On May 26 the Gazette-Times ran an Associated Press story about a resurgence of white supremacist groups in the Pacific Northwest. The story included examples of hate-based ideology in seemingly legitimate organizations: the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee's advocacy for white nationalists, and a man who has promoted xenophobic ideas serving in the Washington Legislature.

It made me wonder how many people know that Oregon also has a political group with a white supremacist ideology operating under a thin veneer of legitimacy. And I wonder how many people know that parts of Corvallis and most of Benton County is represented in the Oregon Legislature by the recent vice-president and long-standing board member of that hate group.

The Corvallis Advocate has reported extensively on Oregonians for Immigration Reform (the white supremacy group) and Mike Nearman (representing Oregon House District 23 and long-term OFIR member). I don't recall any reporting on this in the G-T although there have been periodic letters to the editor sounding the alarm. How many good people have voted for Mr. Nearman because of his party affiliation and had no idea of his high-ranking membership in a bona fide hate group? If you believe white supremacy has no place in Corvallis and Benton County, I encourage you to read the Advocate's coverage of OFIR and Mr. Nearman from last September. And I implore Gazette-Times editor Mike McInally to stop ignoring the hate in our own backyard.

Carrie Phillips

Corvallis (June 8)

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