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August 13, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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August 13, 2015

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CHENEYFREE PRESS Thursday, August 13, 2015 Even the smallest comment can ruin your reputation. Airway Heights Mayor Patrick Rushing came under fire last month after making Facebook comments on his personal account, comparing PresidentBarack Obama and his wife Michelle to "mon- keys." The action, which Rushing referred to as a "banter between friends that got out of control," resulted in unwanted national atten- tion and over 700 complaints to the city. He has refused to step down, despite resi- dents, City Council mem- bers and staff expressing no confidence in his abilities as a leader and city repre- sentative. Council recently approved a resolution that directed staff to remove Rushing as the city's repre- sentative from local commis- sions. We were surprised when this first happened. Rushing has always acted profession- ally and personably to resi- dents and staff members. He was also possibly exposed to different views and cultures during his years of service in the Air Force. While many have voiced their disgust in Rushing's comments, his supporters, have cited his right to free speech in defending his ac- tions. We wonder if Rushing understands the ramifica- tions of his comments? As the media, we advo- cate for free speech and everyone's right to it. But while free speech lets you express your opinion, it al- lows others to disagree with you and it doesn't protect you from fallout from what you say - or in this case, post on social media. Free speech is a right granted to every citizen, but we hold civic leaders like Rushing to a higher standard because they represent the residents and staff who live in their jurisdiction. Rushing is not the first person to make these types of comments about a politi- cal leader. Past presidents have been the target of de- rogatory comments and crit- icism from fellow citizens, journalists and cartoonists. held to Rushing's comments about Obama are offensive because comparing African Ameri- cans to primates equates them to animals and not people. However, there is an unwritten rule that a presi- dent's wife and children are off limits from those types of comments. Attacking a man's family like that is just cowardly. Part of the national ani- mosity against Obama may come from bias from Re- publicans. Years ago, politi- cal parties disagreed with each other's philosophies, yet they would still try and work with each other. Nowadays, the animosity between both sides is much more evident. Back in 2008, after Obama was elected president, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it was his job to make sure "Obama was a one-term president." Those biases emanate from the political realm and enter our personal lives. So- cial media allows us to share our beliefs with our friends and family, whether they are like-minded or disagree with us. With Rushing sharing those posts, he might be try- ing to relate to people who are like-minded, but at the same time, he was alienating others. While the national atten- tion has subsided, the re- strictions against Rushing are taking effect. His mayor- al title is mostly ceremonial - his duties include presid- ing over City Council meet- ings and having the rights, privileges and immunities of a council member - though he will no longer serve as the city's representative on various commissions. He didn't create the sanctions, his actions put him in this position. Rushing said he will con- tinue to work with staff and try to promote the city in a positive light, as well as work with the local Spokane National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union to work on race relations. But actions speak louder than words and Rushing will have to show everyone that he is trying to better himself rather than just improve his reputation. Write. to the Point Making time to move beyond language, and learn By JOHN McCALLUM Editor "I don't have time to be politically correct." An interesting statement made by billionaire real es- tate mogul and poll-leading erstwhile presidential aspi- rant Donald Trump at last Thursday's first Repub- lican debate. Trump's comment, while re- hnMo llum played over and over, ad infinitum on the numerous news chan- n~ls 'h~is been somewhat diluted by other utterances. These are, not necessarily in any order or level of impor- tance: the unfairness of Fox News' questions, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, Kelly and blood from "wherever," Trump's alleged comments about women - "fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgust- ing animals" ("only Rosie O'Donnell') -- and Megyn Kelly. But this comment on po- litical correctness doesn't seem to have registered. At least not much. It's an interesting animal, FREE PRESS Vol. 119-No. 17 Press Production Manager Randy Warwick Editor John McCallum Pressman Reporters Mark Cordes Paul Delaney AI Stover Sales Graphics Steve Barge Brittani Montecucco DeeAnn Gibb John Myers Front Office Dawn Chernak Rachel Stuart Bookkeeper/Office Manager Debi Labish Publisher Harlan Shellabarger The Editorial Board is composed of Paul Delaney, Al Stover, Brittani Montecucco, John McCallum and Harlan Shellabarger The Cheney Free Press is published every Thursday by the Free Press Publish- ing Company, William Ifft, president. Periodical post- age paid at Cheney, Wash. 99004. Published at 1616 W. First Street, Cheney, Wash. 99004. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Cheney Free Press, P.O. Box 218, Cheney, Wash. 99004-0218. ID PUBLICATION # 102240 The Free Press re- quests that contributors observe the following dead- lines, which will be strictly enforced: OBITUARIES. MEETINGS OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES - Tuesday, 10 a,m. CHURCH, CLUB MEETINGS. ALL SOCIAL NEWS -- Monday, noon DISPLAY ADVERTISING -- Monday, 4 p.m. LEGAL NOTICES -- Monday, 5 p.m. CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING -- Tuesday, 11 Rates: Addresses in Spokane County, $24 per year; $36 per year outside Spokane County; senior citizens in Spokane County, $22 per year. For other rates, call 235- 6184. Subscription cancellations are non-refundable! HOW TO CONTACT US Phone: 235-6184 Fax: 235-2887 emalh cfp bout others change verbiage in the city's being politically correct. We;x;e'all rolled our eyes, shaken our heads, laughed at and mocked the more fa- mous examples of politically correct words and phrases. You know what I mean. Changing "Christmas Tree" to "Holiday Tree," or saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." There was a woman in Seattle sev- eral years ago who wanted to zoning code, things like "manhole cover" to "utility cover." But is this really what po- litical correctness is about, or is it just literary and cultural silliness? Here are two takes on the subject. In a piece on the website, writer Kay Lorenz tells us that po- litical correctness is not just about watching what you say. Rather, "in its best sense, be- ing politically correct means learning about others and respecting the differences that make us unique." Lorenz gives us some ways we can go about do- ing this, such as examining and rejecting stereotypes we may have formed about See Write to the Point page 5 CAT,&LINO C~P.~TCC~.COht A55OCtA1T: WITH/~Ef'J Of= GOOO t~I.I~.ZP~t P YOU E'STE-EM YOI.CP OWN ~ATION, HONESTY IS THE FIRST CHAPTER IN TIlE BOOK OF Wt DOM. HE A I IGHT TO CPITICIZ{ , WHO TO HELP, L05 05! John McCallum A1 Stover Editor Staff Reporter Main contact for editorial coverage. Gov- Covers alI Medical Lake government, ers all Chancy governmant, communi~, commun~ and school district news, as school district news and events, as well well as Airway Heights news and Cheney as Cheney High School sports.High School sports. jmac @ al @ Paul Delaney Staff Reporter Covers all Medical Lake High School and Eastern Washington University sports and news. Contact for miscellaneous sports. odelane,