Recent racist comments by a Mohave County planning commissioner were written off as an unfortunate choice of words by the supervisor who appointed her. That’s quite an understatement. While LaJuana Gillette may not be a racist, her statements on her private Facebook profile were, in fact, rooted in racism.

Among other things, she said “we must stop the minorities from coming here and trying to change us.” How do you interpret a comment like that as anything but racist?

Supervisor Ron Gould recently appointed Gillette, an 84-year-old Lake Havasu City resident, to the county’s planning commission, and according to supervisors, Gould is the only one who can remove her. He says he has no intentions of doing so, chalking up her statements to a momentary lapse in judgment.

Gillette was quoted in other newspapers blaming another Facebook user for taking screenshots of her statements, made on her private page, and distributing it to a wider audience than she intended.

In the age of social media, there’s no reasonable expectation of privacy. And even so, that’s not the point: There’s no excuse for casual racism, private or public. Make no mistake, Gillette is free to express her own opinions — the First Amendment guarantees her right to do so. However, free speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequences.

Words matter, after all. And these particular statements could matter a lot for Mohave County. Gillette sits on a board that hears appeals of planning decisions, and it’s not hard to imagine how her statements about race could become a liability for the county when it finds itself saddled with contentious zoning decisions to make.

Moreover, Gillette’s words put Lake Havasu City and Mohave County back into the national spotlight over an issue that we’ve wrestled with before.

Kingman is still reeling from its portrayal last year on a TV show hosted by Sacha Baron Cohen, which depicted people living in the Mohave County seat as intolerant of other races and religions. Then about a month ago, a TMZ show aired comments by one of its producers referring to Lake Havasu City as “KKK town.” Anyone who lives in Havasu knows that’s an unfair statement, but again, words matter. Viewers of that television show may take her words to heart.

We don’t believe Havasu and Mohave County have a racism problem. But at the same time, Havasu and Mohave County must confront casual racism. Statements based on negative stereotypes about people based on race, even those made as a joke or an off-handed comment, should have no place here. 

Words matter.

— Today’s News-Herald

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(22) comments

HwyRovr

HavasuGuy - Could not agree with you more about Commander DOT along with his two parrots. None of them actually add anything to a discourse so ignoring the whole bunch sounds good me.

deaton

I, HwyRover, “Dear Leader” of DOC’s (Defenders of Clinton’s et al) Do hereby declare and affirm that Commander DOT and all DOTS add nothing to a discourse! Henceforth and for evermore we DOCS shall IGNORE all comments posted in the “Today’s News Herald” comment section! By proclamation of the “Dear Leader” of DOCS Witnessed by HG [batman] Dawn King [scared] and Old Coot [censored]


HavasuGuy

Agreed. The fact that deaton and his cronies would put someone like trump before the good of America is disgusting. A true veteran would never put a president before this Great Nation for any reason!

deaton

HG [batman] I have nothing to prove to you. I’m completely comfortable with my status as a military veteran who served in the NAM with Rovr! Unlike Rovr, I do not have “Shrapnel” which I brag about and I do not set off “Metal Detectors” everywhere! I thought you DOCS were ignoring all DOTS! That didn’t last very long? Oh well, it shows you can never trust a DOC! Have a great day HG[batman] Just saying [thumbup][beam] Commander DOT


Roco

"In the age of social media, there’s no reasonable expectation of privacy. And even so, that’s not the point: There’s no excuse for casual racism, private or public. Make no mistake, Gillette is free to express her own opinions — the First Amendment guarantees her right to do so. However, free speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequences."



This is what many do not understand. One has the right to say any and everything they want. But there are consequences for what is being said. Just like orange dotard claims social media companies are censoring republican free speech. By them be a company and not the government, they can set guidelines for what is allowed. If those guidelines are violated, the companies have the right to penalize those violators. Simply put, free speech is allowed with consequences.

HavasuGuy

Thank you, casual racism is still racism and we are viewed by others by the type of people we associate with. I don't want Lake Havasu City viewed this way so please remove her from her public position. We all know what her words mean...

deaton

So HG either guy or gal, I want to know what your problem with “Chinese People and their products” is? Are you a casual RACIST! [thumbup][beam] Commander DOT


HavasuGuy

As a true republican conservative I support american jobs for Americans. I am disgusted that the president of the United States of America is buying and selling Chinese products when he could easily have them Made In America.

JVW

HG. Be specific on what the President had made in China. Don't pull a rovR


HavasuGuy

JVW, you're kidding right? Google "what percentage of trump store items are made in America" and you'll see...

HavasuGuy

You are joking, right JVW? Here's a small sampling of the products that trump has authorized to use his name or likeness; Of course the MAGA hats, trump flags (he even has an American flag with his likeness superimposed on it (a disgusting show of disrespect to our flag), ties (he wears them in office), of course Ivanka's clothing line and shoes, the list goes on and on. It is a well publicized fact that only 15% of the items offered in the trump store are made in America. Just google "trump products made in China" and look for yourself. He has stuff from Mexico and India too.

HwyRovr

It is amazing how many DOTs support a politician who makes if very clear she will not represent every American.

JVW

Lefty Loons

HwyRovr

Weak minded righty fools

JVW

Lil rove Week minded are Racist


VA172

At least Hwy didn't copy and past.

Comment deleted.
HwyRovr

"Lefty loons" - yeah a real goody from a weak-minded and easily manipulated fool.

HwyRovr

"weak"

deaton

Rovr, did you find out anything about this “White Privilege” that everyone is talking about? What the heck is “White Privilege”? Is it good for anything? How can I get some if it’s worth having? Hope your day is going OK? Just asking. [thumbup][beam] CDOT


HwyRovr

Commander Dot, who is this "everyone" you are referring to? You need to get your two weak-minded minions on board to make it look at as if someone cares. I have no interest in "White Privilege" so obviously it is of no importance whatsoever.

HavasuGuy

Hwy, deaton does not bring anything of substance to the conversation except ignorance. I would suggest ignoring him. He puts trump before America and I seriously doubt he is a veteran. The guys I know that put their butts on the line for our freedom are nothing like him - they love this country, not some loser politician. I'm ignoring him from now on and I hope he finds whoever Dawn is...

KADE

“White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by Robin DiAngelo



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