Category: Racism

Einstein Bagels is rounding up change to support a group that is facing multiple sexual assault and EEOC claims

Einstein Bagels asks people to round up their purchase to the next dollar to donate to a Christian missionary youth group that has been charged with widespread sexual assault, misconduct and harassment.

Einstein Bagels in Grand Junction is asking customers to round up their change to support an evangelical Christian missionary youth group, Young Life, that is facing a slew of sexual misconduct lawsuits by former club participants across the country and at least four Equal Employment Opportunity Complaints for racial discrimination, improper termination and other sordid allegations.

The group, Young Life, came under federal investigation after students, members and volunteers across the country reported they had experienced unwanted sexual advances and solicitations, racially discriminatory comments and treatment, and verbal harassment consisting of sexual innuendoes, comments, jokes, inappropriate texts and social media messages, grooming, inappropriate physical touching, sexual assault, racially discriminatory treatment and retaliation against volunteers who reported such events.

People forced out of Young Life for reporting sexual misconduct

A sign in Einstein’s window urges people to round up their change to support Young Life

After Becca Wong, a Young Life student leader in Michigan, reported an incident of forced oral sex on another member to the organization’s leadership, the leadership forced her out of the organization “in direct retaliation” for reporting the assault, Wong says. In an interview to Michigan Daily, Wong said,

“It’s a very harmful experience but when you’re in (Young Life), you really drink the Kool Aid and you really believe everything they’re doing… Leaving Young Life was a very eye-opening experience, and you can’t really see the problems in Young Life until you’re out of it.”

Laureana Arellano brought a lawsuit after she was racially and sexually harassed at a Young Life summer camp in Colorado in 2019. Arellano said in her legal complaint that a coworker assaulted her by “shoving his hand down her apron and groping her genitalia.” Court paperwork says that when she reported it, a manager told her it was “God’s plan.” Arellano reached a settlement agreement with Young Life, the terms of which are undisclosed.

Brie Boatman, a former staff member who left YoungLife in 2018, said

“Women are not safe in this ministry if Young Life is going to listen to our stories and do nothing about it.” 

CMU and many local businesses continue to support Young Life despite allegations, lawsuits & complaints about misconduct

A host of prominent Grand Junction businesses support Young Life by participating in a discount card program the organization uses to raise money to send youth to Young Life camps. The organization also flourishes on college campuses, including at Colorado Mesa University, which welcomes the group in spite of its fraught reputation.

Young Life is a $500 million, Colorado Springs-based organization that works to lure young people into Christianity. It starts recruiting kids as young as middle school, is present in all 50 states and in over 100 countries around the world.

If you have experienced sexual assault, harassment or other misconduct while in Young Life, you can report it to Business Insider, which is compiling reports on such incidents, at rpremack@protonmail.com, or contact the Denver-based law firm, Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC, that is handling many  cases against Young Life already, at 303-578-4400 or fill in the contact form at their website. 

This photo from Colorado Mesa University’s website shows the university promoting Young Life, a nationwide Christian missionary youth group based in Colorado Springs that has been accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment and racial discrimination

 

Grand Junction businesses that support Young Life despite sexual assault allegations

A host of Grand Junction businesses endorse Young Life, which has been charged with sexual misconduct against members and volunteers, doing nothing about it, and even working to cover it up

House Rep. Boebert (R) touts “replacement theory,” the far-right, white supremacist conspiracy theory increasingly behind mass shootings

In a video taken last September, House Rep. Lauren Boebert touts “replacement theory,” the racist ideology that led an 18-year old to massacre ten Black people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York on Saturday, March 14, 2022.  Payton Gendron, the shooter, left behind a 180-page manifesto that showed he was fixated on the idea that White people in the U.S. are being intentionally replaced — the same idea Boebert spouts in this video.

D-51 School Board President Andrea Haitz belonged to anti-transgender Facebook group

Screenshot of members of the transphobic Facebook group, Reboot 2022, taken on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, after which time her name was removed.

