A 40-year old resident, Larry “L.J.” Brooks, of a home in Fruita, Colorado was met by protesters who were outraged that their neighbors had erected a Confederate flag and a flag with a swastika above his house.
Brooks, who has a lengthy criminal history dating back to 1999 with convictions including felony drug possession, weapons offenses and domestic violence, erected the racist flags and was asked to remove them. He refused.
The refusal lead to a 70-person protest in front of his home.
Ashley Petrey had just moved into the neighborhood and was understandably offended, stating: “I just moved here two weeks ago, and part of the reason that I moved here was to get away from the violence and the hate of the cities. (The Nazi flag) represents all of the hate and all of the violence in the world, and it’s really sad. It’s frustrating because we’re supposed to be celebrating Veterans Day, and World War II and the Civil War was literally supposed to defeat all this.”
Kevin Lynch, who called the police to report the flag to them, was concerned about the message of hate the flags promoted and felt he needed to protect his family.
He explained his feelings with a strong statement: “What I feel is that sign represents hatred, it represents genocide. It represents everything evil in this world. And that’s why I went out and bought a shotgun because I feel that my security has been jeopardized now.”
Even other white people don’t feel safe with the skinfolks who spew racist vitriol.
There were some who didn’t like what protesters had to say. While the protesters chanted anti-Nazi slogans from one side of the street, a few people yelled back at the marchers.
Paul DeLancey, who is related to Brooks, brought a Confederate flag that he had mounted on his pickup truck. He also mentioned that the people who were outraged was relatively small.
“It’s a lot less than I expected,” DeLancey said of the protest. “What’s funny is, they say they want to teach tolerance, right But yet, they’re yelling racist remarks, flipping us off, threatening people. How is that tolerant Aren’t they going against the principles they said they were organizing this for”
“Those people are much more than Jew-haters,” said Dena Dickinson, a Fruita resident who saw the flag when she drove down the street Tuesday afternoon. Dickinson , who is Jewish, was glad to see the protesters speaking up.
Racism is a disease that needs to be fought on all sides not just when it spills over into the neighborhoods of the “unaffected.”