Defending Free Expression

At Monday’s City Council meeting, I endorsed a resolution that recognizes vital “community values” in Whitefish: these include celebrating the “dignity, diversity, and inclusion of all of its inhabitants and visitors” and safeguarding their “rights of free speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom from discrimination.”

Though the resolution is vague and seemingly non-consequential, I concur with its spirit.

The resolution comes as a pleasant and welcome surprise.

A group calling itself Love Lives Here had talked about passing a very different kind of ordinance — one that would do the opposite of affirming the value of free expression and association.

Skiing with the Enemy

For those interested in learning more about the now infamous non-event on a Whitefish chairlift, here's my reminiscence.

In January of 2013, the fates seated me next to a heavyset, bearded man on a chairlift. I started up small talk . . . 
— Where are you from? 
— Washington, DC. 
I never would have imagined that this conversation, which began so innocuously, would transform into a fixation of an erstwhile neoconservative operative, capture the imagination of many in the national media, launch a local witch hunt, and damage the reputation of a place I call home—Whitefish, Montana. 
So what happened? 
The answer is nothing . . . and everything.

Read more here

I truly hope this is the last time I have to write about this incident and this profoundly unpleasant individual.   

What is "Love"?

In the 1800s, my ancestors served as a bridge between European settlers and the Indians. They were a respected and accepted part of society until the arrival of affluent white women who later decided that they didn’t like our marital and other cultural traditions. They didn’t like the way we spoke, or the way we acted. Many Metis were marginalized, shipped to the Canadian plains in unheated boxcars and abandoned in the dead of winter. They survived and found a way to live on the fringes of society, most notably in the shacks and hovels surrounding Great Falls on “Hill 57.” For decades they suffered the abuse of those who felt themselves superior to these mongrels, and there were no laws in place to protect them.