Episode 3: Home In The Grange
The hubbub began on once-sleepy South Whidbey Island, Washington in 2020, and it began in the unlikeliest of places: a local grange hall. A militia group, the Washington III Percent, quietly took over the small, agriculture-centered community center and started shutting everyone else out. Then they took aim at local schools, where students were demanding more inclusion for LGBTQ+ students and students of color.
It’s a small but revealing skirmish in the larger culture war militias and other far-right groups have been spearheading: taking aim at local elections that fly far under most people’s radars — like school boards — to reshape their communities in their unyielding right-wing mold.
Heath Druzin is host and creator of the podcast Extremely American. From 2018-20, Druzin was a reporter at Boise State Public Radio for Guns & America, a national collaboration between 10 NPR affiliates that looked at the role of firearms in American life. Before that, he covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for Stars and Stripes newspaper.
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