While Mindy O’Neall’s view of the community on finding a middle ground in the upcoming local elections was valued, she made no disclosure of how radical and extremist several local candidates are. This needs to be understood by all voters because no one who values Fairbanks would want any of the following to hold public office.
The candidate for the district assembly, Patricia Silva, recently made headlines with her Facebook posts, which have now been deleted. She’s overwhelmed by the debunked QAnon conspiracy theory that has turned into a cult, and her posts raise serious questions about her mental fitness. I visited her Facebook page hours before she cleaned it up and took over 60 screenshots of public posts and sent those to anyone who emails me at [email protected] No sane person who reads her ramblings would ever vote for her.
Silva claims tunnels with thousands of corpses of children lie under the White House, the Covid vaccine contains a tracking microchip and is a conspiracy to depopulate the world while the unvaccinated are put in detention camps, calls evangelist Billy Graham a pedophile and insists on 2020 presidential election, election was stolen, declared 9/11 an inside job, and more, with no evidence of anything ever to be presented. If her family and friends really care about her, they will get her out of the internet and out of politics.
Former MP Lance Roberts scrubbed his social media activities wisely before launching his final candidacy for office. We can see why. Roberts was interviewed by the Alaska Dispatch in 2013 about his relentless encouragement from radical cleric Rousas John Rushdoony, a deeply racist and anti-Semitic pseudo-Christian who advocated replacing constitutional governance with theocratic rule and mass executions of non-Christians, sexual minorities, and misbehaving children. Rushdoony pronounced black Americans inferior and advocated the restoration of slavery. In his written – and therefore thoughtful – answers Roberts praised Rushdoony as an exemplary Christian.
Rushdoony was a Holocaust denier who claimed that Jewish deaths were in the thousands and were due to illness, that there were no gas chambers and that Nazi Germany was being held responsible for the Holocaust was “false testimony”. Roberts referred to Rushdoony as “an extremely accurate historian,” adding, “If he has other numbers, it’s worth investigating.” This is an open embrace of Holocaust denial. Journalist Dermot Cole found a post in which Roberts, who insisted that Rushdoony was not a Holocaust denier, picked a short passage from a lengthy statement in which Rushdoony defended Holocaust denial.
To call a Holocaust denier “an extremely accurate historian” is to call the Holocaust denial “an extremely accurate history.” Roberts clearly advocates Holocaust denial, if not a Holocaust denier himself. Nothing is more anti-Semitic. He can only erase this perception by recognizing the full extent of the Holocaust, withdrawing his previous statements, condemning Rushdoony and apologizing to this community. He will not.
In the running for the school board, candidates Andrew Graham and Jeff Rentzel want to lift the district’s masking obligation, even if Alaska’s hospitals are rationing supplies because they are overcrowded with Covid patients. The lifting of the requirement results in preventable deaths and hospitalizations, and leads to several major lawsuits against the district of parents whose children and families are ill. The judgments are paid by the taxpayers. Neither Graham nor Rentzel care.
You’re also fixated on the Critical Race Theory, a concept of law taught only in law schools. Fairbanks, like most communities, has some work to do to achieve equality. But we were fortunate enough to avoid open racial disputes. A struggle over CRT – which is not taught in our schools – will open deep racial rifts in our community that will take years to resolve. The two do not mention creating a welcoming environment for our children, nor do they show any interest in education itself. Their goal is to put our children in the crossfire of an artificial culture war, education and their futures are doomed.
QAnon, slavery, Holocaust denial, made-up racial conflicts forcing the city into costly lawsuits that it will lose, the killing of parishioners, and a systematic pattern of lies. This is what these candidates advocate. Do the Republicans stand for it now? Is that what the Fairbanks corporate leaders want?
I grew up in a conservative and Christian household. It’s not conservatism. It’s not Christianity. No true conservative or true Christian could choose these four with a clear conscience. That they are on the ballot at all is a grotesque moral failure for Fairbanks. The only thing worse is to choose one of them.
David James is a freelance writer living in Fairbanks.