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Prosecutor Under Fire for Wife's Online Racist Comments

Spokane County prosecutor Larry Haskell has been put on the defensive because of increased scrutiny surrounding his wife and her online commentary. According to the Spokane alternative weekly The Inlander, Lesley Haskell has been outspoken in her beliefs on the social networking platform Gab, which was established as an alternative to sites like Twitter and Facebook that have rules prohibiting hate speech and/or threats of violence.

Leslie Haskell was reported as using several slurs for Black, Jewish, Latin, and other ethnic groups, which she defended under the banner of free speech. She also referred to herself as a “white nationalist,” and defended the Ku Klux Klan as an example of “white culture.”

On the official prosecutor’s website, Larry Haskell was forced to disavow these views. He wrote:

I do not and will not tolerate racial bias or discrimination in any form. People that know me fully understand those are not my views. I do not tolerate racial bias or disparate treatment of any kind as proven by my words, deeds, and treatment of others during my tenure as prosecutor.

In their defense, Larry and Leslie Haskell have good company. Plenty of high-profile couples on differing sides of the political aisle have prospered over the years, like former Trump administration spokesperson Kellyanne Conway and her husband George, who co-founded the anti-Trump advocacy group The Lincoln Project.

Still, critics point out that public confidence in Larry Haskell’s ability to be unbiased is undercut when his wife spews out racist rhetoric. William S. Bailey of the University of Washington Law School agrees. He said: “There is no doubt in my mind that if Larry Haskell was a judge and this information about his wife came out, he would have to recuse himself from any case if asked to do so by an attorney for a party.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

Regardless if we agree or disagree with other’s political and social views, we must never descend into racial slurs and judging others. We should be careful that the negative views of those we associate with do not affect us.

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