Shooting for the Truth About Magrini and the Militia

Illustration by Phil Fountain.

Words I thought I’d never write: I kind of feel sorry for Shasta County’s militia. Not all of them, but specifically, peace-loving militia folks who showed up at the June 2 George Floyd protest in Redding; now dazed and confused about why their version of what happened the night of the raucous protest differs so widely from Shasta County Sheriff Eric Magrini’s story.

I say I feel sorry for the militia because since that protest, Redding Police Chief Bill Schueller and Shasta County Sheriff Eric Magrini have both distanced themselves from the very militia who proudly claimed that their services were welcomed at the protest.

I say I feel sorry for the militia because I put myself in their boots: They’d heard all the news about protests in other cities that left communities destroyed. They believed the stories about the truckloads of bricks, rocks and Antifa heading our way, not to mention the busloads of troublemakers who would converge upon our city to cause chaos and destruction. OK, so those threats never materialized, the point is, our good militia folks were ready to pitch in as citizen volunteers and help out our law enforcement.

The militia group gathered for a photo-op break as the protesters headed toward Shasta Street on Tues., June 2. Here’s the caption a Cottonwood militia person provided for her version of the photo on Facebook: “Over 200 (many legally armed/concealed carry-licensed) citizens in Redding stood their ground last night to ward off agitators in Redding.” Photo by Joe Domke

Schueller said in a statement that it was “ridiculous” to suggest RPD would ask militia to help out at a protest. And Thursday night Sheriff Magrini issued his statement in which he “set the record straight” about a number of things, including the Tuesday protest.

“I did not invite any “militia” groups or any other groups to come to town and participate. The day of the protest, our office was contacted by two different groups. The first group, the Cottonwood Community Watch, sent me a message stating they were going to be in town attending the protest. Another group, the Northern California Militia, came to the Sheriff’s Main Office. They told a records clerk they were in town for the protest. I repeat, I did not solicit or request any groups or organizations to come to town to appear at any event.”

Classic Magrini straw-man statement. Nobody said the sheriff invited a militia group to the protest. However, in his statement (published hours before he was to appear on Carl Bott’s radio show to discuss the militia issue) he disputes something that was never alleged. What has been alleged, by multiple members of multiple groups, is that Magrini was in contact with and directing militia operations during the protest.

This is the same straw-man defense strategy Magrini employed with the Mother’s Day Cottonwood Rodeo controversy. We saw the KRCR news report that aired the night before the rodeo, in which Magrini says that he spoke with the rodeo organizer who assured Magrini that there would be hand-washing stations, no food served and folks would receive CDC flyers at the gate, so yeah, he was allowing the rodeo. This was despite the fact that Shasta County public health folks said the rodeo was a forbidden activity because of the COVID-19 restrictions. We now know that Magrini is a selective law-enforcement officer, meaning, he selects which laws to enforce and what rules to ignore.

Here’s Sheriff Magrini’s Thursday statement:

As your Sheriff, I am passionate about my job and I love my community. There have been a lot of comments and innuendos as to where I stand on issues. Not taking sides or not commenting on certain topics is being used to infer how I feel or how I interpret issues. So let’s set the record straight.

It began with the Cottonwood Rodeo. During the Covid-19 pandemic, I and the other Law Enforcement leaders in Shasta County mutually decided to communicate with business owners in an attempt to gain compliance through education. We had great success with most of these personal contacts. Unfortunately, it did not work with the rodeo. But, because I did not issue a citation or send the few deputies available to “corral” over a thousand attendees, people have suggested that I endorsed this event; as if I sponsored, attended or participated in the rodeo.

Next was the protest at the Board of Supervisor chambers. I received a phone call from the speaker the day before the Board meeting asking if she could address the Board. This was my first contact with her. She was told of the current closure due to COVID restrictions. However, on the meeting day she insisted on speaking with a “bullhorn” from outside the chambers. My attempt to maintain the peace by “smiling”, being polite to the group, and asking if the speaker was done was somehow twisted into my endorsing and condoning the group’s stance or opinions. As a law enforcement officer, my role is to keep the peace and to remain neutral.

I also want make clear my concerns with the actions of the Minneapolis police officers. This incident and the events that have since unfolded, we can all agree, were and are disturbing. As peace officers we take an oath to protect life and property. I condemn any kind of excessive force or unethical treatment of our citizens. Furthermore, I do not tolerate any social injustice. As your Sheriff, I expect all department personnel to treat every member of our community with dignity and respect.

As it relates to the recent comments regarding the protest in Redding, I did not invite any “militia” groups or any other groups to come to town and participate. The day of the protest, our office was contacted by two different groups. The first group, the Cottonwood Community Watch, sent me a message stating they were going to be in town attending the protest. Another group, the Northern California Militia, came to the Sheriff’s Main Office. They told a records clerk they were in town for the protest. I repeat, I did not solicit or request any groups or organizations to come to town to appear at any event.

I am confident in the skills and abilities of the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office. They are well trained and well equipped to handle any circumstance. They receive training on how to effectively communicate and de-escalation situations. We have a great relationship with the community we serve.

I will end with this quote from Audre Lorde, “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences.” Please continue to be tolerant, be safe and be respectful of each other.

In Magrini’s statement, he addressed the subject of the rodeo, too, and introduced yet another straw-man argument:

” … But, because I did not issue a citation or send the few deputies available to ‘corral’ over a thousand attendees, people have suggested that I endorsed this event, as if I sponsored, attended or participated in the rodeo … ”

Notice the pattern. Nobody in their right mind would suggest – or did suggest – that Magrini take his “few deputies” and crash the rodeo and start writing citations, especially not in that proud rural little community of Cottonwood where CCW’s are about as plentiful as pickups, gardens and the American flag. And I don’t recall anyone who suggested Magrini sponsored, attended or participated in the rodeo, either. (I’m on the fence about whether he effectively endorsed it, because he pretty much did endorse it when he said in the TV interview that he wasn’t stopping it; that the rodeo was good to go.)

Did I criticize him for giving the green light to the rodeo the day before, when he had a chance to stop it? You bet.

I only mention the rodeo story to illustrate Magrini’s consistent communication style that requires we carefully dissect the straw man to reach the heart of the matter, because that’s the only way to decipher the truth.

I listened to Carl Bott’s KCNR Friday-morning talk show where Magrini was a guest, especially invited to discuss the militia issue. Clearly, Magrini was comfortable with Bott, who’s a friendly and direct interviewer. Bott asked Magrini about the rumors that Magrini had invited any militia to the protest as backup to help the sheriff, which allowed Magrini to chuckle, then stick to his script and say, no, he did not invite (emphasis mine) anyone to come to town to participate in the protest.

It kind of reminded me of Clinton saying he did not have sex with that woman.

Again, the rumors weren’t about whether Magrini invited militia or outside groups to the protest. The issue is how Magrini behaved and participated with those groups Tuesday evening, because that’s what many guys are claiming.

As an aside, during Bott’s show, a caller asked Magrini a question about the protest, to which Magrini replied that he wouldn’t know, because he wasn’t there. Consider that all the stories from the groups who say they were in contact with Magrini say they spoke with him on the phone. This lends credence to their versions, because who’d guess that the Sheriff would not be on site during one of the biggest protests in Redding’s history, leaving him to command via phone.

Even so, with each passing day since the protest, Facebook posts are quietly, quickly disappearing that previously openly bragged about how Magrini was in communication with the militia during the protest, and how proud they were to be helping law enforcement that night.

During his radio show, Bott asked Magrini if it was true that as Sheriff, he could deputize people, such as the Asphalt Cowboys during the Carr Fire to provide food. Magrini said sure, there are all kinds of volunteer positions that help out his department, like search and rescue, trackers, neighborhood watch, etc.

Magrini said there’s nothing wrong with embracing that extra help, as those folks often have specific skill sets. But Magrini insisted that no way would he embrace any vigilante group, or do a call for arms.

Again. Who said Magrini was calling upon vigilantes, and who said Magrini had issued a call for arms? Crickets. Nobody, that’s who.

I lost count at four times during Bott’s interview when Magrini said he welcomed citizens to be eyes and ears for law enforcement, that all he’d ask for is they’d be peaceful.

Here’s the thing about some militia groups. It’s not their eyes and ears that worry me about some of these groups. It’s the weaponized individuals who bring to a peaceful protest knives, guns and baseball bats  – all of which were seen by various people at the June 2 protest.

As ANC’s own Annelise Pierce reported on June 3, she spoke with several militia members at the protest who said that not only were they there to help out, but some were in contact with Sheriff Magrini by phone during the protest.

In Annelise’s story she wrote about two militia members who declined to give their names, but who said they’d brought weapons. Here’s an excerpt:

 … “We shoot only in self defense,” the other man said. “And only against a weapon. That’s our orders from the CO.”

The two men said that the Sheriff had called them a half hour earlier and had asked them to “get down here now to keep the peace,” one man said. He added that the Sheriff was becoming “very concerned” about the safety of his guys.

“Woody Clendenen, our CO, got a call,” one of the men said. “The Sheriff told us where to go, to come right down here.” At that, the other militia member nudged his friend. “Too much man, too much,” he said, and the two wouldn’t speak any more after that.

In the days after the protest, and since Annelise’s story, first Redding Police Chief Bill Schueller, and then Shasta County Sheriff Eric Magrini, stated emphatically that they did not invite the militia, or any other groups to help law enforcement. Yes, they acknowledged that they had been contacted by some militia groups who said they intended to attend the protest. However, according to Schueller and Magrini, that’s not to say they welcomed the militia.

Here in Shasta County, it’s anyone’s guess how many militia groups there are, but they’re legal under our state Constitution, which allows two militias: First, the “active militia” (the Naval Militia, the National Guard and the State Military Reserve). Second, the “unorganized militia”.