A May 13, 2022 Daily Sentinel article discussed the outrage District 51 School Board President Andrea Haitz’s recent anti-transgender social media posts generated among people in the valley. 

In her own defense, Haitz told the Sentinel she didn’t mean the memes to be hurtful, and that she “has gay and lesbian friends.” Haitz said the “memes had been misunderstood” because “people don’t always understand satire,” and said that people “made up what they thought I meant by it.”

But people didn’t make up anything, and they most definitely did not misinterpret the intent of Haitz’s posts.

How do we know?

Woman makes Q-Anon style threat against Telluride School Board

Gabriella Moorman’s letter to the Telluride Board of Education and Superintendent

Taking a leaf from the QAnon playbook of turning school boards into battlegrounds for unhinged conservative politics, a woman named Gabriella Moorman threatened individual members of the Telluride School District board in San Miguel County as a way to rail against district policies that guided masking during the pandemic, sex education, Critical Race Theory (which is not taught in K-12 schools) and other  practices and policies the school board has taken in the past.

Moorman wrote to board members that “you could lose your house, your cars, your job, your retirement, etc., if you DO NOT PAY ATTENTION. You are inviolation of multiple State, Federal and International laws … and you could be facing time in FEDERAL PRISON for your actions if you do not cease and desist.”

Rep. Boebert openly insults Jews visiting the U.S. Capitol

Boebert, grinning while wearing a T-shirt that makes fun of the tragic death of 41 year old cinematographer Halayna Hutchins, who was accidentally shot by a prop gun held by actor Alec Baldwin, who was rehearsing a scene that required the gun. Baldwin called Boebert’s wearing of this shirt “unconscionable.”

News outlets are reporting on an incident that occurred at the U.S. Capitol in which Colorado House Rep. Lauren Boebert, while exiting an elevator, saw a group of Jews who were visiting the Capitol. The person leading the group was an orthodox Jew with a traditional beard, the others were wearing yarmulkes and some were rabbis. The group was there to meet with Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-NY).

Reports say that upon seeing the group, Boebert looked them up and down and asked aloud if they were there to “do reconnaissance.”

The question left the group confused.

When news outlets questioned Rep. Boebert about the incident, she responded by text that she was making a joke:

“I saw a large group and made a joke. Sadly when Democrats see the same they demonize my family for a year straight.”

She added that she was too short to see yarmulkes on people’s heads.

CO House Rep. Lauren Boebert (R) uses bigoted joke to disparage Democratic colleague

While speaking at a campaign event in Pueblo on Saturday, November 20, during Congress’ Thanksgiving break, Republican CO House Rep. Lauren Boebert made a bigoted, anti-Muslim joke at the expense of her Muslim colleague, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), intimating Omar could be a suicide bomber if she was wearing a backpack.

Boebert told the crowd she had just entered an elevator at the Capitol when a Capitol Police security guard came running just up as the doors were closing. Boebert said she turned and saw Omar and said to the guard, “Well, she doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine.”

According to Rep. Omar, Boebert lied about the scenario, because the incident never happened. Omar condemned “hateful and dangerous Muslim tropes,” saying they don’t belong in Congress.

Tina Peters and Lauren Boebert discussed on Denver 9News show “Next with Kyle Clark” — and not in a good way


Denver news anchor Kyle Clark, host of “Next with Kyle Clark,” voiced strong opinions about Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and western slope House Rep. Lauren Boebert on his November 17 show.

Clark criticized Peters for going on “My Pillow Guy” Mike Lindell’s online TV show and claiming she was “terrorized” while law enforcement searched  her home on November 16th, while the Colorado State Attorney General issued a statement saying no force was used during the search, and in fact Peters remained home making breakfast while the search was ongoing.

