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Residents denounce county commissioner’s comments on race

J'aime Morgaine, of Indivisible Kingman, speaks to the Mohave County Board of Supervisors on Monday, Aug. 5. (Photo by Agata Popeda)

J'aime Morgaine, of Indivisible Kingman, speaks to the Mohave County Board of Supervisors on Monday, Aug. 5. (Photo by Agata Popeda)

KINGMAN – A group of activists showed up at the Mohave County Board of Supervisors meeting on Monday, Aug. 8 to call for a member of the county’s Planning and Zoning Commission, LaJuanna Gillette, to be removed from her current position.

“This is a Christian Nation,” wrote Gillette on social media this past weekend. “We must stop minorities from coming here and trying to change us. (…) The country is turning brown.”

“Gillette is a public servant,” said J'aime Morgaine, who manages Indivisible Kingman. Morgaine pointed out that such xenophobic and racist beliefs lead to a conflict of interest at an appointed position. She also said anti-immigrant rhetoric hurts particularly badly after the two mass shootings over the weekend.

Mark Shaver, a resident of color, felt so disturbed by Gillette’s Facebook comments that he decided to come and address the board.

“Words matter,” he said. “You can’t sit idly. It’s all in the public space now. She serves as an adviser to this board.”

Mary McCord Robinson from Mohave County Democratic Central Committee said people of color in her community, including business owners, are concerned by Gillette’s comments, but are afraid to speak out.

She asked if, as a person in an interracial marriage, she should expect to be treated differently by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Shaver called for Supervisor Ron Gould of District 5 to dismiss Gillette, who is his appointee, but it was Supervisor Jean Bishop who finally picked up the item and put it on the future agenda for discussion.

“I already texted her,” Gould told The Daily Miner about his appointee. “I think it was a poor choice of words. And hopefully, a one-time incident. But I’m not worried that LaJuanna Gillette will shoot up a Walmart.”

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