Mohave County planning commissioner won’t be removed over racist Facebook posts




LaJuana Gillette, center, poses for a photo at a Republican event in Laughlin, Nevada, in 2018. Also pictured is Kelli Ward (left, in purple), the current chair of the Arizona Republican Party, and Rep. Sonny Borrelli, R-Lake Havasu City (right, in tan). Photo via Facebook

A Republican on Mohave County’s Planning and Zoning Commission will continue to serve on the government board, despite calls for her removal after posting racist comments on Facebook last month.

On July 29, Gillette wrote on her Facebook page that America’s white and Christian identity was being threatened by immigrants.

“We must stop the minorities from coming here and trying to change us… If you drive thru (sic) Arvin (California) you would think you are in Mexico. All the signs in Mexican… We had better wake up before we lose America for our children and grand children (sic),” she wrote.

In another post, Gillette blamed racism in America on former President Barack Obama and black Americans, who she said “want to have things all black people no white people.”

“We have a country that is turning brown, which means that in no time at all white people will be in the minority,” she wrote.

In a follow-up comment on that Facebook post, Gillette wrote that most immigrants “are brown” and they are having more children than white Americans. She also blamed interracial marriages for the country “turning brown.”

A group of activists called on the Mohave County Board of Supervisors to remove LaJuana Gillette at the Aug. 5 board meeting.

Gillette can only be removed by Supervisor Ron Gould, who had appointed her. He said he has no plans to remove Gillette from the planning commission.

“I’m going to tell her to watch her choice of words. I’m not concerned about LaJuana shooting up a Walmart,” Gould said at the meeting, referring to the recent mass shooting in El Paso. 

The El Paso shooting suspect had made similar statements in his manifesto to those made by Gillette regarding immigrants and the changing demographic makeup of the country. State Sen. Sylvia Allen, a Republican from Snowflake, has come under fire for making similar comments. 

“I would really like for Supervisor Gould to step outside his party and really reflect on the deeper issue with these comments and address them from the standpoint of the community at-large,” J’aime Morgaine, a Mohave County resident and one of the activists at Monday’s meeting who advocated for Gillette’s removal, told Arizona Mirror.

“We need to start calling them on these racist and xenophobic talking points.”

Morgaine said Gillette isn’t just another community member, and should be held to a higher standard because she is a member of a governmental commission that is accountable to the entire county. 

“These beliefs have no place in city government, or county government, or state government,” Morgaine said. “It’s an inappropriate belief system to be guiding the Planning and Zoning Commission.

“It remains our hope that she will resign out of disgust or frustration.”

Morgaine said she is concerned about the overall climate in Mohave County, which she described as becoming increasingly inhospitable toward immigrants, people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Last July, Kingman, which is the seat of Mohave County, was in the national spotlight for all the wrong reasons when it was featured on comedian Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Who is America?” series on Showtime.

In that bit, Cohen elicits numerous racist and xenophobic comments from real Kingman residents attending a staged “town hall” to discuss the construction of a new mosque in Kingman. 

Though the mosque was fake, the Islamophobic comments made by the town hall attendees were very real.

This led to Kingman residents bemoaning the portrayal of their town as hostile and backward. Kingman Mayor Monica Gates spoke strongly against Cohen’s portrayal of the town.

“This was an attack on our community,” Gates told 12News. “The whole premise, I believe, was designed not just to expose bigotry, but to really elicit it. We all have people who are intolerant living in our communities, but it doesn’t reflect the community at large.”

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Parker Shea joins the Arizona Mirror after recently graduating from Arizona State University, where he was editor-in-chief of State Press Magazine. He hopes to one day have a career reporting on issues related to the environment. He is a daily runner and enjoys exploring the Arizona wilderness.

20 COMMENTS

  1. “The whole premise, I believe, was designed not just to expose bigotry, but to really elicit it.
    Sure. He tricked them into being racists. Who knew they were so easily fooled?

  2. Not our first elected official to spew racist bigotry without consequence. Why should we be surprised? This type of behavior is abhorrent and we only have ourselves to blame unless we speak out vehemently against it and take ACTION. Clearly we can’t count on those currently in offices to do so. Vote them out. Write letters. Make phone calls. Do not forget. Come election cycle, repost and share these articles of the past so they are not forgotten. These xenophobes need to go.

