Dori: Edmonds city gov. seeks to shut down free speech after ‘Build That Wall’ cookie
A couple of weeks ago, a baker in Edmonds named Ken Bellingham was baking Valentine’s cookies, and wrote a goofy message on one of them to amuse his conservative daughter-in-law — “Build That Wall.”
The cookie — again, meant as a joke — got put in the case at the Edmonds Bakery. A woman posted a photo of the “Build That Wall” cookie on social media, and the Left went crazy. The baker was roundly condemned by people across the country. Protesters wanted the economic ruination of a 26-year-old business because of three words on a cookie.
What happened on Tuesday with a governmental organization in Edmonds is frightening. It is truly terrifying that this is where we are with government around here. We have this thing called the First Amendment, where government cannot abridge free speech.
The Edmonds Diversity Commission released a statement about the Build That Wall cookie. Clearly this government commission is so useless that it has nothing better to do than release official statements about cookies.
A couple weeks ago our community was negatively impacted by a business owner’s choice to spread a divisive and, for some, hurtful message. While we are aware that speech is protected by our First Amendment, words have consequences. Words can be hurtful and divisive but also can unite, embrace and welcome people into a community.
Many of our local Edmonds Merchants [sic] have risen as shining examples of how positive messages can bring a community together. These businesses have chosen to promote kindness, love and compassion by exhibiting thoughtful window displays, donating to organizations, and hosting community-engagement events.
We hope that more businesses and community members will continue to promote these values.
The Diversity Commission is committed to working with the city and other organizations in our ongoing efforts to promote a more inclusive and welcoming community.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the town of Edmonds. It’s a fantastic community. But a bunch of small-town bureaucrats who have somehow gotten appointed to the Orwellian-sounding Diversity Commission have decided to condemn a taxpaying small business owner because he wrote three words on a frosted heart cookie.
Let me explain how dangerous this is. The government is deciding what speech is acceptable and what speech should be condemned with a statement. This is as scary as government gets. They believe that their role is to control your thought; they are going to pressure you to think like a Leftist. Does this sound a bit like the ‘Thought Police’ out of “1984” to anyone?
They are all about diversity, except for diversity of thought. You have to think like a Leftist, or else you will have a government commission issuing a statement trying to hurt your business. I think the owner of Edmonds Bakery could have a lawsuit if he wanted. Government is not supposed to abridge our free speech. It is not up to some commission bureaucrat to determine what kind of speech is acceptable.
“I’m not negatively impacting anybody — in fact, my business has really done well and I think I’ve brought a lot of people to town [who] wouldn’t ordinarily be here if it hadn’t been for the cookie,” Bellingham told me on Thursday. “So I’m scratching my head on this one.”
The hilarious thing is, Bellingham thinks that the Diversity Commission’s mention of “thoughtful window displays” that “promote kindness, love, and compassion” is a direct reference to the Cheesemonger’s Table in Edmonds, which has come out with “Build Love” cookies to counter the “Build That Wall” cookie. This is truly the theatre of the absurd.
Here’s my challenge to the Edmonds Diversity Commission. I would challenge you to sit down face-to-face with an Angel Mom or an Angel Dad. Would you sit down face-to-face with a parent whose child has been murdered by an illegal immigrant? Many of those parents support building a wall, because they have suffered the worst tragedy a human being can endure, and it wouldn’t have happened if the perpetrator had not been allowed to come into the country. Would you, Edmonds Diversity Commission, have the guts to tell Angel Moms that their words were divisive and hurtful? I doubt it. You just condemn a baker and then hide when someone in the media wants to challenge you on it, because that’s what Leftist bureaucrats do.
And beyond that, Diversity Commission, government should play no role in telling citizens of America what speech is acceptable and what speech is worthy of condemnation. That is a dangerously slippery slope. Should I run my words by the Edmonds Diversity Commission every day before my show and make sure that I don’t say anything hurtful or divisive? Because you know, KIRO Radio has a strong signal, and you can’t block it at the Edmonds city limits. Are you going to condemn me via an official statement every time I am hurtful or divisive? Is that the role of government?
We tried to get the Diversity Commission to come on. Of course we received no response. But what’s funny is that after we started calling them, they issued an updated statement. This is a case where the cover-up is even worse than the original transgression, because it shows what a bunch of liars are on the Diversity Commission.
Regarding Tuesday’s message from the Diversity Commission, it was definitely not the intent to focus on any particular businesses or individuals, but rather to counter the negative comments that had arisen over the past couple of weeks and instead spread a message of inclusion and acceptance. The City apologizes if the message was taken as a direct affront to any particular individuals and hope that, again, the message of inclusion and acceptance will prevail.
Are they really that stupid? They were clearly singling out Ken Bellingham’s Edmonds Bakery and the “Build That Wall” cookie in the first statement. This follow-up statement not only sounds idiotic, but is a downright lie. You’re all liars now. Not only do you believe it’s the role of government to tell us how to think, to slap on the wrist anyone who doesn’t believe your Leftist Groupthink, but then you lie about it in your cover-up statement.
A taxpaying business owner of 26 years is getting slapped down by a government commission. I think it’s reprehensible for anyone in government to try to tell us how we are supposed to think and what we are allowed to say without government reprimand.