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Edmonds Bakery, Build That Wall
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Rantz: City of Edmonds tries to silence ‘Build the Wall’ baker, then lies about

Edmonds Bakery owner Ken Bellingham apologizes for the "Build That Wall" cookie. (KING-TV via AP)

The City of Edmonds got itself into a bit of a pickle they’re trying desperately to get out of.

In a Facebook post earlier this week, the Diversity Commission condemned the Edmonds baker for his “Build the Wall” Valentine’s Day cookie, after the cookie’s message triggered one customer. Though they don’t name the bakery, there’s absolutely no doubt who they were targeting.

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 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.

After the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH started to promote, and with some help from Facebook activists, the city heard a ton of condemnation. They attempted, rather poorly, to take back their message.

Regarding Tuesday’s message from the Diversity Commission, it was definitely not the intent to focus on any particular business 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.

This is a flat-out lie.

To claim it was “definitely not the intent” to target the baker, is not just willfully dishonest, it’s insulting. They think you’re stupid enough to fall for that. The city can apologize all it wants, but the intent, in that regard, is clear. They literally call out a “business owner” with what they deem a “divisive” and “hurtful” message. This was intended to bully him into silence.

But the message is way more damaging than some might assume.

The City of Edmonds posted a message that could have a chilling effect on all political speech. For starters, the do-nothing virtue signaling Diversity Commission is not the arbiter of what speech is divisive or hurtful. They’re hypersensitive ninnies who find fault in any political positions they disagree with.

But think about the business owner that might want to make a political statement, now fearful they’ll be called out by a government agency? The Diversity Commission is a hop, skip, and a jump away from some office that has enforcement power over that business owner with an owner who may not fear speaking out. That business owner has every right to share their political opinions, even if it violates the sensibilities of some random commission. But would it be worth it if it means a government agency or commission may bring negative attention, and the implicit threat of retaliation, against the company?

It’s one thing if a customer – or a passer-by – calls you out. But it’s entirely more dangerous if it comes from an arm of the government that oversees you. The City of Edmonds is supposed to be content neutral, even if the fringe Progressives feel like they’ve grabbed a foothold of power inside their government.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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