Far right wing slate of school board candidates gin up anger and spread misunderstanding to raise funds

“Stand for the Constitution” supports Angela Lema, Andrea Haitz and Will Jones for School Board. They are ginning up hatred against the U.S. Department of Justice to try to raise funds for their campaign. The three are running as a far right wing extremist slate.

The three far-right wing candidates for District 51 School Board backed by the extremist group “Stand for the Constitution” — Angela Lema, Willie Jones and Andrea Haitz — together sent out a fundraising email today, titled “It’s Time to Get Politics Out of the Classroom,” aimed at generating anger towards the U.S. Department of Justice to raise money to help get them onto the school board.

The email’s subject line screams:

“The DOJ is coming after parents!”

School Board candidate Haitz sends out offensive fundraising email

Fundraising email from Andrea Haitz announcing her campaign for D-51 school board

School District 51 Board Candidate Andrea Haitz sent out a red-meat fundraising email in July that offended teachers, parents and D-51 employees who have been working hard to give kids the best education possible while struggling with all the difficulties imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Haitz said,

“Politics is in the way of our children’s future. Political agendas are being jammed down our kids’ throats. Necessary tools that were once taught, like critical thinking, have now been replaced with divisive ideologies and revisionist history.

I will not watch our kids be brainwashed. I am taking a stand!

Will you join me by making a contribution to my campaign?”

The email was a dog-whistle designed to extract donations from far-right conservatives who fear “Critical Race Theory,” (CRT) a body of legal and academic scholarship that proposes that race is a social and not a biological construct, and that discusses how race and a history of institutionalized racism have created and perpetuate a system that broadly disadvantages people of color in American society.

G.J. citizens get anonymous racist hate mail in response to yard signs promoting social justice, inclusiveness

An example of the yard signs Grand Junction, CO, that are prompting far right wingers to target homeowners with anonymous, racist hate mail

Grand Junction’s undercurrent of hatred showed itself again this week after several City residents reported they’ve gotten anonymous racist hate mail that they think was prompted, at least in part, by signs in their front yards indicating support of social equity, inclusion and justice.

A bi-racial downtown resident reports having gotten a total of nine racist hate letters so far, saying they have been coming steadily, approximately monthly, for about a year now, starting in 2020.

A Redlands Village resident got the following racist poem in the mail, authored by a “A. Wyatt Mann,” a pen name used by an American filmmaker named Nick Bougas, who produced racist, homophobic and anti-semitic material under the pseudonym. She also got a “Fuck Biden and fuck you if you voted for him” note, also posted below:

Crowd protests Boebert and Jordan’s appearance in G.J.

Some of the crowd that turned out to protest Boebert and Jordan

A crowd of about 50 protesters came out to heckle Mesa County’s wealthiest Republicans as they arrived at the Grand Junction Convention Center to attend a Mesa County Republican Party fundraiser on Saturday, July 24 featuring House Representatives Lauren Boebert and Jim Jordan.

Boebert was recently shunned by a GOP women’s fundraising group, the Value In Electing Women (VIEW) PAC, which called her “a shameless self-promoter” and a “carnival barker.” The group accused Boebert of treating Congress like a joke and a reality show. Boebert’s votes have shocked much of the nation. She voted against giving medals to the U.S. Capitol Police who defended Congress from the 1/6 attack. She voted against a bill to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, and was one of only two legislators to vote against a national bone marrow registry to help cancer patients  She also voted against protecting seniors and indigenous communities from scams in a 413-8 vote.

Former Delta County School District students pressure district to end racism in schools

Jordan Evans (L) and Marisa Edmondson (R) are graduates of Paonia High School and are pushing the Delta County School District to  actively work to end what they see as pervasive racism in Delta County Schools

Two alumni of the Delta County School District (DCSD) began an all-out effort last year to pressure the Delta County School District to address the pervasive racism and discrimination they and others say they have experienced in Delta County Schools. Edmondson says while they have made some progress, the School District and School Board have largely stonewalled them and resisted the change.

