My name is Kyle Wheeler, I represent the Lewis County Lollipop Guild, LLC. and I am here to set the record straight.
Our Rural Americans Against Racism signs have begun showing up throughout the region — everywhere from Pe Ell to Packwood, Longview to Tenino. It was noticed in the comment section of a recent Chronicle article a person claiming that RAAR and/or LCLG is linked to a terrorist organization and I need to say, this is absurdly false. We are your neighbors, your friends, and your family — just because we are expressing opinions you don’t agree with does not mean we are terrorists. These types of unfounded accusations can lead to physical harm.
RAAR itself is not an organization — it is one of multiple separate projects that fall under Lewis County Lollipop Guild, LLC. That also includes our Love Thy Neighbor signs and the Hope by the Hamilton project. We are a diverse group of members from all walks of life — many of us were born and raised here in Lewis County.
Since we are here, let’s talk a little more about our Hope by Hamilton project. I have been in talks with the City of Chehalis for about six weeks now and would like to say that it is going well, but it is not. Had I not been as determined as I am, their stonewalling would have likely succeeded a long time ago. The Chehalis City Council knows the right steps they should be taking and I am hoping they raise their standards soon so we may move forward respectfully.
As far as the HBH project itself, everyone has assumed we want an alternative marquee but personally, I have never had a desire for a tit-for-tat situation. When I bought this property it was not about countering the Hamilton Sign’s statements — this is America and they are entitled to their opinion.
This project is for Lewis County residents that don’t necessarily agree with the sign and acknowledging that there are other segments of our community allowed a seat at the table too. It’s also about showing the hundreds of thousands of people who drive the interstate that there is space for them to stop here too and all the economic benefits for our community that come with that welcoming perception. What manifestation our project eventually takes toward this goal, I will leave open for now just for showman’s sake.
I want to reiterate that we are not a terrorist organization or these boogeymen Antifa y’all keep convincing yourselves are coming — we’re just your local neighbors, friends, family and business owners out here trying to make the world better for our own families in the way that we envision. I remain hopeful that we can have these hard conversations going forward without misunderstanding each other.
You can find us on Facebook or contact through lclg.org for more information.
Thanks for listening to your fellow American’s opinion.