“I can see it in your eyes, you hate white people, I can see it,” said an unidentified man as he launched into an incoherent, racist tirade.
The target of his ire was Bethany Rivard, a teacher and the wife of 17th District state Senate candidate Daniel Smith. As a precautionary measure, Rivard video recorded the altercation, which took place this past weekend in the Salmon Creek neighborhood near WSU Vancouver.
I just wanted to see what kind of literature you are passing out, and it’s Black Lives Matter terrorist literature,” the man continued. “Those are the same people who just burned my vehicle up.”
The man seems to have alleged that Black Lives Matter protestors, or Democratic legislative candidates, or a combination of both, set fire to his truck. The literature to which the man referred were campaign brochures for Smith and Tanisha Harris, who is running against Rep. Vicki Kraft for the 17th LD Position 1 House seat.
“You’re a Nazi. You people are Nazis, you’re nothing more than Nazis,” the man said as he has held up a brochure emblazoned with Harris’ photo. Harris is Black. Her opponent, Rep. Kraft, said recently that “Hitler was a dictator” and “Gov. Inslee is acting as a dictator.”
I’m so glad that my wife was able to get home safely and get out of this scary situation, but it never should have happened in the first place,” said Smith. “When politicians use dangerous political language to stoke conflict and division, this is the result. Politicians need to accept responsibility for the consequences that result from the language they use.”
While Rivard largely remained silent throughout the altercation – “I’m not going to engage with you,” she told the man at one point – he accused her of “peddling terrorism.”
I’m a good Christian person. I don’t appreciate my car being set on fire. I blame your side for it…every night on the news, you people are setting fires to the buildings, to the police stations. What’s that all about?”
He also weighed in on the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett.
Do you know anything about anything ma’am? Ginsburg’s dead as dust, she’s done. She probably died a year ago. Amy Coney…Bryant is gonna be in there, or whatever her name is. And she’s a Christian, she’s Catholic. And that just tears you up doesn’t it?…You know Trump is going to win in an absolute landslide. That’s why you people are resorting to setting fires to vehicles. It’s disgusting.”
After calling Rivard a racist, the man unloaded a stream of racist invective.
Why do you hate white people? Why are you such a racist? You people are absolute animals,” he said. “There’s three kinds of Democrats. Three kinds of Democrats: ignorant, evil, racist. Which one are you? You’re the racist. I know you are. Ma’am I can see it in your eyes, you’re a… you’re Native American? Is that what I’m seeing?”
After informing Rivard that he had taken note of the make and model of her car, the man scurried off.
No matter who you support politically, no one should be treated like this. I am glad Daniel’s wife is safe and am so sorry she had to experience this hate,” wrote Gov. Inslee on Twitter.
Your support matters.
Public service journalism is important today as ever. If you get something from our coverage, please consider making a donation to support our work. Thanks for reading our stuff.