Where is the civility from the party that preaches tolerance?

Rep Mike Nearman_thbby Rep. Mike Nearman

On Friday, June 26, before the floor session started in the Oregon House of Representatives, I made a point of saying to my friend, Representative Rob Nosse of Portland, “Congratulations on the Supreme Court Decision. This is a big day for you.” I don’t agree with the decision, but I’m truly happy for my friend and his family.

Also on Friday, HB 2002 – a bill to create a means for reporting racial profiling by law enforcement agencies – came to the floor. I spoke in favor of that bill and then gladly voted for it. I feel strongly that the person matters more than the race.

At the end of the day, during the time in which Representatives are allowed to speak on any subject, Representative Joe Gallegos (D) of Hillsboro, in anticipation of the rally on the Capitol steps featuring Sheriff Joe Arapaio, referred to people as “bigots”.

You know Sheriff Joe. He’s the guy who makes his inmates live in tents, eat baloney sandwiches and wear pink underwear.

I would never from the house floor refer to anyone as a bigot – certainly not an elected official who has been re-elected six times from a county in Arizona that has a population greater than the entire state of Oregon. This is not some fringe lunatic. He is a principled man and I draw strength from his courage. I expect that no one would refer to another person as a bigot from the house floor, just as I, a pro-life person, would never refer to anyone as a baby killer.

Think of what it takes to call someone a bigot or a hater. You have to say “I have a window into that person’s soul. His heart is filled with hate. I know what their motives are.” This is not only presumptuous. It is morally wrong. It is as morally wrong as the cop who says that, because of your skin color, your heart is full of crime. That’s why we passed HB 2002.

I don’t think Sheriff Arapaio is a bigot. I’m not a bigot. And I don’t think calling people bigots moves the discussion forward. I spoke Saturday at the rally, with some of my colleagues, where the bar for civility is certainly lower than the standards set for speeches on the floor of the House. Our political speech was interrupted, disrupted and shouted down for two solid hours. We were called haters, racists and white supremacists. That’s too bad. What OFIR wants is the rule of law to be followed, regardless of race.

This was clearly an attempt to stop political debate on a subject of vital importance to Oregon and this country. The subject is immigration policy. Those who believe that immigration laws and restrictions are necessary and must be enforced are being called bigots, a vile term designed to shut down debate and force acceptance of the views of those who support no restrictions on immigration. They call for tolerance for themselves but do not practice tolerance or respect for those with whom they disagree.

I have higher expectations of the party that preaches tolerance.

Mike Nearman, R-Independence, serves on the board of Oregonians For Immigration Reform and represents House District 23, which covers much of the rural Western Willamette Valley. This column was adapted from a speech given on the Oregon House floor on Monday.

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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in OR 78th Legislative Session, Oregon House | 28 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Bob Clark

    The big government types want folks to feel like scum (the sanctioned use of the White Privilege doctrine to make those even in teaching feel like they are not worthy and need to be in lock step with their government masters, for instance). And for those in the opposite entitlement class, they are effectively being told to move to the side lines and take a lifetime of government dependency creating a sort of soul less malaise.

    I am kind of hoping Marco Rubio gains momentum; as I’ve heard him speak and except for the reaching for the water bottle or cup thing, he usually is pretty inspirational and uplifting; making folks feel good about themselves. I don’t think we’ve had such inspiration since Ronald Reagan, although Bill Clinton could charm us even as we knew he was probably up to no good (you kind of knew he was taking a piece of his proposed action, but you felt a lot of times like you wanted to go along on his adventure anyways).

    Of course, sometimes the way to play the guilt selling Dems is to say you are of mixed blood or temperament or conflicted or victim or specially situated (like I am a senior); and don’t really fall within their targeted class for guilt pounding.

    Here’s sound bite anti-dote: Just say no to guilt peddlers!

