A school board candidate forum that was planned for last evening, Monday, October 16, was cancelled abruptly the day of the event after the venue hosting the event, Good Judy’s Bar & Club downtown, received a violent threat on Facebook.
In the Daily Sentinel on Sunday, January 8, Jacob Richards authored a column titled “The Grand Valley has a problem with hate,” in which he discussed leaked videos of local activity by the violent white supremacist group Patriot Front that were posted by Unicorn Riot, a noncommercial, decentralized nonprofit media organization of journalists.
One of those videos is above. It shows members of Patriot Front holding military-style training drills in Canyon View Park in Grand Junction on October 10, 2021. Members of the group came from Utah and Idaho to participate in this training. Some of the known Patriot Front members in the video have been identified as 26 year old Nathan David Brenner from Louisville, CO, 23 year old Cameron Pruitt of Utah, Richard Jacob Jessop and Nathaniel Taylor Whitfield.
My 92 year old neighbor, who worked for School District 51 over forty years ago, received this hate mail yesterday, with the following computer-printed in screaming all-caps, racist, anti-transgender hate letter glued to the back of the picture with the child at the chalkboard:
My neighbor is pretty tough, but the line that said “OL’ BITCH” really saddened her.
In addition to showing that racism and homophobia in Grand Junction are alive and thriving, this rude correspondence raises several questions:
— How did the sender get the address of this person?
Right wing extremist Sherronna Bishop, a good friend of Mesa County Commissioner candidate Bobbie Daniel, joined the hate group the Proud Boys, the white supremacist group The Patriot Front and the Nazi sympathizer group Aryan Freedom Network, in Katy, Texas, on September 26 in protesting an all-ages-welcome drag bingo fundraiser put on by the First Christian Church of Katy, Texas, to raise money for “The Transparent Closet,” a church-sponsored boutique that provides free clothing to teens and trans youth in the community.
Steve Bannon amplified the call to protest the event on his internet TV show “War Room” in the days preceding the event.
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.
McCarney spoke at Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters‘ first appearance since she returned to Mesa County after fleeing the state August 10 to speak at an election conspiracy conference in South Dakota organized by My Pillow Guy Mike Lindell. After the conference, Peters went into hiding in unknown locations out of state for about 5 weeks.
Video of the political rally at the church is posted on the website of far right wing activist, conspiracy theorist and “mobile day spa instructor” Sharronna Bishop, who has dubbed herself “America’s Mom.” The rally was organized by the local extremist right wing group “Stand for the Constitution.” That’s the same group that has been pressuring the County Commissioners to declare Mesa County a “Constitutional sanctuary,” where federal and state laws don’t apply.
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:
Bruce Bertram, who owns The Chair Doctor, a Grand Junction furniture repair service, says on his website that he offers a lifetime warranty, he’s “open Sunday through Friday, about 9a to 6p. Closed Saturday. Phone 970-243-2929 for appointment,” and adds “Biden supporters not welcome.”
When you click the link to find out more, you get the following rant:
Answer 19: Are Biden supporters really not welcome at your business?
Yes. Since Biden supporters are not supporters of the Constitution, we don’t support them. They want to censor anyone that disagrees with them so we censor them. They are okay with stealing elections, like killing babies, defend Burn Loot and Murder riots while lying about legitimate protests at the Capitol, promote communism/socialism/globalism, are trying to destroy our country, and are generally hateful, ignorant people (obviously, if you are a Biden supporter).
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.
Grand Junction’s “Inclusivity Proclamation” notwithstanding, there is plenty of hate and racism in Grand Junction. The above represents a small fraction of the 35 to 40 hate-filled memes and cartoons someone took the time to copy, cut out and mail us in an anonymous snail mail letter, received on Tuesday, 9/22/20. The rest were similar, many were worse, and many focused on Trump worship, denigrating Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, liberals, non-white people, etc.
Grand Junction citizens who attended the August 5, 2020 City Council meeting to promote racial justice and propose solutions were met with openly racist comments from Michael Anton, a local business owner and representative of the Western Colorado Business Alliance (WCBA), a subgroup the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber formed WCBA in 2012 to serve as the Chamber’s lobbying and political arm. WCBA is a 501-c-4 “dark money” group, so-called because it does not disclose its donors, but according to 2012 article in the Business Times, WCBA is funded by local business owners. In 2013, an anonymous former Grand Junction mayor told AnneLandmanBlog that WCBA was initially financed with a $50,000 donation from Doug Simons, owner of Enstrom Candies.
