‘Lacey has no tolerance for discrimination’

City condemns hate speech, cyber attack on Commission on Equity meeting


The City of Lacey condemned the recent cyber attack by a group of individuals on the city’s Commission on Equity public meetings on Monday, March 25.

In a press release issued on Tuesday, March 26, the city firmly asserted its zero-tolerance policy against discrimination.

“The city will not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind, including but not limited to discrimination based on race, ethnicity, creed, color, national origin, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, veterans’ status, marital status, genetic information, or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability,” the city said.

Lacey underscored that any form of discrimination would not be accepted as it contradicts the city’s fundamental principles.

“While the city supports the public’s First Amendment rights, it does not tolerate hate and resolutely condemns these comments,” the statement read. “Those who attempt to abuse the city’s public forum in the future should be on notice that hateful speech or behavior will be swiftly condemned.”

During the Commission on Equity meeting held on March 25, committee members encountered callers who made discriminatory public comments.

Intruders’ comments

Someone who identified himself as "Bill Shaner," one of the callers in the meeting, commented on the unhoused population.

“One of the easiest ways that we can deal with the housing crisis and the lack of housing that is available is that we can maybe get someone in here to enforce Federal Immigration Law and deport all of these illegal immigrants that are taking up housing that could be used to house legal American citizens that deserve housing,” Shaner asserted.

Another caller, who introduced himself as "Chad," claimed that the country is being destroyed with various diversity, equity, and inclusion agendas.

A caller who identified himself as "Gab Stutman" asked, “It just doesn’t make sense to me if everyone always complains about racism. Why would you want to stay in a place that supposedly hates you and oppresses you?”

As previously reported in The JOLT, the Commission on Equity acted promptly to cut off the callers participating in what appeared to be an organized cyber-attack.

Commissioners’ response

Commission Chair Annie Clay asserted that while the public can express their opinions, the commission retains the authority to halt inappropriate language.

“We work to make this an inclusive community,” said Clay. “We are celebrating diversity.”

Historian and Commissioner Thelma Jackson appreciated Clay’s prompt action in stopping the Zoom bombers from hijacking the commission’s meeting.

“The work of this commission is more important than ever,” said Jackson. “We are in the midst of that kind of hatred, racism and antisemitism. It’s spooky, it’s scary and it’s always been here, but it’s getting bold, so our work is more important than ever.”

Commissioner Makieda Hart said the comments were appalling and she wanted to “lash back.”

“Literally, diversity, inclusion and equity do not include hatred and rage,” said Hart. “I also find that if we don't start being a little bit nicer to each other and a little bit more considerate of others, then we're going to lose our country, the country that wasn't ours to begin with.”

“You need also to keep the history into consideration while you're looking at some of the things that you are looking at,” she added.

Moving forward, Lacey Assistant City Manager Shannon Kelley-Fong suggested using pre-registration for public comment in future meetings.


10 comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • Southsoundguy

    So they said a bunch of true stuff and were cutoff and called racist meanies…typical.

    Wednesday, March 27 Report this

  • Brewmanchu

    The attitudes of this commission indicate the headline needs a little work. How about: "Lacey has no tolerance for diverse opinions"

    Thursday, March 28 Report this

  • hptrillium

    I applaud the city council of Lacey for condemning hate speech. It is not just opinions. There is already too much hate in the world. Try some kindness.

    Thursday, March 28 Report this

  • Southsoundguy

    Hptrillium what did they say that was hateful?

    Thursday, March 28 Report this

  • Yeti1981

    These aren't "diverse" opinions. Describing Jews as "hook-nosed rat like creatures" is not a "diverse" opinion. Pushing the go back to where you came from narrative is not a "diverse" opinion. Some of the commenters here need to get real. It is okay to express an opinion that we should fix our immigration system. That is true. It s okay to express a desire to address the housing crisis. That's an important issue. The public comments at this meeting were not that. The city is right on this one. We should always condemn hate speech. You certainly have the freedom to express your views, but not without consequence. If you have s***y opinions like the ones in these public comments, you should expect to be called out. If you express those views around the wrong person in public, you might even should expect a bit more consequences.

    Thursday, March 28 Report this

  • Boatyarddog

    Southsoundguy is one of them.

    Act Civil get treated with respect.

    Don't act civil get cutoff!

    Thursday, March 28 Report this

  • Southsoundguy

    I’m commenting on what was published in the article, which were not hateful and merely accurate observations. Take your weak liberal feelings and threats somewhere else.

    Thursday, March 28 Report this

  • ejpoleii

    The city council should set requirements for public verbal input at meetings. Written input must be unrestricted but verbal input at meetings should be limited to a certain amount of time per person, like 2 minutes, and a certain amount of overall time per meeting, like 20 minutes. The council should also specify other requirements that do not infringe on freedom of speech, no matter if the speech is repugnant or not. Also, the members of the council, board, commission, or whatever should not engage in debate or comment at the meeting. The rules (basically the present council rules) should be the same for all the groups. This should be part of the Lacey Policy and Procedures Manual. (https://cityoflacey.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2023/10/CURRENT_COUNCIL_POLICIES_PROCEDURES_2023_Updated-10.05.2023.pdf)

    Thursday, March 28 Report this

  • Deanima

    SS Guy once again puts his idiocy on full display. The article, which quotes the statements that were made at the meeting, was published on this site a couple days ago. Please go read it, then come back and tell me if you believe their hateful statements are, as you say, "a bunch of true stuff." I won't be at all surprised if you do.

    And once again...someone hit you upside the head with a definition of "liberal" and all we heard was a hollow sound. Why don't you look it up.

    Thursday, March 28 Report this

  • Southsoundguy

    Dean, the first article didn’t quote them at all, hence why I asked for the quotes. This article only quoted them as making statements about immigration (which are accurate). I find it comical how all you diverse, tolerant, inclusive liberals are always the first to hurl insults at me. Your worldview is pathetic and self-terminating.

    Thursday, March 28 Report this