Shasta County’s militias, like the one in Cottonwood, fall into the “unorganized militia” category, and under state law, they can be called upon to assist with everything from riots to various emergencies.

I reached out for comment about the part Magrini played in the protest to Dan Scoville of the California State Militia, who was in Annelise’s story. He wrote this reply:

“We did not speak with LE we came down there on our own free will. We are the CSM. We protect the Constitution and the rights of the people, in this case the 1st Amendment . We will protect the rights of all people to assemble and to speak freely. We were only there to protect those rights and to make sure that outsiders did not come in and vandalize our town or harm anyone. I may not agree with some of the things they are saying but we will defend those rights.

We contacted RPD, and Sheriff Dept to let them know we would be there thats it. We were not invited.”

Despite Scoville’s statement, Facebook has been alive with numerous references and videos by militia, friends of militia and other non-protesters who agreed with the men Annelise quoted in her story. These posts contain recurring, specific details, such as claims that the sheriff was speaking on the phone during the protest with Cottonwood Militia Commanding Officer Woody Clenenden, also known as the barber for Les Baugh, District 5 Supervisor who participated in the now infamous haircut stunt.

One Facebook video (which I’m working on uploading) was shot by a non-protester who stood across the street from protesters in front of Redding City Hall on Cypress Avenue on the evening of June 2. On the video she is heard making negative references about the protesters as she’s speaking with her colleagues. At one point, when some protesters cross Cypress Avenue to reach Redding City Hall, she mocks how they’re walking peacefully, “even carrying a peace sign”  – which is when a man off-camera nearby sings, “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” – a famous American slave hymn – which causes the group to laugh.

Nearly to the end of that video, the woman doing the filming has some kind of a communication radio, there’s conversation between the man and woman about going to Kohl’s, where there are some Black Lives Matter protesters, and then the militia should move on to the courthouse.

First woman: “Sheriff wants them at the courthouse.”

Second woman: “Sheriff wants what?”

First woman: “Cal State”.

Within a few seconds the voice on the radio says, “Sheriff’s order,” followed by radio chatter and static.

(Note: I uploaded the wrong video. I’m working on getting the correct one. The quotes are from the correct video.)

There’s another Facebook Live video (that’s no longer available), that showed a female non-protester – maybe it’s the same woman as in the video above – in her van, in which she says they’re heading over to the courthouse, because the Sheriff wants them there.

All Non-Protesters Are Not  Militia

At the June 2 protest, there were some extremely tense, heated moments when some militia members pushed or taunted the protesters, yelling things like, “All lives matter!” or “White lives matter!” Some of the protesters yelled back, but mostly, the protesters’ leaders kept the peace by shouting to the protesters things like, “Don’t take the bait!”

On Oregon Street, one street over from Court Street, there was a staging area of sorts, where many of the non-protesters had gathered.

Non-protesters gather on Oregon Street, one street east of Court Street.

Some of the non-protesters wore camo, boots, padded vests, and brought weapons. Yet others wore T-shirts and jeans; shorts and tennis shoes.

It’s unknown how many non-protester groups attended the June 2 protest, and how many continue to show up for the ongoing George Floyd protests, but some that may have been represented on June 2 included the Redding Patriots,  the Northern California State Militia and the Cottonwood Community Watch.

Some clumps of non-protesters stood along the sidelines and scowled, mouths set, arms folded as they watched the protesters file by. Some yelled at the protesters.

Yet other non-protesters looked neutral but watchful. Two stocky non-protesters in baseball caps said I should be careful, that things were getting rowdy.

“That’s why we’re here,” one said, “To keep everyone safe.”

Since the protest, I’ve learned that there was at least one non-protester non-militia group at the June 2 protest, a newly formed group called Stake in NorCal.  Its members are predominantly young and conservative, with some religious overtones, demonstrated by prayers before heading out to keep the peace and pass out water at a protest.

Stake in NorCal members pose for a photo the night of a recent protest. The yellow shirts are new, a way to differentiate themselves from other groups. Photo source: Facebook

Their Facebook page bluntly describes the group’s membership parameters:

“We don’t need a bunch of hot heads, tough guys, racists, snowflakes or douchebags in this group. This group is private for a reason, so if they are welcome at your table, then bring them in. Left wing, you will be the minority in this group if you choose to be here. I encourage all with a stake in NorCal to be here, but pushing the left-wing agenda will be checked at the door, so tread lightly.”

According to Jesse Lane, one of  the Stake in NorCal founders, the day before the protest he contacted RPD and the Sheriff’s office to let law enforcement know that his new group would attend the protest as peace-keepers the next day.

The feeling of elation and satisfaction Lane felt in believing his group played a part in a peaceful outcome to a peaceful protest didn’t last long. Shortly after the protest he and his group learned that RPD and the Sheriff were claiming their group and others weren’t welcome at the protest. Those messages contradicted their first-hand experience at the protest.

According to Lane, he had direct contact with Magrini during the protest via cell phone. He says he has the times logged on the phone that prove he’s telling the truth.

The day after Magrini’s formal statement Lane was so upset that he went to the Sheriff’s Department and asked to speak to Magrini, who wasn’t in. During the videotaped podcast in which Lane shared his story on the G14 podcast shared with another company, The Bounce House podcast, the topic of Magrini and the statement was continued by The Bounce House  interviewer.  He asked Lane’s partner, Ian Smart, who described himself as a non-PC guy, for his assessment of the situation where Magrini had written the statement in which he distanced himself from the groups.

“Bullshit,” Smart said.

In the video/podcast, Lane admitted how angry he’d felt about what Magrini had written in the statement, which prompted Lane to log onto the Stake in NorCal page for a Facebook Live rant that spelled out exactly how he felt. (That video is no longer available on Facebook.)

All that was covered in Part 1 of Richard Potillor’s G14 podcast/video, in which Lane is open about his feelings of frustration.

The video took a break for Part 2 before Lane could finish telling the story. When Part 2 resumed, Richard Potillor did not continue his co-host’s questioning about Magrini and the militia. Rather, he spoke at length about forgiveness.

Magrini’s name wasn’t mentioned again in the interview.

G14 Podcast featuring Stake in NorCal members

If it turns out those guys are not telling the truth, then I say they should all quit their day jobs and become professional actors.

But militia members who’ve lost faith in Magrini have company. Some Black Lives Matter protesters and civil rights advocates have mined and scrutinized Magrini’s Facebook posts, some going back several years, before Magrini became Sheriff. They’ve discovered and shared posts that call into question whether Magrini truly does believe that black lives do matter, and whether he’s racist. Some of the Magrini Facebook posts in question include:

Meanwhile, last week a militia member who attended the protest provided confidential information to A News Cafe.com on the condition of anonymity, for fear of retaliation:

“I know that there are members of my group that say there is proof that Sheriff Eric wanted us there, but I heard him on Carl’s show today.  I feel like we were hung out to dry. He got heat and had to say what he had to say, I guess. We didn’t do anything wrong. I feel pretty dumb now, thinking the sheriff wanted my help. We are being told that if we support our community and the Constitution, this is what needs to be done to protect everything we stand for. I cannot abide by lying when we didn’t do anything wrong.”

What a puzzle. Do we believe multiple people from a variety of non-protesters groups who claim that Magrini was in contact with them and giving orders during the protest?

Or do we believe Magrini, and assume that perhaps, as KCNR broadcaster Carl Bott suggested on his radio show, that perhaps the lower-level militia folks weren’t aware of what was happening higher up?

Like a pony buried in a room of shit, the truth is in there somewhere.

Doni Chamberlain
Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain is an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, California.
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127 Responses

  1. Good morning. I’ll be out of pocket for a few hours. I’ll be back then to weigh in on comments. (And Joe will fix the formatting.)

    10:45 a.m. update: SHOOT! Sorry. I uploaded the wrong video of the woman on Cypress Avenue. I’m working on it. Stand by.

  2. Avatar Austin H. says:

    Boggles the mind that it isn’t a massive concern that someone here is lying. Either the leads of SCSO/RPD, who won’t admit they invited unregulated-answer-to-no-one-armed-private-citizens, or the militia members, who think they have carte blanche welcome from LE.

    Also boggles the mind that the previous Sheriff, Bosenko, just so happened to retire *right* after being elected, and the good old boy network happened to put in place a hand picked replacement who is *not* elected, and yet absolutely no one knew Bosenko was going to retire right away and no one said a peep about it leading up to the election.

    Not to take over ANewsCafes article, but worth some time to do some background reading, also – where oh where did everyone simultaneously get the idea that there are bus loads of people coming to destroy your little community that no one knows about?

    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/annehelenpetersen/antifa-rumors-george-floyd-protests?origin=shp

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      There are various “Schrödinger’s Antifa” memes floating around. Here’s mine:

      According to über-conservatives, Antifa are a powerful and well-organized, Soros-funded terrorist group that is a grave danger to America as we know it.

      And also a pitiful collection of round-faced, stick-wielding neck-beards who wouldn’t last 60 seconds against militias whose member are armed, chiseled, virile alpha males.

    • I’m back. Thanks, Austin, for the link. Interesting read.

      And I must do a little hairsplitting here and make the distinction that I’m not saying, and I don’t know anyone who’s saying it (at this point) that Magrini invited the unregulated militia to the protest. I personally don’t believe Magrini or Schueller actually invited groups to the Tuesday protest, but I believe that they knew the groups would be there, and they welcomed them.

      Regarding Margrini’s appointment by the BOS, there’s been a lot of conversation about that on FB.

      Thanks for reading.

      • Avatar Carl Bott says:

        Its not hairsplitting to say Sheriff did not invite the militia. He was pretty clear on the show with that. And Sheriff was in the command center during the protest since this is a city police event. The question is if he had comms with the militia/on-looker groups was it to ascertain their situation or to keep in touch with their leaders to ensure peace was being upheld? If I was in Sheriff’s position you can bet I would like to be in touch with the leaders to make sure nothing was going to happen. Again-we don’t know but lets look at all sides.

