Roger Koopman

Bozeman’s radical leftist city commission provides a stern warning to the residents of other Montana communities. If you think it can’t happen there, you are wrong. We didn’t think it would happen here, either. Read on and take heed.

I used to think that I lived in a socially and intellectually open community, a town of free-thinking individualists, who celebrated the right of every individual to think, speak and live as they chose. Bigotry -- by definition the rejection of individualism and the judging of people based on the “group” to which they belong -- would find no home in Bozeman, I asserted.

I was wrong. Bigotry, hatred and group demonization are alive and well among the members of our Bozeman City Commission. Bozeman is not the “welcoming” community it claims to be, precisely because its own government targets and demeans a large segment of its own population.

On December 19, 2023, 30 local residents showed up to express their concerns about the “Belonging in Bozeman” Diversity and Inclusion Plan the city had been working on – and investing $400,000 of our taxes in – for the past two years. The document includes 98 separate proposals for city intervention into our lives, at costs no one was prepared discuss.

Apparently by some divine calling, our commissioners believe they have been put on this earth as our moral overlords, to mold and re-shape our wretched consciences.  Thus, they saw no reason to listen to what this group of citizens had to say.

Their “Plan” is filled with the usual DEI trigger words and judgmental jargon, condemning America, our white ancestors and the “culture erasing” colonists who built our country around such archaic, inherently racist notions as merit, virtue, hard work, capitalism and freedom. Commissioners insisted the plan did not discriminate against anybody, but in fact, its entire assumption is that straight whites are the only segment of society capable of racism and bigotry, and all other human categories are, by definition, victims.

These citizens came before their elected officials assuming they would at least give their views respectful consideration before voting.  Instead, they were browbeaten by five arrogant, agenda-driven politicians who were utterly dismissive of everything they had to say. The icy stare-down and ear-splitting gavel slamming by chairman Andrus perfectly represented their collective animus.

How would you feel if after speaking from your heart to these commissioners, you then witnessed them delivering insulting, sanctimonious speeches that were obviously written well in advance of the meeting? Is this how government is supposed to work?  Does getting elected give you a mandate to put partisan plugs in your ears and run roughshod over anyone with whom you disagree?

These good people were blasted by one commissioner for “intimidating” the other side into silence by some mild clapping. She said she was deeply “hurt” by their “behavior.”  A second commissioner used his prepared notes to apologize to the various self-identified minorities in the room for the “painful” and “racist” things they forced to hear, which he referred to as racist, sexist and homophobic talking points that do nothing but hurt people…”

Still, the best performance of the night was reserved for the end, when gavel-wielding Mayor Andrus, who again stared down these wrong-thinking locals, instructing them to “consider the following.” She then read lengthy passages from the Bible, admonishing them to “…judge not, that you be not judged” and asking “…why do you judge your brother or sister, and why do you treat them with contempt?”

Can you imagine what the reaction would have been if those same verses were directed at the commissioners? Howls of outrage!  Yet these are the kind of authoritarian, agenda-obsessed blind guides we’re electing to our city commissions these days. Arrogance and bigotry on steroids, utterly incapable of self-examination while judging the rest of us. Utterly incapable of seeing people as individuals – only as social categories requiring the government’s special notice and special treatment, depending on whether you are the “oppressor” or the “oppressed.”

Don’t let the radical takeover that happened in Bozeman happen to you.

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