History Dept. Chair: Palin Somehow Connected to Pacific Northwest Hate Groups

The chair of the Connecticut College history department, Catherine McNicol Stock,  has suggested that Sarah Palin is somehow associated with Pacific Northwest hate groups such as Posse Comitatus and the Aryan Nations. Her proof? Well, because Palin lived in areas with low "diversity." I kid you not. Here is the professor's "learned thesis" presented in a Philadelphia Inquirer opinion column melodramatically titled, "Intolerance thrives in Palin's Pacific Northwest" (emphasis mine):

Despite her efforts to portray herself as an average, small-town, "folksy" American, Sarah Palin's political views - ardently pro-gun, pro-censorship, antichoice and antigay - make John McCain's conservative credentials pale in comparison. What few observers have said, however, is these beliefs are not just extreme - they are radical, and even bear a comparison with some of the most notorious "rural radicals" of our time.

It has been years since groups such as the Montana Militia, the Posse Comitatus and the Sagebrush Rebels, and individuals such as Terry Nichols and Ted Kaczynski have made us wonder why so many "angry white men" populated our rural regions. Many of us have forgotten the threat once posed by domestic terrorists and instead have turned our attention to foreign terrorists. But we should never forget that in the late 20th century, ultra-Christian, antistatist and white-supremacist groups flourished in the states of the Pacific Northwest - called by many the "Great White Northwest" - the very region that Sarah Palin and her family call home.

Got that not so subtle connection between Sarah Palin and the Unabomber? And all because of Sarah Palin's choice of a region to call home. Stock then presents us her theory for all this supposed hate in the Pacific Northwest...lack of diversity:

Demographics most basically define this geographic region. In the six states that make up the Pacific Northwest - Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska - only six counties are more than 5 percent African American. Not by coincidence, each of these counties is also near an important military installation with many African American men and women. Even so, barely more than 3,000 blacks lived in all of Idaho in 2000.

Although home to tens of thousands of native peoples, Alaska is not much different in terms of diversity from the other states of the region. African Americans live in areas near important military installations in Anchorage and Fairbanks and almost nowhere else. Wasilla, where Sarah Palin was mayor, makes the census' list of the top 10 Alaskan communities with the largest number of African Americans because they make up a full 1 percent of the population. Rough calculations suggest that 65 blacks lived in the town.

Got that? Wasilla lacks "diversity" so that casts a lot of suspicion upon Sarah Palin herself, at least in the mind of a far left professor.  The professor then "absolves" Palin of being a member of a hate group but then casts a suspicious light upon her religious affiliation:

There is no evidence that Palin was ever affiliated with white-supremacist groups during her years in Idaho or at home in Alaska. On the other hand, the beliefs of ultraconservative, evangelical churches like her family's come dangerously close to those of the Christian Identity movement of those years. Likewise, Palin's husband was a member of a political party whose members favored secession for Alaska, suggesting an affiliation with radical antistatism.

Perhaps somewhere on the record, Palin has publicly condemned the radical politics of her region. But it is hard to know where she stands on issues of race, equality and diversity. Thus it is high time to review the cultural ideals and models of the radical rurals from the Great White Northwest and find out for sure where Gov. Palin stands.

Would the professor actually specify how the beliefs Palin's church comes "dangerously close" to those of the Christian Identity movement? Of course, no such proof is offered but that doesn't stop the professor from implying there is some sort of dire connection. And why would Palin publicly condemn the "radical politics" of her region when there is no proof that it exists? Meanwhile will professor Stock ever get around to condemning the radical leftwing politics on college campuses of which there is ample proof exists in a big way? She might start with a condemnation of Ward Churchill. 

2008 Presidential Philadelphia Inquirer Sarah Palin
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