        • Avatar Rob Belgeri says:

          Yet, here we are, with multiple unconnected takes that corroborate the opposite. Are you suggesting (1) the affected groups should now be referred to as The Lying Militias (not a good political move in Shasta County); or (2) *all* the militia spox angry about Magrini’s pronouncements have such vivid imaginations they collectively interpreted their interactions with l/e to constitute outright invitations? Take all the time you need.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Rob — Picking between (1) bald-faced liars on behalf of Magrini, or (2) useful idiots discarded by Magrini at the first hint of trouble, is pretty much a can’t-win selection.

            I’m guessing the guys who are pissed off are the smart ones. The guys going along with Magrini saying they were clueless when they claimed they were invited, maybe not the sharpest tools in the shed.

        • Avatar Miguel says:

          Carl – perhaps because in spite of the wink, wink sophistry involved with an “invitation” — the idea of using armed civilian militia to “keep the peace” is a crushingly stupid one in the first place? And even if you didn’t initiate or formulate the plan in the first place (wink, wink) — that you would endorse it to the point of “coordination” once it was in effect — (in your words: “to keep in touch with their leaders to ensure peace was being upheld?”) — is equally moronic and crushingly stupid.

          Because once the story of what had occurred here came out, a LOT of people in this community (from LE and city leaders on down) reacted by saying, “Whaaa … wait, wait, wait .. maybe we should think about this ..?”

          Which is of course why we’re getting the cute little two-step and do-si-do from Magrini now (coordinated with a blackout silence and a social media scrub from Woody) .. for something he was perfectly OK with while it was taking place. Because it was flat out stupid! And, quite belatedly, a few of the good old boys got a clue. Or more likely an earful.

  3. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    If there were some gold-plated rectal orifices at the protest to “keep the peace” by trying to provoke a rumble, I don’t have a problem believing that they were in the minority of non-protesting observers. The guys quoted saying that they were there to (1) protect the protesters’ 1st Amendment rights while (2) also protect private property if Antifa showed up were saying the right things. I don’t mind giving them the benefit of the doubt that most weren’t itching for a fight.

    Trouble for those militia guys is that they’re also the ones who were saying that the Sheriff wanted them there. I seriously doubt those guys on the ground were lying—someone lied to them. So that leaves their leaders, Magrini, or both.

    Here’s why I think Magrini is the BS artist: Jesse Lane’s reaction. He’s rightfully pissed off. Who wouldn’t be? Getting thrown under the bus never feels good.

    Problem is, he seems to be the only leader of several militia-type groups that were at the protest to come forward. Why aren’t other militia leaders confirming that Magrini wanted them there? One explanation is that they’re covering for Magrini—swallowing their pride to go along with the Magrini’s ruse that he didn’t want them there, there was no coordination before or during the event, that he would NEVER blah blah blah.

    There’s a word for that kind of one-way loyalty: Chump.

    • Steve, I believe that the reason more guys don’t come forward is that they believe their work is for the greater good, almost like secret special ops forces. The public wouldn’t approve or understand if they thought LE was contacting these groups and saying, “Hey guys, there’s some bad guys over by the Dollar Store, we’re short-staffed, would you go check that out?”

      So maybe, especially with the more militarized militia groups who like covert operations, this feels like a secret mission. That would feel more noble than feeling like a victim, or a chump, because I think for a lot of those guys (a few women) their desire to help was genuine.

      I don’t know. I’m just making this up as a way to figure out why so many people remain quiet about something that has two clear sides of the story: Magrini’s and the non-protest groups. (I wish I had a different word.) It’s telling that so many militia members have removed their original posts and videos.

      I agree with you about the part of the video with Jesse Lane, followed by his friend Ian Smart, who didn’t candy coat it.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        Like I’ve said several times, I want to give the ground-level “observers” the benefit of the doubt. But if they’re covering for a Sheriff or CO who’s telling bald-faced lies to the public, they lose my confidence. Our Sheriff is supposed to be an elected public servant who answers to that public. If militia dudes are taking down social media posts left and right to cover someone’s lying ass, I have to question what greater good they think they’re serving.

        I doubt that I agree with Carl Bott on much of anything, but everything I know about him leads me to believe he’s a person of high integrity. If the Sheriff was flat-out lying on Bott’s radio show, I think it’s a travesty and a huge insult to Mr. Bott. The alternative is that Mr. Bott invited Magrini on his show and told him to say whatever he needed say, and I just don’t believe that. I don’t think Bott would voluntarily be a party to deceiving the public that the Sheriff is supposed to serve.

        • I hold Carl Bott in high regard as well. I have a standing joke with him that he’s my favorite conservative.

          I don’t fault Bott for not wording questions to Magrinie as I would have liked, because he was following up on what Magrini was saying he was being accused of: rumors that said Magrini and RPD invited the militia, which, at the risk of beating this point to death, was not my question. (I was unable to call in to the show during its broadcast to ask the questions I wanted.)

          I think Carl invited Magrini on the show because Carl has his finger on the pulse of what’s happening in Shasta County, and it was a hot topic.

          Oh, and I forgot to mention in my column that I did, of course, email questions last week to Magrini and Schueller, but no reply. I will not hold my breath for answers.

    • Avatar Jist Cuz says:

      From the intelligent guy that took our New Sheriff at his word two days ago. The “LIGHT” is peircing the Blue veil people +!+

  4. Avatar John Doe says:

    This is ridiculous. If you ask me, someone needs to organize a local chapter of Redneck Revolt.

  5. Avatar CHRISTIAN Gardinier says:

    Thanks Doni, yet another very good read. And let’s cut to the chase, “Like a pony buried in a room of shit, the truth is in there somewhere.” The toxic racism gas in the social – political atmosphere, lit up by people like trump, is getting so thick, not only in Shasta County, but of course throughout our nation, it is hard to breath and yes, people are dying. Sorry to offend some of our tRumplican friends out there but most of the nation thinks so too:
    As the country erupts in protests over police brutality and racism, two-thirds of Americans think President Trump has increased racial tensions in the U.S., according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

    This racist and violent atmosphere permeates down from the Trump administration, to his politicians, like Doug LaMalfa, (95.5) pro Trump score) and then right down to our Sheriff, who is also an avid trump supporter, who gives militias cute hood-winks and is not afraid to post racist ah, manure, on social media.

    So here’s is where I might ruffle your feathers a bit in asking, how is it that some local groups, like Shasta County Citizens Advocating Respect, hold Magrini and their savior LaMalfa (according to a SCCAR official) in high regard and gives them a platform to ramble on, spreading their, eh, manure, in the name of fighting racism? How can a “protest” with at least Bethel undercurrents, who’s leaders openly espouses anti LGBQT populations and claim people on the political – social left are doing satins work for him, let people like Magrini, speak on the behalf of George Floyd and the BLM movement? Does simply changing the name of the gathering to a quiet “peace march prayer revival” allow co-opting a movement that has stunned this nation with a loud, clear and forceful “we are demanding change” mandate?

    The tRump administration and many of his supporters, like LaMalfa, Magrini and Bethel, has trumplican support, yes. But I believe, try as they might, they can’t hijack and co-opt the BLM movement, who demands human rights for the African-Americans, into political support for tRump and LaMalfa, no mater how many photo op platforms SCCAR gives them and no mater how many times Bethel leaders ask the parishioners to pray for them. Okay, inflammatory yes, most of the SCCAR folks are nice peaceful folks, but the accountability and the responsibility of their platform microphone is theirs!

    Barack Obama helped to popularize Martin Luther King, Jr.’s quote, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” I believe this arc cannot be co-opted by white nationalists and or conservatives, who condemn social leaders, leaders leaders like Obama and their supporters, to hell and call the political – social left radical socialists (they don’t even know the meaning of the word) while they trying and bend that arc towards implicit and explicit fascism and racism.

    Talk about division… One thing I can say having seem the 60’s civil rights movement, the anti Vietnam and Iraq War protests from the front lines, tRump, his administration and political supporters, are making Nixon look like a kindergartner.

  6. Avatar Randy says:

    Jury duty is an experience everyone should take advantage of at least once just to see how well you can keep personal biases out of your decision making and evaluate the case entirely on material evidence. So far I see the material evidence showing the Sheriff is falsifying and trying to reconstruct his relationship with ‘CO Woody’ and the other ‘militia’ groups who showed up to the protests. We are all jurors here.

  7. Avatar Blake Dorsey says:

    Interesting article….makes one think.. however I think the cartoon is highly racist …I don’t think Mr Fountain would do caricatures of black protesters of a black lives matter rally… or caricatures of Asians protesting in Hong Kong.. but I guess it’s okay to do racist characters of white people ..I find it disgusting and think it should be removed

    • Avatar JLane says:

      I appreciate the article and I know the truth and I called Magrini out on his lack of Integrity. I would also like to say I do find the cartoon to be in poor taste. We will be in contact soon Doni and look forward to having some non bias reporting in this area as so far our local news media pushes division and we all need one another to end the division and unite our community

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        JLane…I agree that the cartoon is in poor taste. If it was a cartoon of a liberal group, we would never hear the end of it. What puzzles me about these recent articles is that the message of the rallies and protests have been lost. No one is talking about race relations, police brutality, George Floyd. Just a bunch of accusations, allegations and criticism of the police, Bethel, militias. People have seemed to forget that the rallies have been peaceful, that the police have acted professional, polite and accommodating. Have you read one comment discussing what we need to do next? What Redding can do for racial justice? No…it is more important to waste hundreds of comments to determine if the Sheriff invited a group of citizens to a rally. Good grief.

