Rod of Iron Festival puff piece ignores the rising tide of white nationalism and extreme right violence it represents

| 27 Oct 2021 | 06:34

    To the Editor:

    I was surprised – and unhappy – to see the cheery puff piece about the Rod of Iron Festival in the Oct. 15 issue of the Courier. I would have liked more information and analysis: did Steve Bannon (viewed by many as a white nationalist) and Joey Gibson (leader of Patriot Prayer, a well-known extreme right organization that regularly engages in violence against demonstrators with whom they disagree) in fact speak at the gathering as was advertised in advance? What did the most prominent speakers talk about? Would the “camaraderie” extolled by the writer extend to Muslims, gay people, Jews? I bet not.

    Joey Gibson and the Rev. Sean Moon, organizer of the Festival who has referred to progressive politics as “political Satanism,” are tracked by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch. Agree or disagree with these evaluations, surely these factors should lead to a more intelligent article than one that simply celebrates the festival as “a very good day out.” Not for those of us who are concerned about the rising tide of white nationalist and extreme right violence in our country, that’s for sure.

    Eve Rosahn