Regarding the Sept. 21 article, “Brexit architect Nigel Farage to address Spokane crowd amid planned protests”:
We know that Washington’s communities do best when we all look out for each other. The Washington Policy Center’s decision to provide a platform for xenophobic British politician Nigel Farage on Wednesday promoted division and hate, not community-building, in the Inland Northwest. Farage’s views encourage people to exclude and fear their community members, neighbors and co-workers based on the color of their skin, country of origin, or faith.
These views run counter to Washingtonians’ vision for an inclusive, prosperous, equitable state, and they encourage hostility and exclusionary practices. While my organization supports the right to free speech, we reject Farage’s message. We all suffer when communities are pitted against one another and people are systematically excluded from opportunity.
We condemn WPC’s decision to exploit Farage’s message and ride an ugly tide of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, racist sentiment to promote their organization. Their decision to host Farage calls into question their ability to be seen as an independent research organization.
While we have long respectfully disagreed with the Washington Policy Center regarding their economic policies, this event is crossing a line. We cannot in good conscience merely disagree with their decision to hold this event; we must condemn it.
Misha Werschkul, Washington State Budget & Policy Center