        I have never seen a forum that gets so distracted with side issues as this one. Snipers on the rooftops! Prayers at a rally! Oh the horror! Right wing protesters in supervisor chambers! How dare them!..look, they aren’t wearing masks!

        I realize that we are all stuck at home with time on our hands, but seriously people. Can we stay away from the distractions? Can we go back and address why we are protesting and start a meaningful dialogue? Because the most likely scenario is that this will all blow over soon…you all will find a new crisis to be outraged over, and nothing will have been done to improve race relations. Just as what happened after Ferguson.

        Printing rude caricatures does not help in uniting our community.

        • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

          Doug Cook,

          That local rallies have been peaceful is no thanks to the militias. Judging by comments on their social media pages (replicated in this forum, which included a call to arms from their leader) and the behavior of some of their members at the downtown rally, they were hoping for a fight (so they could ride to the rescue, and save Redding from evil liberal hordes). Some of their number even tried to incite one.

          And (per your comment below) whether the Sheriff actually called in ultra-right-wing vigilante extremists is VERY MUCH a pertinent issue when it comes to the attitude of local law enforcement toward the Black community.

        • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

          If you’re offended Doug Cook, then the cartoonist has done his job.

        • Avatar Anita Lynn Brady says:

          OMG– is this for real? HAVE YOU LOOKED AT THE RETWEETS OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES?

          It is just a joke, Doug! You know, like the Orange Cockwomble says of many of his despicable statements.

          Did you look at the real-time photos taken of the militia at the event? What part of the cartoon representations was wrong? Oh, I didn’t see a pitch-fork, but the bulges in the shirts and waistbands say that they were holding their guns close-by just in case.

      • JLane, I admire the integrity that you’ve demonstrated, and wish that some of the others who knew the truth would stand with you.

        Regarding the illustration, see my comment to Blake.

        Your goal of a united community is an awesome one, and I applaud those who work to make that happen.

        Re your take on local media, most media folks I know lack agendas that seek out negative stories that divide the community, after all, we live here, too. Part of media’s job is to be a watchdog and flashlight-holder to shine bright light in dark places – both high and low – places many people would rather remain unexamined.

        Thanks, JLane, for your courage, for leaving a comment, and for your heart for the community.

    • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

      Blake Dorsey,

      Militia members don’t represent all white people – they’re just a tiny far-right-wing faction of self-entitled vigilantes.

    • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

      Blake,
      “racist characters of white people”
      what is racist in the cartoon?
      A fat ass sheriff? A bunch of yahoos hoping to mix it up?
      The only thing missing was the Gadsden Flag, State of Jefferson “don’t tread on me flag” oh yeah, the confederate flag.
      The image of the truck was spot on.

      Sorry, the cartoon depicted by Phil Fountain was as appropriate and significant as the sheriff’s racist posts on Facebook.

      The cartoon maybe the only truth in reference to the truths of the sheriff.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Blake — Last I checked, “redneck” isn’t a race or ethnic group. I was born and raised redneck, and “redneck” didn’t come back in my 23-and-Me DNA results.

      I’m pretty sure that in ~99% of the cases where a liberal takes offense at a cartoon like that—but one that bites the other way*—that liberal is immediately mocked as a “snowflake” by rednecks like the ones pictured in the cartoon.

      If “redneck” is an offensively racist label, isn’t “snowflake,” too?

      *Phil has drawn his share of silly-looking liberals in Birkenstocks and tie-dye shirts, cargo shorts, bald pate with a pony tail, the whole shiteree. As Sergeant Hulka so elegantly put it: Lighten up, Francis.

      • Avatar Hal Johnson says:

        Steve, I would describe my upbringing in similar terms. I think that’s why, in an effort to compensate, I often use ten words when four words would do.

        I still speak pretty fluent redneckanese. Comes in handy at times.

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          I spent my first few years of college thinking everyone could smell the cow crap on my boots, even though I wore tennis shoes. I imagined everyone thought I spoke like a rube, too. And I wasn’t at Harvard—I was a UC Davis Aggie.

          Course nowadays I’d be happier than the morning sun to look, dress, and talk exactly like Sam Elliot in “The Big Lebowski.”

    • Blake, Phil Fountain and I collaborated on the idea behind this illustration. Obviously, it’s not literal, but an extreme exaggeration, which is how political cartoons/illustrations and caricatures work. Obviously, Magrini doesn’t really have a piece of wood growing from his nose.

      It’s satire, a way to sum up the whole story in one illustration through exaggerated depictions, something I think Phil did well.

      For the sake of conversation, if you break down the elements of the illustration, which parts struck you as racist?

    • Avatar Marc Dadigan says:

      I’m pretty sure the cartoon is meant to honor them.

  8. Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

    Thanks for including the memes in this very thorough article (and the videos are extremely convincing). I think it’s safe to say that a person’s world-view doesn’t change in the course of just a few years. I wish there was some way to get an independent investigation conducted into whether or not Magrini actually requested the presence of the militia and other right-wing groups, but it would almost certainly have to be done at the state level, since local law enforcement agencies are too busy covering each other’s a****.

    I’m not sure why militia groups (as private citizens, however self-entitled) believe they have the right to carry guns and other weapons into such a potentially volitile situation – one that some of their members apparently tried to exacerbate. This seems like just an excuse to get dressed up, strap on their guns, and look for a reason to attack liberals. If the Sheriff had any part in creating this dangerous situation he needs to be removed from office pronto.

  9. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    ““Woody Clendenen, our CO, got a call,” one of the men said. “The Sheriff told us where to go, to come right down here.” At that, the other militia member nudged his friend. “Too much man, too much,” he said, and the two wouldn’t speak any more after that.”

    I’d be interested to see Woody weigh in on the mission specifications as he understood them, the details of the dispatch, and allegations that militia members may have provided an unwarranted atmosphere of intimidation. Until such time as his silence is broken on this issue, it will continue to smell of lop-sided loyalty, good ol’boy sideways-talking cover-up, and administrative malfeasance.

    A best-intended militia should be regarded as a community asset; a potentially valuable resource – not a point of division, disagreement, nor disdain. The longer you let that pony stand in it’s own shit, the greater the likelihood you’ll need to do some serious hoof doctoring.

    • Avatar Anita Brady says:

      Sorry, unorganized militia’s have no place in modern society. Maybe they seemed like a good idea back when the state Constitution was written, but now, NO, No, no!

      • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

        “…militia’s have no place in modern society.”

        As long as the militia remains supported by constitutional doctrine, it’ll always be around. Best choice is to recognize the resource, and accommodate it’s optimum utility. In truly dire times – able, willing, capable hands might be a difficult find.

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          Anita…there is serious talk in the country about defunding police…then what? Minneapolis wants to do that very thing. They have a super majority to get rid of the entire police force. I hope they do because it will be a good social experiment to see what anarchy does to a community.

          I have never owned a gun in my life, don’t like them. But if this defunding the police gains traction. The first thing I will do is go out and buy a gun to protect myself…and I will count on a militia to help protect my neighborhood.

          It was always my impression is that these militia guys just like to go out in the forest and play Army. It’s a hobby for them, like Civil War reenactments. I never have taken them that seriously. But of course, it is a right wing group, so they must be feared…meanwhile making excuses for Antifa.

          • Avatar Damon Miller says:

            Right-wing terrorists (many or most with militia affiliations) have killed too many Americans to count: from lynchings and church bombings to killing doctors in their homes to mass shootings to blowing up a federal building to (more locally) repeatedly burning down the women’s health center and murdering a gay couple in Happy Valley. I know, like many conservatives, you like to create false equivalencies to appear “reasonable” but damn, have you no shame or decency?

          • Avatar Bill Verammen says:

            “…these militia guys just like to go out in the forest and play Army.”

            Shooting guns, drinking whiskey, and blowing shit up has become part of the American genome. I consider it to be the unintended by-product of a modern day “gain of function” experiment that began with the American Revolution.
            Aside from all of which, what if the ancient alien astronaut theorists are right, and an alien intervention on Earth is imminent? We’d all be at the mercy of those elongated-headed oval-eyed grays because we denied the necessity of a standing militia?

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Yes, Doug. There is serious talk in this country about defunding the police—and as usual, you’re not a part of that conversation. You choose to present the proposal in the form of just another of your straw men.

            If you had done even a scant bit of research, you’d know that it doesn’t mean getting rid of policing.

            Worse, if you did that modest bit of research and you knew that, you’re just being dishonest and intellectually lazy, because shifting some duties of police departments to others is a discussion worth having. There are many police chiefs who are saying that cops shouldn’t be asked to address every social problem under the sun, and it’s time for reform.

          • Avatar Hal Johnson says:

            I think it’s safe to say that military veterans are more likely to own firearms than those who’ve never served, regardless of political affiliation.

            But, I noticed something during my time as an offshore helicopter pilot: that didn’t seem to hold true with former Air Force pilots.

            I seem to recall that most Air Force pilots in our company had flown BUFFs. Could it be that after flying a B-52, buying a Glock 19 just seems silly?

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            BUFF pilots are just plain weird….whoever heard of a throttle quadrant with 8 engines? You may be correct about the Air Force members and guns. In Officer Candidate School, we shot the M-16 only one afternoon. During the Gulf War, we were issued a sidearm for every flight. I took mine and stuck it in a drawer on the airplane. . Didn’t want to deal with it.

          • Avatar Rob Belgeri says:

            Militias. LOL. These are the rump artifact of slave patrols. If it weren’t for the fact they think their ARs and AKs will mean squat in a conflict with any government they mistrust, cf., drones, Bearcats, MRAPS with turret weapons, and SWAT snipers, they’d be hilarious. They remind me of the subject character in Jefferson Airplane’s “Lather”: “His mother sent newspaper clippings to him,/About his old friends who’d stopped being boys.”

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          Bill — The clowns who took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon self-identified as militia. If those guys are an example of “able, willing, capable hands,” I’ll take Door #2.

          • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

            “The clowns who took over…self-identified as militia.”

            Not at issue. If my auntie had wheels, she still wouldn’t be a motorcar.

            I see the constitutional enabling of a standing militia as a defining and differentiating ingredient in our democracy. It guarantees that citizen’s will always have a final resort in the face of real tyranny. I’m not sure I’m comfortable with denying that guarantee.

            I would choose to see community support, some guarantee of ample training, and at least a functional background check. Despite the perils discussed here and elsewhere, it’s one of those scenarios where I feel the potential benefit outweighs the downside risks, and especially so in a political climate where the dialogue is all about police defunding.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Bill — I wish more people would acknowledge the following: (1) a “well regulated militia” is the sole purpose of the 2nd Amendment, (2) the words “well regulated” are in there because they have meaning, and (3) the noble notion you describe is invalidated completely if the militias are entirely far out on one end of the political spectrum, and inclined to support a tyrant.

          • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

            “…the noble notion you describe is invalidated completely if the militias are entirely far out on one end of the political spectrum.”

            Here the thing:
            I don’t see any realistic approach to amending the Constitution to disable the citizen’s guarantee of a right to a militia. Directionally speaking, it has the same two chances as abolishing the right to bear arms: east of slim, and west of none.
            The two originate in the same anti-oppressive, anti-tyrannical ideology; inseparable, undeniable, irreversible. It simply wouldn’t ever pass a vote.

            The concept goes far beyond the ideology of it’s participants – and I agree as to its idealistic premise – but it still holds support as the final compelling citizens option against oppressive government. It is a right that will never be easily removed, given the likelihood that the government that would choose to abolish it might very well be the government that best warrants it’s necessity. I see no judicial interpretation that will ever disable this aspect of the Constitution.

            So, absent the legal dismissal of a militia, how do you resign to accept it?

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Bill — We don’t disagree on the intent of the 2nd. We just disagree with about 90+ percent of current gun owners, all of whom think it’s about personal defense and their God-given right to engage in a fetish. We also agree that it’s sheer folly to even talk about meaningfully rolling back the 2nd, for the rest of our lifetimes at least.

            I have to point out that you truncated your quote of my sentence, placing a period where there was a comma. What followed is my greatest fear of militias—that if the shit hits the fan, they’ll quickly turn into Die Sturmabteilung and support the tyrant. I enjoy torturing myself thusly: If America made a serious turn toward fascism, who in my community would jump into the deep end of the pool?

            What to do? The left could start forming militias, I guess. I think liberals are still embarrassed by where that went in the 1960s, even though the right-wing terrorist and religious terrorist body counts are overwhelmingly higher.

        • Avatar Randy says:

          Did the founding fathers make room for ‘militia’ groups to pack arms in support one group of Americans over another? Sounds like built in civil war to me.

          “Left wing, you will be the minority in this group if you choose to be here. I encourage all with a stake in NorCal to be here, but pushing the left-wing agenda will be checked at the door, so tread lightly.”

        • Avatar Anita Brady says:

          Constitutions (even state ones) can be amended. That is next.

  10. Avatar Anita Brady says:

    The local militia fell for the social media fiction that was joyously being spread up and down the West Coast. AntiFa and BLM busloads coming down the highway. Pallets of rocks and bricks (because Axner must have been out of stock, as they will even deliver!) were on the road headed this way for destructive uses.

    These are supposedly responsible gun owners- falling for total, utter tripe. They say we don’t need to worry about them, they were just there to keep the peace. YET, they were gullible enough to believe the BS.

    Do you think we should trust them to determine if a real-time event is a threat to safety or property, and use their guns? I don’t think so.
    Do you think that we should let them “help” law enforcement? I don’t think so.
    Do you think that we are safe with 11,000 CCW permits in Shasta County citizens hands? I don’t think so.

    • Avatar Carl Bott says:

      Anita-do you mean “safe” in the sense of 11000 CCW have permits and they are misusing them? Or safe in that they could be used for nefarious purposes? Or safe that they would not protect others? I don’t believe there has ever been a case of a CCW permit holder using his firearm illegally in Shasta Co.

  11. Avatar Anita Brady says:

    Phil– wonderful graphic!

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      If there was a similar cartoon of a liberal group, would you have the same praise for it?

      • Avatar Anita Brady says:

        I repeat– have you seen the things that the Orange Cockwomble retweets? They are jokes, Doug. You know, like the despicable stuff Donald spews then tells us “It was a joke”. Sorry that Phil drew all the men with all their teeth. I am sure 25% of the militia members are missing upper or lowers. LOL

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          I have said dozens of times that the president shouldn’t be tweeting…and he shouldn’t be retweeting cartoons or memes of bad taste. I cringe every time he does that, and believe it is wrong…as this cartoon was wrong.

    • Avatar Mark D Twitchell says:

      The constitution supporting militia was written long before our society became so litigious. Probably seemed like a good idea at the time, but now? Not so much.
      I strongly suspect that there were some quite interesting meetings at the county and city levels that happened in the days after the protest, outlining possible costs to the county and/or city, both legal and economic. Civil lawsuits can be extremely expensive, both to litigate and then, if the plaintiff prevails, in the potential settlement. And, if militia types were considered deputized, some governmental agency would be on the hook for any work comp injuries that occured.

  12. Avatar Hal Johnson says:

    Doug, would you?

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      Hal, I have never been a fan of these type of caricatures from either side of the aisle.. I didn’t like them when they portrayed Obama negatively or anyone else for that matter. They feed on negative stereotypes and are rude and unnecessary.

      • Avatar Jist Cuz says:

        Yo Doug, you should try listening to “SATYRE.WEED.2” #FRI@MID.NITE and get a grip on 5000 years of civilization brother (I’ve included a link to make it easy on Ya’) +!+

        https://kkrn.org/

  13. Avatar bruce vojtecky says:

    Concerning militias and protestors.
    I don’t want to see Trump reelected, I never voted for him, for different reasons than those posted on here.
    If Trump is defeated than the militias and White evangelists will return to back page articles about quirky doomsday preppers and fodder for liberal conspiracy groups.
    If Trump is reelected the 2016 “He is not my president” protests that the liberals have forgotten about will be like schoolyard squabbles compared to the 2020 riots that will erupt across this country. Those right wing militias will sweep in to fill the vacuum left by Defund/Abolish police forces circulating among cities now.
    Lock and load, Civil war will be here.

    • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

      My gut inspires me to say Trump will be asked to step aside for the well being of the GOP. It may not come to press as such, but I don’t expect to find Donald on the ballot. The past four months have set the pace of continued disappointment, and even the staunchest GOP players are weighing in on Trump’s immaturity as POTUS.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        I don’t like the sounds of this.

        For one thing, I think Pence is more electable than Trump at this point, and if he won he’d be more focused and effective than Trump.

        For another, it’s clear that Trump won’t step aside voluntarily, so Pence and the cabinet would have to invoke the 25th Amendment. Since the only people left in Trump’s administration are the biggest collection of sycophantic boot-lickers in our nation’s history, that won’t happen unless Trump does something horrendously, repugnantly insane. He would pretty much have to order a nuclear strike on Ukraine, or physically assault Nancy Pelosi.

        • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

          “I think Pence is more electable than Trump at this point, and if he won he’d be more focused and effective than Trump.”

          I agree.
          As far as Trump’s reluctance to bend to the will of the GOP, and be a “team” player – GOP has a lot to lose if The Donald runs and loses to fair election process, and there are inducements that might satisfy the Donald’s ego. He’s an old guy, he can now add the Oval orifice to his resume’, he’s endured the ever-present threat of impeachment, and the GOP may not run interference on another impeachment play. I see Trump retiring this year, whether by choice or the emergence of a previously benign health condition gone south. The GOP cannot afford another 4 years like this, and neither can the USA.

          The country is broken. The GOP is broken. Enough is enough. Trump can spend his remaining days in the sun at Mar A Lago…playing golf, chasing tail, bitching about Hillary, tweeting about Sleepy Joe.The GOP has got to be seriously considering trading Trump out for Pence. It may be their only road to salvation.

        • Avatar Kathryn McDonald says:

          I do not think that lickspittle zombie Pence is electable. He is way too creepy. Who else in the world calls his wife Mother?

    • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

      Bruce, you did not vote for a trump for different reasons than than those posted on these pages.
      Enlighten us not what vile parts of trump we do not know about.

      I’m interested to know what despicable aspects I don’t know about him.

  14. Avatar Blake Dorsey says:

    I’ll pick one that really bothers me.. the sheriff’s weight…as overweight man I’m very self-conscious about my weight it’s very hard for me to deal with my weight…. you make him look huge in that picture and it’s I think it’s dehumanizing to him…. I guess it’s okay I get offended it’s just my weight ..no women in the cartoon? and what if it was an overweight woman ? It truly is amazing to me that right now everybody is saying we need to listen people we need to listen to people if they’re offended …. but an overweight white guy? it’s okay because it’s just political satire… you don’t have to listen to me…. also political satire has been used throughout the ages to demonize those of another political religious or races… political satire can be used as a weapon … and quite honestly I don’t want people rolling their eyes going really? really? he’s bringing this up? I’m offended …does it count?

    • I hear you, Blake. But again, exaggeration is one of the sharpest tools in the political cartoonist’s tool box.

      I remember years ago, when Phil and I both worked at the paper, he did an illustration of me, I think for a travel piece in Italy, if memory serves. Everyone who saw it immediately recognized that it was me, but I was horrified at the facial characteristics that Phil focused on that made me, look like me: big teeth, a long space between my nose and mouth, eyes that weren’t very big. You know what? He nailed it.

      I don’t know how else to respond to everything else you say here, except to say that I understand that you’re offended, and why.

      Take care, Blake.

