Rantz: Mayor says he was victim of ‘white supremacy hate crime attack.’ He wasn’t.
Burien Mayor Jimmy Matta says he was attacked in a white supremacy hate crime. He claimed Nazi imagery was printed on lawn signs bearing his name. He compared himself to a Jew in Nazi Germany and vowed to file a police report. Matta even demanded a federal investigation.
But the lawn signs didn’t include Nazi imagery. The criticism was very clearly inspired by the mayor’s politics, not his race. He didn’t call the police to file a report until Friday afternoon (the day after releasing a press release and talking to the media). And there was no hate crime. There will be no federal investigation. Police have already determined there’s nothing to investigate.
The mayor isn’t a victim of a hate crime. He’s just playing one for support in his re-election campaign. This is a grift, and a few media outlets are playing along.
The white supremacy hate crime that wasn’t
Someone placed a handful of lawn signs around Burien ahead of the upcoming election.
A red sign with the text “Seattle politics are bad for Burien” includes Matta’s name, along with two Burien City Council candidates and a current council member. Next to their names is a single, thin lightning bolt. On one side of the flyer is a clenched fist with “Propaganda” written below it. At the bottom of the sign, it says, “Vote against.”
Matta claims the singular lightning bolts are SS lightning bolts.
The mayor also said some of his campaign signs were defaced with a sticker that reads “Corrupt.”
In a press release, Matta said the critical signs display “overtones of racial hatred and the deliberate use of Nazi SS lightning bolts which send a chilling message into the Latino, gay, lesbian, and trans communities.”
He does not explain how the signs target the gay, lesbian, or trans communities since none of the candidates listed identify in either category (though one candidate is bi). He manages to leave out the Jewish community (one of the candidates is Jewish). But he does compare himself to Jews persecuted in Nazi Germany.
“This act is a direct assault on every man, woman, and child in Burien, King County, and our nation,” Matta said. “If we accept hate crimes against the ‘other’, then we are all at risk one day as the great Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller wrote in his famous quote, ‘then they came for me’, about the dark days during Hitler’s reign in Germany.”
He’s not like a Jew under assault. He’s a historically ignorant opportunist who hopes you’re dumb enough to fall for this grift.
Matta is being called a far-left extremist
The lightning bolts on the lawn sign are not SS bolts.
Anyone with even a casual understanding of Nazi symbolism could very clearly see that. The Nazi imagery shows two short, bulky lightning bolts right next to each other. The lightning bolts on the flyer are singular, long, skinny, and pointy. None are in pairs, either.
The clenched fist, which Matta doesn’t mention in his press release, symbolizes solidarity with communism. The reference to not wanting “Seattle politics” in the city, along with the fist, clearly indicates the activist who posted the signs does not want far-left, communist extremism to take hold in Burien. Each of the candidates mentioned on the sign holds a far-left ideology.
If you don’t trust my interpretation — and Matta does not — then perhaps the source of the artwork will help.
Every image on the lawn sign comes from art uploaded to Shutterstock by an Indonesian graphic artist. It’s listed with the keyword “communist.” The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH sent Matta the source image. He did not respond.
Matta doubles down on his ignorance
In an interview on the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH, Matta insisted he was the victim of a white supremacy hate crime. He repeatedly and falsely claimed the lightning bolts on the lawn sign appeared in doubles.
“When I see that sign, I know what it means. People of color know what it means,” Matta told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.
As a Jew, I actually know what it means. Matta thinks I’m wrong.
“To me, I see that as a racist attack. I see it as lightning bolts, … so what is it? That they’re talking about weather?” he asked. “… When I see those signs, I see [SS Bolts].”
He explained he wants to see the person responsible arrested because “it’s an attack on Democracy.”
It’s not, of course, an attack on Democracy. And no one would be arrested for posting the lawn signs because it’s not against the law. And while it’s vandalism to put a sticker on a lawn sign that didn’t belong to you, people aren’t arrested for that.
The local media plays along
Matta earned coverage on local TV networks that chose to play along with his absurd claims.
Neither KING 5 nor KIRO 7 pointed out that the lightning bolts are very clearly not Nazi symbols. Instead, they park their language with qualifiers that it’s Matta who makes the claims. But by not providing any counterbalance — or any accurate depictions of the symbols — the outlets legitimize the delusional claims.
And Matta’s remarkably transparent agenda was on full display in the KIRO 7 piece.
“Is it because we’re bringing Donald Trump’s tactics back of ‘they send their worst, their rapists, their thieves to America?’ To me, that’s what it means,” Matta told KIRO 7. “These tactics here today are uncalled for, and I want this individual prosecuted because this is an attack on our democracy. Period.”
Q13 FOX covered the story, though made no mention of Nazi imagery. Instead, they vaguely mention that Matta questioned the symbols.
Delusion and ignorance or ploy?
Having spent nearly 20 minutes interviewing Matta, it’s hard to tell if he is exceptionally incompetent in his attempt to feign victimhood or if he’s truly delusional and thinks he’s a hate crime victim.
On the one hand, the language he uses very clearly attempts to play into phony claims of a massive white supremacy threat. And invoking Trump is an attempt to activate Burien’s left-wing base. Matta put out a press release about the “hate crime” before he even reported the supposed crime to the police.
But on the other hand, he lacks basic intelligence and is historically ignorant if he thinks four thin, individual lightning rods are “SS Bolts.” He says four lighting bolts that appear nowhere near each other are somehow “doubled up.” He ignores the context of the lawn sign being about Seattle extremism.
“Nothing is going to deter me or my family from being active civic participants in our hometown and I urge voters not to allow this attack to discourage them from voting, out of fear of retaliation,” Matta wrote in his press release.
This makes no sense. Why would a lawn sign, even if it was a hate crime attack, stop voters from casting a mail-in ballot “out of fear of retaliation” exactly? Matta knows that the way people vote is private, right?
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