The Grand Valley Business Times (GVBT) has long been a source of business news in Mesa County, usually focusing on helpful items like what new businesses are moving in, the newest soups at Zoup, and which authors will be appearing at the downtown bookstores. In his latest issue, though, the paper’s owner, Craig Hall, used his editorial column to denigrate and insult Democratic and progressive business owners in the valley, and criticize women who seek to control their own reproductive destiny.
Amid the massive “Keep Families Together” protests in over 750 cities across the country including in Grand Junction last weekend against the Trump administration’s harsh “zero tolerance” immigration policy that separated thousands of refugee children from their parents, some Mesa County citizens are publicly denying that any children of refugees have been taken away from their parents, while also denying there is anything wrong with doing it. Others show utter disdain towards immigrant parents for taking desperate measures to get their families out of harm’s way.
Of all people, Robert Babcox, the pastor of the Orchard Mesa Baptist Church, is one of those people.
Grand Junction has been spared a potentially embarrassing and costly problem. A show by white supremacist provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos scheduled for April 14th at an undisclosed location in Grand Junction has been cancelled. The website for the event, “A Night with Milo, Grand Junction” says tickets to the Grand Junction event are no longer on sale. No more details are provided. The tickets had been priced at $40-$109 — expensive for any event in Grand Junction. Yiannopoulos was also supposed to appear in Las Vegas the night before the Grand Junction event, but that appearance has also apparently been cancelled.
Great news, and another win for Grand Junction’s growing liberal/progressive community.
President Donald Trump spent years spreading the racist lie that President Obama was born in Kenya. He’s publicly described Mexicans as rapists, called for a “complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” said immigrants from Haiti “all have AIDS,” used the gang MS-13 to disparage all immigrants and called African countries “shitholes.”
Sad to say, but there are people in our own community who actually believe these things, and worse, and Trump is empowering them to more freely express their racism and xenophobia.
Many ardent Trump supporters happily call themselves “deplorable,” making fun of a point Hillary Clinton tried to make during her 2016 campaign that many Trump supporters are racist, sexist, xenophobic and homophobic.
Members of Trump’s “Deplorable” contingents across the country, including those locally, typically deny they are any of these things, yet the Facebook pages of “Deplorables” groups (Trump supporters across the country who have personally labeled themselves “Deplorables”) do in fact reveal a strong component of sexist, racist, xenophobic and homophobic thought runs within these groups.
Three of President Donald Trump’s nominees for U.S. District Court judgeships have gone down in flames in the last few days for reasons that make Americans scratch their heads about how they could ever have been nominated to in the first place.
Trump’s nominee for U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, Matthew Spencer Petersen, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, December 14, 2017 and was forced to admit he had never tried a single case in any court of law, and had never filed a single motion or conducted even one deposition on his own over the course of his entire legal career. He was also stunningly unable to answer even the most basic questions about legal procedures common to federal courts.
An employee at the Horizon Drive Safeway discovered hateful anti-gay graffiti scrawled in the store’s restroom tonight and posted photos of it on social media. The employee discovered the graffiti while changing out of work clothes in the restroom.
One message was “Trump 2020” with a swastika. The other message said “God hates all fags,” also with a swastika.
Women inside and outside the government are chilled by the news today that Donald Trump’s transition team has asked the State Department to provide him with detailed information on U.S. programs aimed at benefitting women around the world, as well as a list of positions in the department that are involved in reducing gender violence and promoting women in the workplace. A senior official said people in the State Department are “freaked out” by the request and deeply concerned Trump wants to roll back these diplomatic efforts, many of which were spearheaded by Hillary Clinton.
It’s no wonder they’re concerned.
A Change.org petition is circulating asking the Electoral College to make Hillary Clinton president. It has gotten 4.36 million signers so far, and it’s aiming to get 4.5 million. The petition reflects the fears of at least half the country over Donald Trump’s apparent win in the November 8 election.
Trump’s win in the electoral college unleashed an unprecedented wave of racial and ethnic intimidation across the country, with perpetrators emboldened by Trump’s racially and ethnically-charged campaign, which won him an endorsement by the KKK.
After David Litsheim, owner of Seeds of Revolution at 241 Grand Ave., started reading growing numbers of first-hand accounts on social media of racist assaults and bullying after the election, he wanted to find a way to address the problem. With help from Bryan Wade, Litsheim designed a highly visible T-shirt that will serve as a symbol telling people “If you are being intimidated or fear for your safety, come to this person because they are safe.”
The campaign mimics a similar campaign that sprang up in the United Kingdom after Donald Trump’s election. Brits have started wearing safety pins on their lapels to symbolize anti-bigotry, anti-violence and safety.
Adding to concerns about the growing undercurrent of bigotry, hatred and intolerance that runs in western Colorado, this unidentified Grand Junction-area woman cut loose with a racist rant towards a Latino family in the parking lot of the Mesa County Health Department on Monday, August 1.
The family expressed concern about a dog that was left in a hot car in the parking lot. The temperature that day was in the mid to high 90s.
One of the Latino family members filmed the woman’s rant as evidence in case the woman harmed them, then posted the video on Facebook, where as of August 4 it had gotten over 360,000 views. It’s also posted on YouTube.
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel ran an article about the incident and the video in today’s paper.
So far, the woman engaging in the racist rant has not been identified.
UPDATE: Here is the ranting woman’s response after the video went viral. She claims she is hispanic herself so could not be racist.
News about the pending distribution of atheist and Satanic literature in Delta County schools April 1 is encouraging more students, parents and even teachers to come forward with information about what they say is a persistent pattern of state/church violations, religiously-based discrimination and even outright bigotry, harassment and demeaning of atheist and non-believing students occurring within the Delta County School system.