    • Avatar jeff says:

      Law enforcement can be a tough physically demanding job. One might think that being reasonably fit would be a prerequisite.

  15. Avatar Blake Dorsey says:

    The racist content was let’s just make all white people look stupid and uneducated quite a few Highly Educated people believe in what the militias are doing I particularly like Chad’s comment of
    “Father asked sherrif” Donnie would you be okay with somebody calling you that? And I thought there was no personal attacks on individuals on this page… maybe political satire could be in the captions or their actions.. and not in how they look

    • Avatar Randy says:

      Art is free speech and in many cases is more accurate in truth telling than are endless words. “Word gaming’ is also an art and we see and hear it everywhere. Blatant lies are wrapped in creative words meant to distract and confuse the truth and even mobilize violence against others. Anyone offended by this cartoon should look deeper at why they are so sensitive to comical artwork.

    • Wow, Blake. Just because all the people depicted in the illustration are white, doesn’t meant the message was “let’s just make all white people look stupid and uneducated”. That’s quite the assumption.

    • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

      Blake Dorsey,

      Armed far-right-wing vigilantes are NOT “all white people” – they are just a miniscule percentage of the white population. Believe it or not the vast majority of white people don’t support private citizens arming themselves and going out to take the law into their own hands.

      As someone pointed out above, there has been far too much violence and death perpetuated by that very element.

    • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

      Please quote me correctly.

  16. Avatar Jist Cuz says:

    Anyone not questioning the authenticity of agenda driven dialog by “Our Local Sheriff” doesn’t have insider communications at the Courthouse obviously … +!+

  17. Avatar Damon Miller says:

    I’m not sure which armed right-wing militia I find more worrisome: the ones who aren’t bright enough to zip their lips and not contradict the sheriff’s lies, or the ones who are.

    • I stand up for the ones who speak up, and won’t be intimidated by the sheriff. I don’t think it’s about intelligence, but self-preservation.

      • Avatar Damon Miller says:

        In terms of self-preservation, I think the smarter thing for them to do would have been to back up Magrini’s claims—or at least not contradict them.

        So what’s their next step? They’re going to be persona non grata with Magrini and the Cottonwood Militia now . Where do they think they’re going to go from here? And will they answer to, besides themselves—if anyone?

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      You know how Trump will sacrifice virtually any close associate in a heartbeat, no matter how loyal and subservient that person has been? As long as it keeps the stink off of him, he’ll point the finger at anyone around him.

      It’s possible we’ve got a local version of that here in Shasta County. Watch your backsides, militia leaders and members, deputies, supervisors….

  18. Avatar Jist Cuz says:

    Doni get’s it in more ways than one. Re; Doni’s last comment +!+

  19. Avatar Jist Cuz says:

    It would appear that the Little Boy wit’ his finger in the dyke’s nose jist grew exponentially Pinocchio/ THANK YOU ANEWSCAFE +!+

  20. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    Doni, have you attempted contact with any standing officers at the NCSM, or has the dialogue to date consist only of whats been said by the guys on the ground?

  21. Avatar LeRoy says:

    Glad to see Phil’s cartoons again

  22. Avatar Hal Johnson says:

    The plot may be thickening in regard to the George Floyd killing. Soon after Floyd’s death, news sources revealed that he and Derek Chauvin worked as security at the same nightclub, but it was unknown whether they had worked *together*.

    According to another employee at the nightclub, not only had they indeed worked on the same evenings, but had engaged in “head-bumping” over Chauvin’s aggressiveness.

    I’ve mentioned before that I’ve worked on a contract basis now and then with law enforcement, and I’ve found most of them to be good folks. I dated a deputy sheriff briefly. I’ve driven at night a lot over the years, so I’ve probably been lit up more often than the average person, and most LEOs I’ve encountered have been courteous. Heck, the most unpleasant stop I’ve ever experienced involved an officer who was kind of, well, curt.

    But two LEOs spring to mind that I’ve known whom I would put in a cage for the rest of their lives if I had the power. I’ve heard stories from officers and deputies about coworkers who were total dicks. The two guys I mention aren’t dicks–they’re evil assholes. I take some comfort in knowing that they’re now retired.

    When I first saw the video of Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck, I thought, “My God, he’s torturing the guy.” It turns out that Chauvin may have held a grudge against Floyd, and the arrest may have given Chauvin the opportunity to make Floyd pay.

    If that’s true, it would be hard to conclude anything other than that Derek Chauvin is one evil son of a bitch.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/george-floyd-derek-chauvin-nightclub-bumped-heads/

    • Avatar Hal Johnson says:

      Sorry. I meant to post this on Convo Cafe. My situational awareness seems to suffer when I use a tablet or phone.

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        Hal, You bring up an interesting point. I heard those same rumors last week that Floyd and Chauvin worked at the same club. The owners came out and said they didn’t work together, but this latest news says otherwise.
        This is what makes me uncomfortable, perhaps they had a history with each other, that there was a personal vendetta between the two men. Maybe it had nothing to do with race. We both agree that Chauvin is an evil SOB…maybe it is just as simple as that, he is an evil SOB, that it has nothing to do with race.

        We have a mindset in this country that every black on white attack is an individual incident, but a white on black attack is always credited to racism. That it is an indictment of racism in the US. Maybe the perpetrator is just an evil SOB. Chauvin had a dozen or so complaints against him…are they all against minorities? That would support a racist charge if they are, but as far as I know…that info hasn’t been released.

        When I was working nights, I would get pulled over too on a semi regular basis by RPD. I would make sure I kept my name tag on when I left work to show I wasn’t out partying, the interaction was usually quick…”What are you up to tonight?” Just left work, going home”. For some reason I stopped getting pulled over when I bought a Honda mini-van

        But yes, Chauvin is an evil SOB…but maybe that is all his.

    • Avatar Gary Tull says:

      It seems anyone other than a cop would likely be charged with first degree murder.

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        No Gary…you can’t elevate the charge because of emotion and expect to get a guilty verdict. 2nd degree murder is the correct charge that will make it easier to get a conviction. Even then, it may be a tough sell because prosecutors must now find evidence that Chauvin actively intended to kill Floyd. It would be near impossible to prove Chauvin committed 1st degree murder, because you have to prove pre-planning. Even with a 2nd degree murder charge, he will spend plenty of time in prison.

        I think the fact he is a cop is why the charges were elevated to 2nd degree murder. I think most civilians would be charged with manslaughter.

        • Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

          If this new information is found to be true, perhaps the charge could be second degree murder with intent

        • Avatar Gary Tull says:

          Doug — So when a civilian individual attacks and fatally strangles someone they once worked with, that could qualify as 1st degree murder.

          Yet if a policeman presses his knee against an unarmed civilian’s windpipe whom he once had differences with, to the point of fatal suffocation (over a suspected counterfeit 20 dollar bill), the policeman should be charged with no more than manslaughter, not EVEN 2nd degree murder?

          I’m not seeing a whole lot difference between the two scenarios.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Gary, if a civilian attacks and fatally strangles someone they once worked with that wouldn’t necessarily be 1st degree murder. There has to be pre- meditation to be charged with 1st degree murder. That requires that the defendant planned the murder before it was committed or was “lying in wait” for the victim.

            I believe there is in fact a difference between the two scenarios. I want this guy to be convicted and by overcharging, there is a chance he could be acquitted. Chauvin did not plan ahead of time that he was going to kill Mr Floyd. I do not believe that was his intention.

  23. Avatar Jist Cuz says:

    The wordd “TYRANNY” jist came to mind +!+

    https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tyranny

  24. Avatar Renee Bruce says:

    It appears the presence of militia/armed concerned citizens at protests is not unique to Shasta County. https://www.npr.org/sections/live-updates-protests-for-racial-justice/2020/06/10/873751544/the-concerned-citizen-who-happens-to-be-armed-is-showing-up-at-protests
    The NPR article, however, does not reference any scenarios in which LE invited or encouraged the presence of militia members…in which case maybe Shasta County is unique after all.

  25. Avatar Jist Cuz says:

    Any LE confirmations on that Antifa bus that magically vanished into thin air (?) +!+

  26. Avatar Jist Cuz says:

    With CHP confirmed sighting of the Anfifa bus near Yreka… that suggest it may be in route south per media reporting… wouldn’t it make sense that local California Highway Patrol officers would be involved at the protest just incase… being as how the bus vanished and all (?) +!+

  27. Avatar Jist Cuz says:

    I personally first saw the Antifa bus photo on Chris Soleberg’s, Pastor Rdg Loaves and Fishes/ local homeless advocate Twitter Acct, he had ReTweeted it from the source that apparently “sent” it to him. I copied and emailed the link to local media by mid afternoon before the protests. That original link on Chris’s Twitter Account has been DELETED at some point between then and now +!+

  28. Avatar Jist Cuz says:

    Hummmmmmmmmm, online photo of hippy bus download, online photo of antifa graffiti download…#PHOTOSHOP??? Who done it Sheriff (?) +!+

  29. Avatar Jist Cuz says:

    #TWEET +!+

  30. Avatar Larry Winter says:

    Who remembers this?

    “Nothing else has come in to confirm that this is going to take place or a location or anything else for that matter,” Redding police Sgt. John Ostrowski said Friday.

    http://archive.redding.com/news/talk-of-kkk-rally-stirs-outrage-in-community-ep-378359019-356452191.html/

    I was pretty upset with the Record Searchlight when they posted an anonymous social media comment from a white power forum that stirred up a bunch of angst unnecessarily. Click bait. And I thought the law enforcement response was reasonable.