The social justice groups Right and Wrong (RAW) Grand Junction and Black Lives Matter (BLM) Grand Junction invited citizens who have felt discrimination locally to join them in an “Oppressed People’s March” to the Grand Junction City Council meeting at City Hall Wednesday evening to propose policies for Council to consider that would benefit minorities, like incentives for minority business owners and funding for the Latino Chamber of Commerce.
But in response to the groups’ presence at the meeting, WCBA member and local business owner Michael Anton made it clear that in his view, racial minorities were unwelcome in Grand Junction, stating in his public comments to Council:
“This RAW. This BLM. They need to go away. They’re not Grand Junction and you need to send them down the road because, believe me, there’s a lot more of me here in this valley than there is of you. I guarantee it and it will not be a pretty day if that comes forth.”
The Colorado Times Recorder reported June 3 that the Mesa County Republican Party removed a post from its official Facebook page that suggested George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis Police on May 25, 2020 was faked.
The post contained a list of questions about the incident meant to imply it was staged, including:
“Why does one photo from behind show the man on the road is not handcuffed and the video from the front that he is handcuffed?”
“Why does the video show the diesel fuel price as 99 cents instead of the regular price in the area of $2.49?”
“Why does the police car have a non-municipal license plate with “Police” on it?”
(NOTE: The police car has a license plate that says “Police” because many Minneapolis Police cars have license plates on them that say “Police.”)
When asked why he removed the post from the page, Kevin McCarney, Chair of the Mesa County Republican Party, told the Times Recorder, “It’s not the position of the Party.”
A lesson for every western slope voter.
This obnoxious vehicle and its huge, offensive window decal was spotted in the parking lot at the Texas Roadhouse on November 15. At that time I dismissed it as yet another disappointing reminder that there are people living among us here in the Grand Valley who tend to be full of hate and who lack respect for others.
But it was quite another thing when the same offensive vehicle was seen parked outside Chatfield Elementary School where it was seen by a mom who was waiting to pick up her seven year old daughter. Unfortunately, her child spotted the offensive car, instantly giving the child reason to question her mom’s efforts to keep her from swearing.
Talk about putting a well-meaning parent in a bad spot.
Graffiti of a swastika was found yesterday, October 10, on the section of the Riverfront Trail just west of High Country Court in Grand Junction. The symbol is an emblem of far-right nationalist movements and is used by Nazis and neo-Nazis. It is widely considered a symbol of hate. The image was about 2 ft. by 2 ft. in yellow spray paint and was found on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, the day of atonement that follows shortly after the Jewish new year of Rosh Hashana. The graffiti was reported to the City, who passed information about it to the Parks Department, which is in charge of maintaining the Riverfront Trail.
For more documentation of the hate culturein Grand Junction, search on the term “hate” in the search box located to the upper right side of this post.
On August 31, the Islamic Center of Grand Junction unveiled a colorful new sign installed in front of its new Two Rivers Mosque at 8th and Gunnison Ave. and held a community barbecue to celebrate. About 50 people attended the barbecue, and it was an afternoon of peace, friendship and great food.
Not three weeks later, the sign was vandalized beyond all recognition.
Reposting from Mesa County CrimeStoppers Crime of the Week, 1/24/19
The Grand Junction Police Department needs your help to identify a male suspect that is wanted for harassment.
On Wednesday, January 2nd , an unknown male placed a malicious classified ad in “The Nickel” stating the victim’s house was “For Sale by Owner.” Security cameras capture a white male in his 50’s with a gray beard and last seen wearing a dark colored coat, blue jeans and a baseball cap. The surveillance photo of the suspect can be viewed at http://www.241stop.com.
If you know the identity or location of the suspect involved in this crime, please contact Crime Stoppers at (970) 241-7867. Information reported to Crime Stoppers that leads to an arrest can earn you up to $1,000 cash reward and you will remain completely anonymous. For more information, see us at http://www.241stop.com.
Utilizing a novel form of harassment, someone put a malicious classified ad in the January 3 edition of The Nickel Classified Ads saying our house was for sale “by owner” at a lowball price, and that there will be an open house Jan 11-13. Whoever placed the ad used our numeric street address and included a verbal description of our home. They did not include a phone number in the ad.
We found out about it after a realtor came to our house with the hard copy of the ad in The Nickel in hand and showed it to us.