A wave of Trump-loving trolls descended on the Facebook page of Mutiny Information Cafe to leave bad reviews. Most of the actors were connected to profiles listed in other states — simply people looking to take down one of Denver’s more beloved counter-culture institutions.
It’s fair to note the owners arguably opened the door to the conflict by displaying an anti-Trump-and-Trump-supporter flyer in their window, which seemed to have triggered the legions of brokflakes in their endeavor. From a branding perspective — it was a spot-on choice by the owners, who have long made South Broadway their home and an inviting spot for local writers, artists and musicians. Mutiny’s edge is its brand, and the handful of hornets they stirred up simply drove home that fact. The community around them fired back, drowning out the noise with positive reviews.
But the next target was far from a pirate-flag waving knuckle-dusting Golden Triangle swashbuckler. Bookbar in north Denver represents its neighborhood as much as Mutiny’s a reflection of theirs; family friendly, middle-upper class bohemian progressives. Where Mutiny has a cereal bar with Cap’n Crunch, Bookbar’s stocks a well-balanced pinot noir. They tout locally sourced menu items and responsibly sourced coffee beans in their roasts. They have local author signings and an on-site Air BnB where they can put up traveling authors who appear for readings.
And they got targeted, too. This time, the miscreants were local. They snuck by the shop, furtively planting their little white supremacist hate stickers on walls and glass. Then, during Drag Queen Storytime on June 27, one sad coward showed up with spray paint — he was chased off by employees, and then arrested in a nearby alley by Denver Police who had already been alerted by Bookbar owner Nicole Sullivan based on the walk-by stickering earlier. When news broke about the arrest, Bookbar fielded another barrage of hate from keyboard warriors who hate storytelling and pretty dresses or something. Whatever. Little minds with little lives (Bookbar’s “…Extremely Official Response to Extremely Negative Comments… With Book Recommendations!” is a fantastic read. Find it here: http://bit.ly/BookBarResponse).
And finally, at last month’s Drag For All Ages show at Mile High Comics (4600 Jason St, Denver), word leaked that some more wannabe-nazi mouthbreathers with too much free time were gonna show up and throw Hail Hydra signs or whatever to intimidate attendees. Luckily, the “Parasol Patrol” showed up in droves, using colorful umbrellas to create a whimsical barrier to shield the eyes of children in attendance from the sight of the goosestepping brigade’s little tantrum. A perfect defense, if you ask me.
In a vacuum, we’re seeing handfuls of little hate fires, sprayed down as they pop up. But the thing is, it’s not a vacuum anymore. Trump’s ire grows. The thin veil of “capitalism first, dismantle all the regulations and give a tax break to the rich” he wore into his first term is shredded, and behind it, his true ugliness is revealed. He sees anyone who’s not a member of his evangelical Christian White base as an “infestation” — his words. His drum beat of jingoism, xenophobia and racism grows, his unabashed admiration of despots is evident, and he emboldens the weak-minded white nationalists in our ranks to stand out more and more.
People frequently ask, “What has he done to you personally?” when trying to foster the illusion that it’s all just media-generated noise. But here are three examples of how what’s happening on a national stage is impacting our own local communities.
The real question is, how much more are you gonna take?