The recent report of a hate crime in Lynnwood came as no surprise.
The Southern Poverty Law Center identified Lynnwood and Ferndale hate groups while my husband and I were still living in Lynnwood.
Wherever I have lived in this country racism has been present, including the Dakotas, in Wisconsin in the late 1960s shortly after the Civil Rights race riots and later, Washington state.
Racists just need someone like President Donald Trump in office to openly act upon it and a political party willing to ignore it to hold their base together.
In the Dakotas, it was the put-downs of Native Americans. In Wisconsin, anti-black attitudes smoldered in small white towns in the 1970s, despite the state’s liberal reputation at the time.
Although we are Caucasian, we have interracial, international and inter-religious marriages in both of our extended families, which brings it closer to home.
Members of both of our families have experienced racist encounters in Washington state, including Port Angeles.
Our children also note racist, sexist and religious intolerance while living in California.
And don’t bother denying the Trump administration’s silent permission emboldening racists and fascists.
It is no secret Trump needs hatred and anti-immigrant nationalism as a distraction.
It is an ugly reminder we as a nation never escaped the roots of hatred and economic inequality that drove many of our forefathers to come to America in the first place.
It is also a reminder Washington state and the Olympic Peninsula harbor racists who are a step away from becoming full-blown fascists.