HOUSEKEEPING: Had a lot of wild news roll through Spokane last week. If you haven't subscribed to the RANGE Newsletter, you really should.
Western States Center's Kate Bitz joins us to talk about the ever-percolating threat of white nationalism, it's roots stretching back to the founding of our nation and the settling of the Inland Northwest, why it's such a uniquely pernicious problem here, and how this history of hate might affect the election and how a Biden victory might embolden extremists the way the Clinton presidency did.
Stay safe, y'all, take care of each other this week, and oh yeah:
IN CASE OF ELECTION FUCKERY, CLICK HERE
(Election protection hotline)
HOUSEKEEPING: I started a Patreon. If you love, like or even
tolerate RANGE, please consider becoming a Patron!
Profoundly happy to welcome Jess Walter on to talk about his brand new book, The Cold Millions, which you can buy starting TODAY from literally anywhere books are sold because the man is a damn phenomenon.
And while you CAN buy this book anywhere, I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Wishing Tree Books for lending me their advance copy to make this review happen.
When you buy this book, for the love of God, buy it from a local independent seller like Wishing Tree or Aunties or -- ideally, both. Buy one from each place and give one to a friend!
Tenant organizer and Spokane DSA co-chair Jeremy Logan joins us to talk about his arrest at the hands of Spokane County Sheriff's Deputies on the way to a Black Lives Matter protest and the truly remarkable obsession Sheriff Ozzie seems to have now that national media took an interest in the arrest.
Logan also shares the story of the last decade of his life and just how hard it is to pull yourself out of poverty, especially when you've previously been in the system.
In what is sure to be a collectors item for real news heads, this ep features rare journo-nerd b-sides from The Spokesman Review's Shawn Vestal.
- East-coast bias
- National correspondents helicoptering into protests
- (Lack of) newsroom diversity
- On believing the children young journalists are our future
This week’s guest is a big deal. How big? I’m just going to quote her bio in the New York frickin Times:
Leah Sottile is a writer based in Oregon whose work focuses on extremist ideologies, the anti-government movement and fringe cultures. She is the host and reporter for the podcast “Bundyville,” which has been nominated twice for a National Magazine Award.
I should have outlined it better in my intro, but I'll do it now: Bundyville is an absolutely essential look at extremism in the West and season two drills down specifically into our little nook of the Inland Northwest. Check it out.
She’s back in Oregon now but she’s lived in Spokane on and off for a good chunk of her life. I can’t think of anyone better to help look at the Boogaloo specifically and extremism more generally, both taking the national view and pulling some of the local threads.
Tremendously proud of this interview and grateful to Leah for carving two frickin' hours out of her busy schedule to hang out.
Hey y'all. Long time, no pod. Here's part one of an honest chat with Shawn Vestal about how white people can have tough conversations with themselves and others about the work we all need to do in this moment.
Spurred by a column Shawn wrote about the backlash from a video posted by Catholic Charities CEO Rob McCann, which led to a sharp (and gross) rebuke from Thomas Daly, Spokane’s Catholic bishop.
Hey! It's the second part of the conversation with Angelique Tomeo and Sabrina Ryan-Helton of the Bail Project. If episode one was about talking about the system and how it destroys people's lives and weakens the fabric of society itself, episode two is more about how we might fight back in the short term by helping bail as many folks as possible out so they can actually claim their rights and fight their cases.
Just a reminder: there's a supplement to these episodes outlining what happened to crime rates when Spokane let a bunch of people out of jail due to COVID. Really gives some extra urgency to the work.
If you feel moved by this work, make sure to ask to join the Bail Project Spokane's Facebook community. Lots of information and solidarity happens in that space.
And at Sabrina's request: it's not too late to sign the anti-Killology training petitions. There are two. Here's the first and the second.
Photo illustration by Connor Bacon
Hey y'all fascinating conversation -- part 1 of 2 -- with Angelique Tomeo and Sabrina Ryan-Helton of the Bail Project about how maybe America isn't really the land of the free after all, what with the absurd amounts of pre-trial detention going on all throughout America (and certainly in Spokane) and how, just maybe, we should totally dismantle and abolish such a horribly inhumane system all together.
As a supplement to this episode make sure to check out my essay on what happened to crime rates when Spokane let a bunch of people out of jail due to COVID. Really gives some extra urgency to the work.
Photo illustration by Connor Bacon
- Why yes, that is a mash-up of a climactic scene from 1996 blockbuster Independence Day and the Spokane County Jail.
- With this one sound effect you too can make stupid Law & Order spoofs.
This week’s RANGE comes in two parts.
PART 1 | A Letter to My City Council Members | Offers a little background on the soon to be voted-upon police contract as a warm up for a dramatic reading of a letter Luke wrote this week asking Spokane City Council to tear it up with extreme prejudice.
PART 2 | Our Borders, Ourselves | We reach the conclusion of the awesome interview with Yakima immigration attorney Stephen Robbins, where the conversation turns toward some of the more mundane, overlooked atrocities of Trump's immigration policy and also some (infuriatingly) hilarious reflections on our dumb, dehumanizing border policy.
- I've never seen Mr Smith Goes to Washington, but for some reason that image of Jimmy Stewart staring mournfully up at a broken system is seared into my memory.
- Apparently the movie was loosely based on a Montana Senator.
Immigration lawyer Stephen Robbins dials in for a WIDE ranging chat about life in Yakima -- currently the unexpected epicenter (or in Governor Inslee's words, "Eh-pee-center") of Coronavirus in Washington State.
We cover the demographic and political environment in the county and how pre-existing sanitation and other abysmal conditions in the agricultural industry might be contributing to a public health crisis in a placewhere half the population sees not wearing masks as a patriotic statement and the other half works in an industry that is 50%-70% undocumented and lives very close to the edge in the best of times.
So yeah, it gets a little dark in this ep, but there's a labor fight that's actually going kinda well, so it ends on a hopeful note!
- None because I'm perfect.