Unfriendly Friendswood, Texas

Actually, the hate rolled in from out of town.

Friendswood is an affluent Houston exurb, mostly white, with a population larger than Wenatchee’s (see profile here).

They were going to do a Fourth of July parade until the rightwing hate showed up.

The grand marshal was to be native daughter Haley Carter (photo, left), and that’s where the trouble started.

Carter, who rates a Wikipedia biography (here), graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq, and is a champion soccer player and coach. So far, so good.

But she’s not white, she chairs a commission against gun violence, and takes her son to drag queen shows. Uh-oh.

The threats began coming within hours, after a rightwing radio host went after her. He’s a carpetbagger from Ohio and Montana who landed in Houston, Texas, after losing a run for Congress in Arizona. His name is Jesse Kelly (bio here; photo at right).

In less than two days, the abuse and threats grew to more than marshaling a parade marshal is worth. Carter bowed out, and then Kelly bragged about forcing her out.

Kelly, it will be noted, also is a Marine Iraq veteran. But let’s be clear: Neither he nor his rightwing tribe respect veterans or the military service of others, if you’re not of their tribe. They will viciously attack even a decorated veteran whose views clash with theirs. There’s probably some racism involved in this incident, too, because conservatives demonstrably are a racist crowd. (They demonstrate it all the time.)

This isn’t respectable, it isn’t acceptable, it isn’t American. We should call it Right White Fright, because that’s what it is. They’re afraid of social change, of anyone who doesn’t look like them, doesn’t think like them, or is even a little bit different from them.

It’s one thing to debate, another to threaten, which is becoming part of the rightwing playbook. I think authorities should track down and prosecute people who make terroristic threats. They can be found with search warrants for telephone records.

Otherwise, we’re going to become another El Salvador.

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