  3. Get Sacha Baron Cohen on the phone – apparently Kingman’s not the only racist town in AZ! Even worse, since the planning commission thinks racism is great! Just don’t get quoted on FB about it! Mojave County’s planning commission should be the next episode on Cohen’s “Who Is America?” on Showtime! Mojave County – another racist blot on the country.

  4. Gillette is an embarrassment. If this is acceptable to the Gould and other Mohave County leadership, that must mean that they agree with the racism and prejudice expressed so clearly by Gillette. It DOES NOT represent the majority of Mohave County, the goodness, the rational minds, of county citizenry. For every one bigoted person Gillette and Gould believe they represent, there are at least ten good citizens who are uniformed and silent. If Gillette doesn’t step down, expect to see these good folks wakened and vocal. We will not tolerate such ignorant rhetoric and hate. That’s not who we are as citizens of this county.

  5. First of all the cries of “Racism” are to create a division amngst all of us so we fight each other while outsiders ruin our country. This is self evident when we are aware of what is happening to our schools, counties, regions, states.
    When we have people who come to America for stability and a good way of life and they do not learn about our government, our culture and refuse to honor our laws of course we have animosity. If someone came to Ms. Morgaine’s home uninvited, wasted her water, ate her food, abused her pets etc. how would she feel?
    The people who protested know the Lajuana Gillette IS NOT RACIST. She is pointing out what happens to a culture assaulted by lawless people who have no respect for We the People who are citizens. Frankly we are growing weary of educated adults acting like spoiled brats throwing tantrums at will. Enough is enough.

    • Your thoughts are a clear implication of your racism and your failed attempt to disguise said bigotry in some muffled context is sad. She’s a flaming bigot and shoulda been FIRED. Unless you are a member of an indigenous tribe, your ancestors were immigrants. Your folk turned this country pasty white. 🙄

  6. I agree we are losing America and there is no longer freedom of speech and in California I apply in the medical field and I have to speak Spanish so it was nearly impossible to get a job even though I have a whole lot of experience.
    It’s ok to have freedom of speech no matter your race or position. These days it seems like it is. What happened to free America

  7. She’s a racist and she’s ignorant, signs in Mexican??? Mexican is not a language.

    Her words devalue every black and brown person and lay bear her racist foundation.

    I cannot believe what we are seeing and hearing in 2019, especially from our politicians. Further, the fact that Mr. Gould refuses to remove her from office is appalling. With her bias so abundantly clear, she is going to fairly carry out the responsibilities of her position? I am certain that is not true.

    She is clearly a racist and he is at the very least, a coward.

    What a dangerous combination.

  8. Are any of her conclusions false or are they simply inconvenient truths? If you can find one credible demographer who will predict that America is becoming more white from northern European heredity, I will personally give a hundred dollars to your favorite charity. If you look at the millions of immigrants who are entering America other than thru Ports of Entry and can supply independent validation that they are predominantly white non-hispanic, I will give another hundred dollars to your favorite charity. If you cannot so demonstrate either of these hypotheses and place that failure in print, then, under current popular left wingtip rationale, YOU are a racist and should be attacked and shamed.

    • You’re about as European as a seagull, and light-skinned folks have always been the minority globally, but you wouldn’t know that. You’re afraid that you will be treated how you treat brown people and that scares you so bad you’d cut off your left arm to spite your hand. Maybe treat people better and you wouldn’t have to be so afraid of reaping what you sow.

  9. Has this miserable excuse for a public disservant ever considered who named Arizona Arizona, why the major source of water is the Colorado River, and why its capital is in Maricopa County?

    She herself is the living embodiment of the English-speaking invaders who took over somebody else’s country, suppressed the original inhabitants, have constantly tried to impose their religious cults, and have very often taken away their rights of citizenship and has no business acting on behalf of the citizen of Arizona in any capacity. And for actively condoning this anti-American sociopath, Supervisor Gould should reconsider his own commitment. Neither of these wretches can recite the Pledge of Allegiance, with its call for allegiance to the Republic for which our great Flag stands, ONE nation, INDIVISIBLE, with Liberty and Justice for ALL, without perjuring themselves.

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