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Satpal on Insurrection

• Topics: Whatcom County, USA & World,

We rarely post statements from officials, this being a venue for local residents and citizens. However, Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu released this statement and, considering the dangerous time in our nation right now, we wanted to share it with our readers. As the owners of NW Citizen, we agree with these sentiments.

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Statement by County Executive Satpal Sidhu in Response to Attack on Capitol

Whatcom County has lowered its flags to half-mast in honor of the Capitol police officers and others who died as a result of the insurrection and attack on democracy inspired if not incited by our president.

This is a sad day for our nation and a glaring signal that our democratic system is in serious danger. This threat did not spring up overnight. It is the result of many years of poisonous rhetoric from a small minority of extremists on the far right. New media of the digital age have allowed these messages, laced with fear and conspiracy, to take hold in the hearts and minds of people across America, including in our community. It’s not easy to accept that a US president has repeatedly made false claims about the results of the election and urged others to overturn the will of “we the people.”

I condemn violence of any kind by either right-wing or left-wing extremists. Our loyalty as United States citizens must first and foremost be to our nation, to our democracy, which respects the legitimacy of the will of voters. Party affiliation and personal preferences must be secondary. Unfortunately, small but vocal minorities on both sides of the political spectrum have taken up all the oxygen in the room. As a community with diverse histories and perspectives, we must reject divisive and extremist positions that seek to tear us apart. Instead, we must focus on our common interests and goals and our shared values and aspirations.

The word ‘freedom’ seems at times divorced from its meaning and value. Freedom does not stand alone or exist in a vacuum. Rather it is a consequence of the practice of responsibility, honesty, integrity and discipline. Like a capricious and beautiful flower, it blooms only when the conditions and care are right. You must prepare the soil, plant the seed, provide water and nutrients, pull out the weeds and ensure the right amount of sunshine. None of these elements constitute a flower, but without any of them no flower will grow. So too is our freedom! If we want to have and enjoy our freedom, we must practice responsibility, honesty, integrity and discipline, which means avoiding empty and inflammatory rhetoric.

We have a lot of hard work to do this year, and we can get through it happier, healthier and more prosperous if we work in unison, finding common ground, recognizing the humanity of others and acting out of kindness. E pluribus unum—Out of many, one— the motto of the United States, should be at the forefront of our thoughts as we come together to live, work and govern in Whatcom County.

Comments by Readers

Tim Paxton

Jan 16, 2021

What Trumpian phrase exactly was it that incited the alleged invaders to wander 45 minutes away over to the Capitol building, before the speech was even over?    Timing seems off a bit. 


Garrett O’Brien

Jan 16, 2021

Thank you for your words and spirit of cooperation. This past year has provided many opportunities to denounce riotous acts and lower official flags to honor those killed by violence.

I agree that party affiliations and personal preferences should be secondary to our shared common interests. I believe that local elected officials can strengthen our democracy and common bonds by focusing words and actions on our resident’s paychecks, shelter, and public safety.

I hope those who hold nonpartisan elected office, such as yourself, will provide leadership on how we can listen to each other, work together, and deliver results for our community.


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