  • Eric Blair

    I’m not so sure that Arapaio is a principled man. Financial mismanagement, using his office to investigate political opponents, the whole tent city thing… in my opinion, at least, that doesn’t sound very principled to me. But evidently being on the right side of the immigration issue excuses quite a bit.

    • thevillageidiot

      Quite a comment coming from someone in a state where our illustrious Gov Kitz was a principled governor.

    • Dick Winningstad

      Uh, yea. This is why he was re-elected multiple times and is not in jail. The accusations are leftist smears only.

      • Eric Blair

        LOL.. uh huh. Richard Daley was also elected multiple times. Evidently the voters in Maricopa county either didn’t believe the allegations, or focused more heavily on the immigration issue.
        But hey, you want to hold leftists to a higher standard than you hold your own, go right ahead.

        • Dick Winningstad

          I would suggest it is the left that wants ignore their own’s sins and demand perfection from the right. Richard Daly was a crook but your crook. You are accusing Sheriff Arpaio of racism. Where is your evidence?

          • Eric Blair

            I didn’t accuse of Arapaio of racism. Read again, and more carefully please.

            If the left wanted to ignore their own sins, and I am definitely on the left, why would I have used Daley as an example? LOL.. think about it… my doing so negates your statement.

    • Ron Swaren

      People who end up costing the taxpayers tens of thousands a year to be incarcerated don’t have much respect for the taxpayers rights do they?

      • Eric Blair

        LOL.. so they should be housed in tents? and you are aware that many of those in the tent prison were awaiting trial – so they were innocent since they had not yet been proven guilty.

        • Myke

          So what’s wrong with a tent? And, what does guilt or innocence have to do with where one is put up?

          • Eric Blair

            A tent is not the best conditions for living Arizona. One of the defenses that Arapaio was that they were criminals and didn’t deserve better. Except, that was a lie on his part, most of the inmates were pre-trial detainees.

    • Myke

      Apparently, being on the wrong side of the immagration issue excuses quite a bit as well; in some people’s minds. Guess it all depends on who’s grass is getting cut by whom.

      • Eric Blair

        Well, then we should throw up our hands and just give up and not hold anyone accountable.

        • Minks many think of

          Hallery Viola RodanKlingon

        • Myke


  • Dick Winningstad

    Throwing the race card is a standard tactic of the left. You maay be too polits in dealing with the leftist members of your legislature.

    • Eric Blair

      And assuming that race doesn’t factor into anything is a tactic of the Right – sort of head in the sand sort of thinking. “White privilege? What white privilege? I don’t see any.”

      • guest

        Sit down ploy, your augments are fulla silly cone!

      • Dick Winningstad

        Uh right. Anything the left does not agree with is racist. Don’t like Obama-care? Racist. Don’t like welfare? Racist. The card is getting pretty worn.

        • Eric Blair

          LOL.. mighty broad brush you paint with there.

      • Myke

        Essentially, you are saying that you, as well as everyone else, are racists. Unless, of course, you alone have your head in the sand. How’s it feel to come out of that closet?

        • Eric Blair

          Yes that is exactly what I’m saying. In your fevered imagination. I am.. however… the beneficiary of white privilege.

          You’re kinda sarcasm challenged, aren’t ya?

  • Myke

    Standard policy of the far left is to be tolerant of everyone…unless, of course, if you should disagree with them. Then, their bigotry and hatred is on full display. ‘White privilege’ is racist hog-wash. I make no apologies for having won the genetic lottery, being born in a society that rewards hard work.

    • Eric Blair

      “won the genetic lottery” That says so much.

      • Myke

        Does it? In other parts of the globe, that genetic lottery might hold different results. Could you possibly be thinking ‘dominant culture’ privilege? Seems more accurate.

  • Jonathan

    Rep. Nearman: Being nice to these people isn’t doing you or your causes any good. Look at the results, they are gradually winning everything. They mean to have a scorched-earth march to the sea, and they are succeeding.

    • .

      Tuit the tune of Mice Lemming Strong.

      • tuit

        aka franz lisp

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