    I’m also troubled by the anonymous sourced posting of sightings of an antifa bus heading down I5. Quite the different reaction by law enforcement this time with no “confirmation” of the rumor. My problem though is the idea that fellow citizens took the bait, hook line and sinker, and became armed and ready hall monitors on steroids going to keep the peace.
    I had a good conversation with my youngest son about this, describing how upset I would be if I was participating in a peaceful protest and my fellow citizens were looking at me as if something or other needed protecting due to my actions. Total disrespect. A “WTF do you think you’re doing” moment as far as I would be concerned.
    My son had a different take on it. Citizens wanting to protect their community from wrongdoers is a commendable task. And from what I’ve read on ANC with the great reporting, I believe that is what most of the “non-protestors” were doing. This makes it even more egregious though in that their sense of civic duty didn’t need verifying, a just “following orders” kind of thing. It seems to have been just something for Shasta County’s law enforcement to play with for political reasons.

  31. Avatar Robert Garcia says:

    As a person of color, I’ve had more than my fill of all the virtue signaling from self-loathing and self-righteous white people, along with the shameful display of their disingenuous guilt and cultural
    misappropriations of late.

    I grew up in Cottonwood, being Hispanic and extremely poor
    (no electricity and boiling water on the wood stove). It was neither your fault or within your power as a white person to stop other kids who tried to shame me for being poor or teased me about the
    color of my skin or my last name. Sometimes I told my school principal, when that didn’t work, I let my hands speak for me. Sometimes I caught trouble for it, other times these kids learned a lesson, either way the actions taken were up to me and the consequences were mine alone to live with.

    It took 11 years in the Army, fighting in a war, working
    with fellow Americans of different ethnic backgrounds to realize we all bleed red, none of us are special snowflakes and we all have the same f’ing privilege! It’s called American privilege. I never traveled from town to town in Iraq seeing a CVS, B&E, Walmart, Costco, hospitals, parks or museums, people having brunch, or hot babes in sun dresses on a spring day, but I did see farmers in mud huts with no electricity and boiling water on a stove. I was reminded of where I came from, sans the mortars, IEDs and dismembered humanity seen and felt from time to time.

    I am grateful for my American privilege. I feel this comes from a belief that America gives everyone a fair shake, and that I, from my truly humble and often shamed beginnings, took what America gave me, looked beyond racial intolerance, and socioeconomic status and found a way to prosper, earn a graduate degree, run a business and buy a home. Yes Barry, I did build that!

    I chose the military and I didn’t have to; it was my American privilege to do so. All of my Hispanic siblings prosper even though we all didn’t serve in the military. There are more minorities prospering in America than ever before. We too believe in justice for George Floyd. We believe that bad people, bad cops included, should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law; just as the President said. We believe there are great and loving people who serve us as police officers and in their souls are the sheep dogs protecting us from the wolves.

    Systemic racism? Unless you wear or have worn the uniform
    you know far less than you think your stats, stretched to the breaking point, can validate. That doesn’t stop many of you carelessly attributing statistical anomalies to policing organizations as a whole, or saying nothing when other people say “f” the police, or burn police cars, or kill black retired police officers, or fire black cops or destroy black owned businesses. Now let’s defund the police? Get the hell out of here with that nonsense! I truly believe a large portion of you on here either secretly support that or would have even less than the small amount of courage held by the good mayor of Minneapolis to say no; if ever really pressed on the matter.

    Although police brutality against people of color is a serious problem, many people are gaslighting the issue because they are too much a coward, or too focused on gaining political points to also acknowledge the difference between peaceful protests and riots, or that there are limits to rage and anger. For the most part we all can agree on this, but at this moment in time many are shamefully choosing to
    keep quiet about it while we watch things burn. On one side of their mouth people say the police should be defunded, on the other militia members are dangerous
    and should be feared and viewed as racist people meaning to do people of color harm. Our cities and towns, and minority
    businesses are burning to the ground. Police are resigning, anarchists are taking over sections of our cities. But many say nothing! I see who is doing the all the damage to our country, so do you, and it isn’t some Hillbillies from Cottonwood. Trust me, I would know! Hate to break this to the white privalagers, there are people of color involved in militias…hate say it because I’m worried you’ll fall the ground collectively groveling that us colored folk can and do think for ourselves with regard to what is woven into our American fabric. I’m also not sure when or if you’ll get up to help with the heavy lifting of truely helping improve race relations. Militia is not the problem or the answer, there the militia. They’ve been here since our founding in various capacities. Fact.

    People nationwide are behaving poorly and many people here don’t seem to give a damn that about those among us destroying lives or property instead of acting responsibly in protest. Yes responsibly! Responsibly to ensure this injustice is seriously
    considered. How is failing to call out such behavior any different than saying the following? “I can understand why that fellow got angry and beat his wife, we should stand in solidarity with him because no wife should insult her husband when he’s drunk.” Hey maybe we should defund One Safe Place! If you’re taking me literally then you belong on one of the soft chairs in my office.

    Sometimes I think the supposed “privilege” of being white lies in the absurdity of trying to correct wrongs you had no part in committing, like trying to atone for sins committed since the dawn of man, which continue to this day along the I-5 corridor. It’s safe, this virtue signaling thing a lot of white people do. If you say sorry for being white that should solve everything! Right? Please
    stop it. You shouldn’t be ashamed of your “white privilege” you
    should be ashamed of your shame for the American privilege you have, and the lack courage to use it; even though history holds many examples of its power to unite people, free people and solve our problems in the here and now. Instead some of you think that taking a knee during the national anthem, prostrating yourselves on the ground or washing the feet of a person of color, rights the wrong of a white slave owner from the 1700’s or builds trust between police and persons of color or brings justice for George Floyd? Sorry that up to twelve very important people coming to a court TV channel near you. It takes more than following the lead of a well-intentioned but misguided athlete disrespecting a sacred moment where Americans in unity honor the flag and those who died for what it represents.

    Where is your outrage for color on color crimes? Why do you get so mad when someone asks the question about who’s going to atone for the sins of other people of color selling their fellow people of color into slavery 300 years ago, or 1000 years ago, or today? The notion that you in anyway were or are responsible for such things, or benefited from such things is utter nonsense. That belief offers little if anything to solve the multifaceted complexities of race relations in America. Take for example the notion of a white person who thinks their whiteness is causality for a total of three unarmed black people in America being shot and killed by cops this year (there are actually white people who truly believe these instances are their fault). It is an unhealthy way of thinking; in psychological terms such thinking is similarly known as loose association. At the very least it’s an intentionally dishonest virtue signaling sin of blatant false attribution that spreads like wildfire—among the stoned out of their minds masses of unemployed, who’ve been kept locked up for three months and fed a steady Netflix diet of social engineering and violence with a liberal bent; of course, George Floyd death was the powder keg (at least the protestor/rioters in the 90’s waited for a verdict before they bashed in Reginald Denny’s skull in with a brick), but now a rush to judgement, a collective obliviousness of due process, an out of control mob is of the utmost importance—for the sake of political expediency.

    None of this rioting and destruction is making this better! Some of you are hoping that reaps a reward for you in November.

    I understand there’s an election and it’s more politically convenient to start painting with a broad brush. It really is a damn shame that some of you chose to focus on the outliers of a militia group (especially some Hillbillies in Cottonwood who wished they had the balls to see what it’s like when your target shoots back…they too have no idea), or who invited whom, or what racist comment one redneck said at the event; like there’s not a single bigot among your liberal clans as well. Pull the thorn out of your eye!

    Bigots are not in short supply these days; this goes for political and even the academic kind.

    I’ll argue against the notion of white privilege and the irony of its supposedly described constructs and impacts on people of color originating from an essay written by, wait for it…a white person until the end of time because it’s a divisive lie tearing our nation apart. I think white shaming is partly to blame for this never ended cycle of people having to prove themselves not to be racist and trying desperately to attach that label to another group. At best such accusations of a group as a whole are subjective, and that’s a trip down another rabbit trail. I just wanted to throw that in because I think you all look stupid falling over yourselves to prove your sorry for being white. I’d much rather know you for the content of you character than apologizing for the color of your skin. I think we all agree in that wisdom.

    Alright let’s try to land this. How about when we try to gather
    in agreement that what happened to George Floyd needs to never happen again, that people stop trying to take credit, rush to assign systematic blame ahead of
    justice, or figure out what people believe about militias, Covid-19, guns, elections, privilege, guilt, virtue signaling and all other things that aren’t the real story, but instead focus on the people of Redding peacefully protesting the
    death of a man of color with a diverse presence of people representing all the differences in politics, religion and race? WE did something the rest of the nation can learn from. Intolerance runs deep and neither the white liberal
    or militia member is immune. Militia members are your neighbors, liberals are your neighbors, Black people are your neighbors, White people are your
    neighbors. This free land, this free nation belongs to all of us, whether you like each other or not there no place on earth that can compare. Just stop your nonsense militia man or progressive liberal. I fought for the rights of all of you to be out there on that street. To speak freely, to keep and bare arms. Check your egos and ideologies. Peace was maintained, our city didn’t burn and more people know more than before that black lives matter. We’ve got a long way to go, burning things to the ground just takes us longer to get there.

    I just have one last thing to ask my white neighbors. In November can you go into that booth, do your thing, keep it to yourself, and don’t tell other white people that I’m too
    intimidated to vote in person? Because it’s not true. And one more thing, sorry. Can you please check your “white privilege?”
    I can take care of myself.

    • Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

      WOW! How refreshing and articulate. Won’t you please run for the Board of Supervisors or City Council?

    • Avatar Chad says:

      You’ve got it right Rob!! Very well spoken!!