Parents from Delta County contacted Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers (WCAF) Tuesday morning (3/22/16) to alert the group to what they feel is pervasive Christian proselytizing occurring in Delta County Schools. They say they and their child have suffered to a great extent from the school district’s persistent embrace of religious promotion.
This video was posted to YouTube and Facebook on March 3, 2016 by Gavin Newsom, the current Lieutanant Governor of California, to warn people about the leading Republican candidate for U.S. President, Donald J. Trump and the danger he poses to the country. Newsom wrote,
“I hope you’ll share this video as it illustrates exactly who Donald J. Trump is: a racist, insane man who uses threats and intimidation to get his way. We are better than this. We are so much better than this.”
Accordingly, I am sharing the video with readers.
Mesa County residents blocked an armed Islamaphobic uprising from materializing today by gathering at a Grand Junction Islamic Center with enthusiasm, lots of free cookies and plenty of big, handmade signs promoting peace, love and diversity.
The anti-Islamaphobia rally was held to counter the so-called “Global Rally for Humanity,” an armed protest against local Muslin residents that right-wing gun nuts had planned. Similar protests aimed at intimidating U.S. Muslims were planned in 20 cities nationally; Grand Junction’s was to be one of them.
But thanks to strong, organized opposition, the Islam-hating rally pulled it’s Facebook event announcement page and never materialized.
Waves of residents who abhorred the idea of Mesa County being known as a hotbed of Islamaphobia attended the peace rally, which went on all morning and into the early afternoon. They held up signs on I-70B stating a need for a more diverse, loving western Colorado. Many cars honked as they went by and gave a thumbs-up to the event.
In one brief incident, four right-wing Islam-haters did show up, but all they did was make some rude gestures, call the group “delusional,” take a selfie with rally participants and then leave. Otherwise the group was completely successful in blocking the planned armed demonstration of hatred against Muslims that was to take place.
Congratulations, citizens of 21st century Grand Junction. You’ve showed that the culture is at long last really changing here, and it has already changed enough that political sanity can occasionally prevail.
If we accept one person’s religious beliefs as valid, we must accept them all, no matter how crazy they may be.
But if we act on this principle and start honoring all these various beliefs (and even the more mainstream ones) in workaday life, mayhem will result.
To see how this bears out, just take the principle to its logical extensions:
A woman goes to medical school and becomes a heart surgeon, then decides to become a Jehovah’s Witness who believes blood transfusions violate her religion. Honoring her religious belief at work would sacrifice patients’ quality of care, and could cost lives.
A devoutly religion 911 operator believes everything happens according to God’s will. Your house catches fire and you call 911. The religious operator answers, is your neighbor and recognizes you and your address. She knows you occasionally use alcohol, and based on the comings and goings at your house, has conclude that you regularly have sex on occasion even though you aren’t married. These activities violate her religion, and she honestly believes the fire at your house is God’s punishment for your sins. She does not alert the fire department because she dare not interfere with God’s will.
Your house is toast.
You get the idea.
We’ve already seen how the Kentucky County, Clerk Kim Davis’, religious belief against equal marriage have caused her to deny citizens’ their civil rights.
Just because a crowd of people mass in support Kim Davis by gathering in front of the jail she is being held in, and prominent Republican politicians make a show out of of visiting her in jail doesn’t mean she is right.
She is wrong. People who believe she is right need a thorough lesson in the purpose and value of a secular government and separation of church and state.
In the U.S., Ms. Davis is welcome to follow her faith any way she likes in her personal life, but as an elected public official, she is required to law carry out all of the duties her job requires in full accordance with the law or step down.
As the feds mull hate crime charges against Dylann Roof, the shooter in the June 17 massacre at a historic black South Carolina church, the presence of hatred, bigotry and intolerance is growing more evident in and around Grand Junction every day, and it’s not a comforting sight.
Remember this hate-filled, wing-nut truck spotted in Whitewater a few weeks ago?
The truck belongs to a local guy named “Marc” who operates a business that manufactures fake fiberglass rocks sized and shaped specifically to hide an arsenal of firearms. Marc designed the rocks to hide rifles, in particular an M4 carbine semi-automatic rifle, and according to his e-commerce website, “a butt load of ammunition.” Marc’s fake rocks come with a pocket-sized copy of the U.S. Constitution, and they sell for $925 each. Marc also makes fake, hollowed-out tree stumps designed to hide small arms, like pistols.
The front page of Marc’s e-commerce website bears a threatening “WARNING” to all potential customers. He writes,
- Are a liberal or in anyway support the willful destruction of America by this [Obama] regime or…
- Refuse to recognize that this “shining city on the hill” was founded on Christian principles or…
- Regard English as your “second language” and are content to let it remain as such…
DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER PURCHASING MY PRODUCT! [MY PRODUCTS] ARE HANDCRAFTED BY PATRIOTS FOR PATRIOTS!
So right up front as part of his business plan, Marc parades his paranoia and intolerance of people with differing political opinions, religions and nationalities. Below is a photo taken from Marc’s fake rock website, showing Marc and a friend, armed to the teeth with powerful weapons, posing along side the truck he has splattered with paranoid messages.
What’s really troubling is that Marc is not an anomaly in the Grand Junction area. He is one of a growing number of Mesa County business owners who are “out” about the hatred and disgust they harbor towards area residents who are different from them. They revile, condemn and insult ethnic minorities, political progressives, women, people of other nationalities and religions, and people of no religion — in short, anyone who differs from them in their beliefs, physical appearance or cultural background.