Lapps

William B. White WHITEWB at JCCW22.CC.SUNYJCC.EDU
Mon Jun 23 12:37:27 MDT 1997


From:   NAME: Bill White
        FUNC: HUMANITIES
        TEL: 326/371                          <WHITE, BILL AT A1 AT JCCV03>
To:     IN%"rushtalk at athena.csdco.com"@MRGATE at JCCW22


        Following is the third part of an article I am sending to Rushtalkers
regarding the Lapp family.  Part 3:

        Ms. Lapp's brother, Nathan, in an emotionaltalk, said the family had
earned funds to pay for the family's farm, because many years ago, a number of
farmers were "willing to bend the rules and let us all work, wherever we could,
iven if the law said we weren't old enough . . . ."
        "A lot of people have told me we should just fill out the papers like
everyone else . . . make it look good, and send it in . . .  but we can't lie .
.  . we can't sign false documents," Lapp said.
        "I'm not eager to confront (IRS), the most powerful, most autocratic
most ugly level of government, but I'm convinced that we can't take part in a
corrupt system . . . it's wrong.
        "For six years," he said, "we've escaped the dishonesty and paper
shuffling involved with trying to hire workers by government standards.  For
six years we refused to police the private affairs of our workers .  . . and
for six years we haven't had to live in fear that if we bartered of treated our
workers to bonuses, we would be in violation of some crazy government ruling
or technicality."
        The younger Lapp added:  "Today, there aren't many people who would
sacrifice security for a just cause . . . If tomorrow I woke up and all that
remained of our farm were memories, our six years of abstinence from government
dictation would shine sharp and clear . . . .  I'm not sorry we did what we
did, and please remember, this is not a tax protest."
        At the close of meeting a number of those in the audience offered
support.
        Buffalo attorney Robbie Lee Billingsley urged the family to take their
story to "as many people as you can. . . . We know you, but there are many out
there who do not . . . whey[sic] they need to know your story."
        Debra Moore of Eden said the Lapps were responding to a higher
authority than IRS.  "They are responding to God's laws. . . .  They may lose
their farm, but wherever they go, the farm will be there too."
        James Giatas of Fredonia said he thought it was "wonderful that the
Lapps came here tonight to tell us their story, so that we could learn about
the actual problem and the principles behind their stand. . . ."
        Helen Tanner of Jamestown said she admired the family.  "I think it's a
very sad state of affairs when gevernment regulations become so complex that
hard-working people like the Lapps are forced to reach this point," she said.
        Buffalo journalist Frank Parlato Jr., who conducted the meeting, called
Jacob Lapp a "true patriot, an example of a man who would sacrifice himself for
the ultimate good of everyone. . . .  I thank this meeting tonight, might be
the beginning of something truly great."
        "It's people like Jacob Lapp, like Ghandi, who overthrew the British
Empire, that stand firm against oppression," he said.

        End of Part 3 of "LAPPS SAY THEY WON'T COMPROMISE INTEGRITY" - article
published June 21, 1997 in the Jamestown POST JOURNAL, Jamestown, NY.

Bill White



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