    • Avatar ADAM R SANDERS says:

      Rob, you bring up something interesting, the tendency of some white people try to be an ally to people of color in a way that is totally paternalistic. I wonder if the student who asked his professor to give black students in the class a no-harm grade even checked with his black classmates if that was something they wanted. I’d be pretty upset if someone decided for me that I was too fragile to take a test or to have my result not count solely because of the color of my skin. https://www.chron.com/news/article/UCLA-professor-No-racism-in-refusing-to-cancel-15331578.php

      I also don’t think that acknowledging to myself (I don’t feel compelled to virtue signal) that while my life has been extremely difficult, my skin color was not one of the things that made my life a little or a lot more difficult is such a terrible thing. That allows me to not be dismissive when a friend who is Mixteco or Lao or Latino or Black tells me that they have different experiences than I do based on our respective races, and to confront racism when I see it whether its from a Mestizo labor contractor exploiting indigenous Mexican immigrants or its a school principal who does not investigate reported bullying either because they are lazy or because they think the student doesn’t matter due to their income level or race (I actually do deal with that as an education advocate), as long as I am invited to help, and to call out white friends or family that tell racist jokes. Its not as if BLM suddenly sprang up yesterday. Since the 60’s much of the black community has been demanding, asking for, litigating for, voting for, legislating for and fighting to end aggressive and deadly police methods in black communities. Finally, for the first time since the Civil War, a significant number of white people are also calling for systemic change. That seems like something to celebrate.

      I am curious as to why you think that we shouldn’t pay attention to statistics. If black people especially are over represented in prison, and arrested at rates of 10x that of white people for the same offenses, why should that not be a problem that we all as a society should address? I worked as a probation officer, as a teacher in jail and prison, and with small business development for refugee communities for many years, and can say for certain, based on my experiences, that the system’s outcomes favors white folks. It is not one sinister person rubbing his hands controlling it. It is the result of conscious and unconscious bias of people in power (whether white or not) against black people. Its simple algebra, the outcome tells us how to isolate x. When I first moved from Weed, CA where I grew up in a timber falling family to Watsonville, CA area I had bought an ’84 Cutlass Supreme. I didn’t even know what a low rider was. For the 15 months I kept that car, I must have been pulled over 40 times. The cops would always do a double take when they came up to my window and saw me. They would kind of sputter, and tell me just to be safe and have a good day. I got maybe one ticket. One of my Latino friend who had the same type of car and he would get cited or searched 8/10 times pulled over, so no one can convince me that there is no racial profiling.

      I get your idea that white people tripping over ourselves to prove that we are not racist is a form of privilege (look at me! I’m not the bad guy!) but I don’t see that the commentators here are doing that. Keeping our leaders accountable (for instance for coordinating either before or during a peaceful protest with armed unorganized militia members) is as much at the core of our democracy as voting and freedom of expression.

      No assuming you speak Spanish, but if you do, “echale ganas y gracias por su servicio en las fuerzas armadas estadunidenses, y que tenga un poco de paciencia y comprension de sus paisanos en un tiempo de tormenta.”

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Robert — One of the aspects of your essay that I like most is this: I encounter hundreds of testimonials like yours from successful people who were born on third base and think they hit home runs. It’s refreshing to read a bio written by someone who took his home run cut from the plate.

      Broadly, I agree that the competition between scores of identities for the title of “Most Aggrieved” isn’t serving most of those groups particularly well, and is destructive to liberalism at large.

      Narrowly, I think you’re making the mistake of treating anecdotal evidence as something more than it is. Yes, the United States provides more opportunity than does Iraq. Yes, you took full advantage. Yes, you are the epitome of rugged American individualism and an American success story.

      But not all who are subjugated by persistent systemic racism and economic repression have your obvious high intelligence and what I’m assuming is a dogged temperament. Going way out on a limb—based on the success of your siblings as well—I assume you were brought up by parents who cared and invested much time and effort in your success. Perhaps you have little empathy for the huge numbers of kids who don’t enjoy anything close to that kind of upbringing.

      Regarding the dismissal of most all of the militia members as unhinged Cottonwood hillbillies based on the action of a few yahoos, I take your point. Perhaps most were well intentioned and only wanted to be there to ensure that rioting and looting didn’t take place (a stereotyping of its own that suggests little familiarity with the vast majority Shasta County liberals). We can agree to disagree on whether their overall methods were appropriate, as many viewed those methods as intimidation.

      Maybe liberals affix the “racist” label too easily, but again, stupid stereotypes go both ways. It’s unfair of you to dismiss the efforts of some white people to rectify the evils of the past and present as self-soothing dampening of “white guilt.” I don’t apologize for the color of my skin. I don’t feel guilty about it. There is room in community, this nation, and this world for genuine empathy and desire to address bad situations, and to simply want to help people who need help. For my part, I prefer to couch all of that in the currency of economic disparity rather than race (especially locally), but race remains a factor.

    • Avatar CHRISTIAN Gardinier says:

      Robert Garcia,

      As an old white liberal guy I’ve had more than my fill of all the “we are the real Americans” virtue signaling from MAGA conservatives along with their shameful display of their confederate flags, disingenuous, “we aren’t racist” denial, and in extreme, their support of mostly white militias storming state capitals with AK- 47’s, looking like some kind of want-to-be-ragtag terrorist group, saying they’re defending America because America can’t defend it’s self, while trump cheers then on. To hell with that! from you writing, I am assuming that you are a Trump supporter, for give me if I’m wrong.

      Robert, thanks for your service, but I was on the line of opposition against Vietnam and Iraq, not out of my white privilege, because I knew both these wars were military industrial complex ploys that had nothing at all to do with defending democracy, safety or quality of life in America. Additionally, as you know your president used his “white privilege” to avoid Vietnam. But evidently, fighting in Iraq was an experience that gave you the strengths to “look beyond racial intolerance, and socioeconomic status and find a way to prosper, earn a graduate degree, run a business and buy a home.” That’s great! It seems you are indeed fortunate to have siblings that have thrived as well, and I agree that there is racial and economic intolerance in America.

      I offer you this, how about a day when all youth, of all colors and social-economic backgrounds, fight a different war by compulsory service to this nation, not for the war complex, but for rebuilding America’s, not Iraqi’s infrastructure, healthcare, inner city housing and education system… I call that real national defense! Such a program would provide proximity needed to expose and teach youth about different ethnicities, different racial and economic backgrounds in a collective effort to save America. Some of the inner cities might as well be third world, predominately populated by people of color of low socioeconomic status, right here in the greatest nation in the world. And you know what, I’ll argue that it’s a embedded racial mind-set that propagates and sustained the water of Flint Michigan. If 20,000 white kids were found to be poisoned by lead contamination, say in Palm Springs, white America would move so fast our collective heads would spin.

      Your proposition that there is no systemic racism in America is just pure BS. As far as “statistical anomalies,” there is lots of imperial, peer reviewed evidence based data exposing systemic racism, to say the data is fake or skewed is a typical Trumpublican conservative ploy and by far, the majority of people protesting racism are not saying, “‘f’ the police, or burn police cars, or kill black retired police officers, or fire black cops or destroy black owned businesses.” I call more B.S! We aren’t calling for, or condoning use of that nonsense, no mater what color cops or business owners are and do call it out! Your fanaticism just weakens your argument. BY FAR, the vast majority involved in these protests DO NOT support violence of any sort and DO SPEAK out against it and by the way, do support One Safe Place. Please, stop with the extremism, it’s not a good sign of intent, soft chair or not, and I do hope those chairs aren’t in a psychotherapeutic environment.

      As far as police departments go, there is a huge difference in restructuring and dismantling. Because you state “police brutality against people of color is a serious problem,” you might not look into https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/what-does-defund-police-really-mean/612904/ Much of the restructuring is a adaptation of community policing, much of it built on the fact that, “colored folk can and do think for ourselves with regard to what is woven into our American fabric” and putting this into practice. Here’s an example of a “colored” guy’s thinking on this you might find interesting. https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2016/09/30/presidential-proclamation-national-community-policing-week-2016

      Another “colored” guy who your president called a “son of a bitch” did, and does still take action in acknowledging and fighting against racism. Protesting in America Sir, is American. Colin Kaepernick has put his time and money where his hart is and words are. He started legal defense fund for Minneapolis protesters and started a coronavirus relief fund to aid black and brown communities donating $100,000 to the org.

      As you know, taking a knee is as American as honoring a fallen solder, a player or too many black Americans, many unarmed, murdered by “a few bad apples” and all to often these bad apple officers are not charged with anything. I support Colin but your extreme B.S. that says I’m “taking a knee during the national anthem, prostrating yourselves on the ground or washing the feet of a person of color” to absolve my white privileged guilt is right out the KKK manual and as you know, not all white people are racists and not all “colored” people aren’t racist. Sir, I take a knee as just one thing I do to show honor, you can “-” off if you’re stating I do so otherwise.

      Although Trump is a lying sexist, racist, and 8 In 10 Black Americans view him as racist, that uses his racism to try and conquer and divide this nation, we can take some console in this; Trump and many in his administration will screw anyone they can, Black, White Hispanic (Federal policy defines “Hispanic” not as a race, but as an ethnicity…). Trump say’s, it’s not personal, it’s about power and money and he’ll do whatever it takes to get take and keep as much of both as he can. . And hey, I’m a liberal, I believe you can call yourself whatever you want.

      We can and will “pull the thorn for our eyes” when we vote these bad apples who are trying to spoil the bunch, out of office. And if the Civid 19 is raging, yes, I will vote by mail, the first time I have ever done so in my life.

      You want to talk about any of this I offer a coffee at you favorite coffee shop, and in this case, even if it is Bethel. Name the place and time.

      Christian Gardinier, LCSW

  32. Avatar Larry Winter says:

    Dang, ANC scrubbers, I thought my comment was appropriate for the manner and type of accusations Robert Garacia was raining on us. Of course it’s your call.

    I’ll try harder next time in responding to someone that claims they fought for my freedom as being false and even arrogant in a less personal way.

    I’ll even try harder not to infer brazenness when someone tries to equate their childhood with those in a war torn country that is suffering the point of American Exceptionalism’s spear.

    And the next time I tell someone to stop jousting with straw men, I won’t ask them to get off of their high horse to do that. I’ll figure another way. I promise.

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