Courtesy of Coy Barefoot and CBS19, check this out from the Greene County (note: a rural county located just north of Charlottesville and Albemarle County) Sheriff’s office. Also see Sheriff Steven Smith’s Facebook page here, including word around mid-day Tuesday that “The seminar is on” (for the Saturday before the election), plus lots of…uh, interesting comments. Needless to say, it should be completely unacceptable for an employee of the government to hold such a disgusting, biased, bigoted event like this. Check out what Coy Barefoot has to say, below (bolding added by me for emphasis), and also Sheriff Smith’s event announcement. I’ll include some select comments from his page at the end of this post, to give a flavor of the discussion that’s ensued. Finally, note that Smith posted that there is “large interest” in this “seminar.”
THE GREENE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE is sponsoring a public event (they’re calling it a seminar, but I believe that’s an egregious mis-use of the word) titled “Understanding the Threat: a very interesting and informative class on the Muslim religion.” It will take place at the Stanardsville branch of Piedmont Virginia Community College— only three days before the election. