them. They are playing along in the name of maintaining their status quo. Of maintaining white supremacy.

I'm sick to fucking death of the center and "reasonable" left treating these clowns as if their victims of some kind of mind bending by Trump and Fox News. These bigots always where bigots. Maybe if the "rational left" had given Black, Native and Hispanic people the same ear over the last fucking 100 years while we've been screaming "These people are racist fucking monsters and liars to boot", you wouldn't be shocked each time they show their asses.

35

@32: Nice try. Socialist Alternative organized that mob, and CM Sawant is a leader in Socialist Alternative. Even if she just so happened to join a mob that vandalized the Mayor's home, that's still on her. She's an adult, and even an elected leader in our city; she doesn't have to join a mob if she doesn't want to. (This is why some of 'her' constituents in District 3 have organized a recall; they're tired of her abusive, bullying actions 'representing' them in our city.)

Her abusive, bullying actions set a new, low bar for making political disputes personal, and our Council's inaction afterwards confirmed her dismal standard is now acceptable for Seattle's politics. Having set our new low standard, our Council now acts shocked that others dare emulate their dismal example. They're complaining about mere words and images, when they themselves did everything they could to legitimatize abusive actions. Their complaints are the equivalent of an arsonist whining about smoke getting in his eyes.

36

Wait, so saying "Kill yourself, bitch" is horrifically threatening, but standing in front of a council member while yelling at police "Take out your gun, put it under your chin, pull the trigger and kill yourself" is "justified anger"?

37

@36 You hit the nail on the head. People trying to excuse one or the other are disgusting.

That firefighter suspect will be fired from the SFD. Teresa Mosqueda should also be thrown out of office for her part.

38

Socialist Alternative and Kshama Sawant are one and the same. The two are completely indistinguishable.

To think that Socialist Alternative organized an attack on the home of one of Sawant's political opponents, without Sawant's guidance or consent, and then Sawant just happened to show up at the protest without knowing what was going to happen, defies credulity.

It just shows how little regard SocAlt members, who work in Sawant's office and get paid with your taxpayer dollars to check websites such as this one and support Sawant in the comments, have for your intelligence. They really think that this lie will carry Sawant across the finish line.

Guys, you're gonna have to try harder than that. Just say the attack never happened. Or that it was a false flag event. Or that all those Socialist Alternative members were actually liberals in disguise. That's what the Trump guys did after their little riot.

39

This type of hate or harassment is not okay. Neither is the hate or harassment that was directed towards cops. Worse was said directly to cops faces; we are talking physical abuse too, solid items, urine, projectiles were all hurled at them. Yet, this behavior was rationalized and justified in the slog and its sister the mercury for the past year. And it was never called out; so through silence it was basically condoned. Completely disturbing. To harm or harass any other human based on how they look or what job they do is disgusting.

What's concerning to me is how someone (mostly this site and this author) justify the latter, yet demonize the former? If you want people to be civil human beings you need to hold them accountable for their behavior. That seems to be the new tune; yet, this notion was absent for months and months. So, when you stand by and say it's okay to do x,y,z to this group, but not that group you are exhibiting some serious and frightening sociopathic tendencies; to attempt to position yourself above the "other" who is exhibiting the same sociopathic tendencies (i.e. sending these messages) is delusional and quite comical to the rest of us (who are disturbed by all of the behavior I've mentioned).

It's great that personal accountability has become a new trend in the media, hopefully it will showcase itself in future op-eds.

40

Fashy101 guide to msg board posts and how to radicalize normies (idiots):
1- Attack opponents to indefensible stances (racism, antisemitism, anti democratic coups, peaceful protests of racism kaep,)
2-Post outright lies. Claim "everyone knows" and outdated, photoshopped sources
3- When called out, ask those calling you a liar to do your homework for you and research/post disclaiming data.
4a- If they do the work, move to whataboutist defense
4b- If they don't, hail echo chamber as if toady support proves your point.

Rinse and repeat

41

@17 I’ll tell you what’s lazy is using someone else’s avatar. Get your own mother fucker.

42

The threats against Sawant are intolerable, as are any threats. Separately, Sawant has done a terrible job and abused her office.

Seattle needs real change. We can start with efforts by a liberal LGBTQ member that started: www.recallsawant2020.org.

43

@40: Whoa, looks like someone was more than a little chuffed at how the lies, told in feeble attempts to exculpate CM Sawant from responsibility for her bullying, threatening, and intimidating actions, instead got called out as blatant lies, and -- worse yet! -- contradicted by actual facts. That's gonna leave a mark!

"You might believe that the Mayor’s home was off limits,"

Yes, I most certainly do. Just as I believe that CM Sawant's home is off limits -- no matter how much any radical anti-capitalist organizations might hate her 1% mansion. (Don't worry, your abject silence here won't mean a thing: we all know you're doubleplus unallowed to mention such inconvenient facts.)

44

@43 I'm laughing outloud because I pulled your (and many others here, you guys aren't new or original) cards.

Stay mad, karen. That salt is good for you. It builds the character you need.

45

@44: Oh noes! I've been hit with a thimbleful of radical hipster slang! I'm melting!! I'm MELTING!!1!

Seriously, thank you for your full confirmation of my point @42. (What hurts more: when you flat-out lie and just get called on it, or when your beliefs suffer violation by exposure to a fact? Must we choose?)

Have a nice life. I sincerely hope Socialist Alternative doesn't send one of their rent-a-mobs to vandalize your home and threaten your family.

46

@32: Just have to debunk the blatant lie you used to 'justify' Socialist Alternative/CM Sawant's attack on Mayor Durkan's family home. The reason the recall petition against Mayor Durkan was denied by the judge was simple: under the Consent Decree, the Mayor of Seattle does not have executive control over the SPD. So, attacking her family's home in retribution for her actions as a public official isn't merely an abhorrent moral failure, in this case, it's a practical failure as well.

But then, we all know CM Sawant led an attack upon Mayor Durkan's family home not because of anything the SPD had done; she did it because of actions Mayor Durkan had indeed taken -- such as easily repealing the EHT, right under CM Sawant's nose. Abject public humiliation and a narcissistic messiah complex go poorly together, hence the rent-a-mob of SA goons attacking Mayor Durkan's family home, with CM Sawant happily in attendance.

Please take your lying, morally-degenerate approach to politics and dump it on some other city. And take the rest of SA with you when you go.