The tally, after just two days: over 120 donations totaling more than $2,500. That more than doubles the total after more than a week of regular fund-raising.
To say it's heartening is understating it badly. The breadth and depth of the response tells me that not just the regional community, but the larger blogging community, understands the importance of standing up to the cancer of racial hatred.
As if to illustrate the character of the people we're dealing with here, the very same group that named me (along with Sarah of OlyUnity) a "race traitor" went and made the local newscasts with their antics in the Olympia area.
Seems they were leaving Easter eggs containing pornographic images and obscenities on neighborhood lawns. Maybe it was part of their Kiddie Outreach program:
- Words of hate and pornographic images are circulating in a most unexpected way in Thurston County.
Plastic Easter eggs loaded with obscenities have landed on lawns in Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater.
"Every house had two or three," said Tumwater resident Steve Newbon, who picked up several from his own lawn in a residential neighborhood.
At first, he thought Easter had come early. Then he got a closer look.
"It upset the living bejeezus out of me," he said.
Dozens of eggs like this one, with hate messages on them, were found in Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater, Wash.
Police say a neo-Nazi type group spread the eggs and flyers. The containers held obscene images, slurs against homosexuals and slurs against certain minorities. Newbon's most concerned because his young son gets on the bus close by.
He also has an adopted grandmother from another country and both English and Spanish are spoken in his house.
Police say the eggs have shown up on lawns all over the area including Olympia and Lacey. An officer found more than 40 in Tumwater alone.
I watched this report when it was broadcast, and it was unfortunately marred by a hyperbolic lead-in by the anchors that referred to the egg laying as "neo-Nazi attacks," as well as some not exactly accurate information:
- But despite the messages, police say the only crime is littering.
"At this time, we really don't have much. We have littering. They have a right to free speech. There's not much we can do … We don't have any suspects," said Tumwater Police Det. Jennifer Kolb.
This is contrary to some of what we've been told: If there really were pornographic images, then there certainly may have been charges related to that, since these were left on families' lawns. It's not a free-speech right to distribute pornography to minors.
There also was some confusion among the interviewees chosen for the "man on the street" portion of the report:
- While police look for suspects, neighbors hope they're caught before they hatch more hate.
"They shouldn't be doing the eggs. That's not right at all," said Shirleyann Westman.
"That's not first amendment rights, that's bigotry," said Newbon.
Actually, bigotry is part of Americans' First Amendment rights. People who hold such beliefs do, for better or worse, have every right to voice them in a lawful fashion. Hate speech becomes a hate crime only when it enters the criminal realm: that is, when it becomes a threat, intimidation, or criminal incitement.
Which is why counter-speech -- standing up to them -- is so absolutely essential. Bad speech cannot be countered by silence; people like these only interpret the silence as implicit endorsement. They thrive on the illusion that they represent the silent wishes of the white majority, and shattering it is the only effective means of defanging them.
So the outpouring of support this week has been especially gratifying. I think we made a powerful statement that every hateful move they make will only be turned to strengthen our side. Every threat, implicit or explicit, will only stoke our fires higher.
I'd especially like to thank the following bloggers for stepping up and directing readers this way, and pat them on the back for locking arms:
Crooks and Liars
Steve Gilliard's NewsBlog
Voice of a Native Son
Steve Sailer Sucks
Thanks to all these folks, and to the many donors. I really was looking more for sheer numbers of donations by way of making a statement, and we certainly achieved that; but many went well over and beyond the call of duty in how much they donated. I'm very grateful. A special thanks in that regard to Asher, Joseph, Kay, Nadia, Devon, Steven, Marianne, Robert, Christopher, Adam, Mr. SJ, Steve Gilliard, and The General.
Stay tuned throughout the year.