Rep. Heather Scott is defending her Facebook post about white nationalism, saying it was intended to “promote conversation” about the media’s use of various words.
The Bonner County Daily Bee, in a story on Wednesday, reported that Scott blamed The Spokesman-Review and other news media for the controversy over her post, which included a quote saying a white nationalist “is no more than a Caucasian who (is) for the Constitution and making America great again,” along with a link to the article by Dave Hodges on The Common Sense Show.com that contained the quote.
“I post many different items on my Facebook in an effort to educate and engage citizens of our district and our state,” the Bee reported that Scott, R-Blanchard, said in her statement, which Scott did not provide to The Spokesman-Review. “We can no longer afford to be apathetic about where our country is heading with the continued attacks on our freedoms and God-given rights.”
The Bee reported that Scott said she posted the item “to promote conversation about language and the trend by many liberals to change the meaning of words hoping to change the reaction of people.” But her post didn’t say that; it only repeated the quote, which suggested that the news media are wrongly confusing the term “white nationalist” with the term “white supremacist.”
Scott did not respond to a Spokesman-Review reporter’s request for comment before the article was published Aug. 15, nor did she respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
“The quote was from the article’s author and not me,” Scott wrote in her statement. “It highlighted his views on how terms can be changed by the media or mean different things to different people. I find it ironic this is exactly what Betsy Russell and others in the media did concerning my post. … The real story headline should be ‘Boise media once again tries to get it wrong.’ ”
She added, “Ms. Russell is a known Boise gossip column writer. Many see her views leaning toward socialism. Her choice to print that Rep. Heather Scott defended white nationalism is a complete lie and shows her sad lack of any kind of professional journalism standards.”
Editor Rob Curley said that The Spokesman-Review stands by its story.
Two experts, one at Vanderbilt University and one at the University of Idaho, said the definition of white nationalism cited in the post was wrong. “A white nationalist is a person who believes in a falsely claimed superiority of white people over people of other races and supports the creation of a white homeland, or nation; hence the term nationalism,” said UI sociology professor Kristin Haltinner, whose research focuses on conservative social movements.
Scott is a second-term state representative who is known for her ultraconservative statements and positions. She has aroused controversy by displaying a Confederate battle flag in a local parade, a move she strongly defended; and visiting the armed occupiers at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, among other incidents. During this year’s legislative session, Scott was stripped of all her committee assignments for three weeks after she charged that female members of the state House advance into leadership only if they “spread their legs.” She eventually apologized, and her committee assignments were restored.
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