G.J. City Council candidate Mark McAllister known for posting false, xenophobic and racist memes

Meme that appeared on Mark McAllister’s Facebook page in early January, 2020

In 2013, former G.J. Mayor Bill Pitts said that the most money anyone had ever spent on a City Council race up until that time was around $3,000. 

In 2013, that amount had jumped to $10,000 to $12,000 per candidate for city council campaigns.

Now, in 2021, candidates for local office are routinely spending up to $20-30k on their campaigns.

That marked increase in the amount of spending should be accompanied by an equally higher level of scrutiny of candidates by the local press and media, but it hasn’t. The local paper seems to be giving candidates a pass by doing nice things like sending candidates a softball questionnaire and publishing their answers in full, without even verifying whether the candidates filled in the answers themselves.

Voters deserve more information — a deeper dive, like verifying candidates’ educational levels, their social, political and business affiliations, and verifying the claims they make on their campaign pages about what groups they belong to. We should also know if any information has been published about them elsewhere, and check their social media streams to see what they had been posting before they decided to running for office.  
 
One thing we’ve managed to find here at AnneLandmanBlog about the current candidates for Grand Junction City Council is that one candidate really stands out when given this kind of scrutiny, and not in a good way: Mark McAllister.

Rep. Lauren Boebert’s mother and friend complain about all the “brown people” in the Rifle WalMart

 

In this cringeworthy December, 2010 “things we hate” YouTube video reminiscent of a Saturday Night Live skit, Colorado CD-3 House Rep. Lauren Boebert‘s mother, Shawna Bentz (on the left), and a friend who identifies herself as “Lauren,” (not Bentz’s daughter, House Representative Lauren Boebert) complain about Mexicans and all the “brown people” in the Rifle Walmart on Sundays.

Beneath the video, Bentz wrote, “In noway way Do we hate brown people, We love all of Gods People….This is just a Rant of the everyday life.”

 

68 Elected officials in Colorado House District 3 sign letter to House leadership condemning Boebert’s actions

CD3 House Rep. Lauren Boebert is under scrutiny for her association with right wing groups that supported the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021

68 elected officials from cities and counties across Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District have sent a letter (pdf) January 12 to House leaders condemning CD-3 Rep. Lauren Boebert and asking them to open an investigation into Boebert’s actions leading up to, and on the day of the insurrectionist attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters on January 6.

The letter was sent to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and was signed by elected officials from the counties of Routt, Pueblo, Eagle, Lake, Gunnison, Pitkin, Saguache, Ouray, La Plata, Hinsdale, San Miguel, and San Juan and from the cities of Durango, Bayfield, Crested Butte, Gunnison, Eagle, Lake City, Ophir, Mountain Village, Leadville, Ridgway, Telluride, Glenwood Springs, Avon and Aspen.

Women: post signs at home to celebrate the 2021 inauguration from now until January 20, 2021

Amid the pandemic, the Mesa County Democratic Party Womens’ Group is expanding on the annual Womens’ March by asking people to display posters and signs in their front yards and windows from now until January 20th, 2021 celebrating the return of the country to American ideals with the inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President Elect Kamala Harris.

Throughout his time in office, Trump has made life more difficult for all Americans, but especially for women, in innumerable ways, through cuts to child care assistance, stalling federal action on paid family and medical leave, making student debt harder to pay off, cutting nutrition assistance, increasing bullying, racism and anxiety in the country, slashing health care benefits, tearing families apart, putting kids in cages, weakening protections against gender-based violence and much more.

Central High’s team name may be in for a change

Central High’s outdated, racist “Warriors” team name and logo may be in for a change this summer.

The Cleveland Indians baseball team announced yesterday that they will be dropping their team’s name after 105 years, because it has long been considered racist.

Cleveland’s move follows the NFL team, the Washington Redskins’, announcement last July 23 that after 87 years they are changing their name for the same reason: the name is outdated and racist.

What of our local schools’ racist athletic team names?