Sloppy Journalism: Harrison Berry of the Boise Weekly Got All the Facts Wrong
In his article on the matter, Berry writes, “Though members of other chapters of the nationwide organization have been tied to hate groups, the insurrectionary assault on the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6 and an attempt to abduct Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, leaders of the group, including Idaho Chapter President Parker, have routinely denounced racism and other 'supremacist' ideologies as gateways to tyranny."
Several of these points are woefully incorrect and easily disproven. We expect that Berry would want to know these facts so that he can issue a full retraction of his defamatory statements. The Real 3%ers of Idaho group was formed in 2018, after Eric Parker and two other Idahoans returned home after two federal trials – neither of which ended in a conviction. Parker took a misdemeanor plea agreement, which was offered by federal prosecutors after they presented their case twice only to be thwarted both times by juries who saw through their conspiracy theories and shady tactics. The trials ended in hung juries and even acquittals. Parker is not an “Idaho Chapter President.” He is the founder and President of a completely independent Idaho-based organization that has no affiliation with any other local, state, or national group. Our organization is run by a board of representatives who vote on everything we do. Unfortunately for Berry, these are not the only factually incorrect assertions made in the article. - We had to Google the 2013 situation he referred to that occurred in Benewah County. Not only are we still not sure who was behind it or what it was about, but it happened five years before our organization was founded. - None of our members were “part of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge Occupation in Oregon.” In fact, Parker repeatedly denounced the occupation at the time, both publicly and privately. In addition, that occupation occurred before our founding. - We have never been “an opponent of refugee resettlement programs in Idaho.” While many groups opposed the CSI refugee vetting process at the time and held rallies to voice their concerns, this also happened before our organization existed. - Berry claims that our “[m]embers have attended counter-protests against Black Lives Matter and Defund the Police.” Our organization has never and will never sanction any counterprotest. While we cannot speak for individual members, we do not engage in counter-protests as an organization. Peaceful assembly for the redress of grievances is a Constitutionally protected right and should never be met with intimidation tactics from any group, law enforcement included. Our organization was disappointed to receive our check back from the Wusmuth Human Rights Center. The members of Real 3%ers Idaho chipped in during the holiday season with what they could because they wanted to send a clear public message to the community – and most importantly, to those who vandalized the monument. We are continually characterized as being sympathetic and/or connected to hate groups. Not only is this a false assertion, but each time it occurs, those who are actually sympathetic to these ideologies attempt to seek us out. Each time, they are turned away because not only do we not subscribe to those ideologies, but we openly, publicly, and strongly denounce them, and do not accept or harbor members who espouse them. What we find most disconcerting is that this entire situation was triggered by an anonymous email, engaging in label-lynching as part of a larger cancel culture mentality that ignores facts in favor of emotional reaction. We were very grateful for Executive Director Dan Prinzing’s history lesson on the monument, and so were our members from around the state who viewed it. To hear that it was suggested he retire his position was shocking to us. We offer our sincere apologies that he was put in that position and reiterate that the only “opportunity” we took advantage of was that of collectively condemning the ideology that led to the horrors making that memorial necessary.
We look forward to Berry’s retraction and apology.
Responsible journalism is critical, especially now. If you’d like to help stop sloppy journalism, call Harrison Berry directly at (208) 344-2055 Ext 3015. You can also contact the Managing Editor of the Boise Weekly, Holly Beech, at email@example.com or 208-465-8110.
Link to the video where they accepted the check knowing who we are.
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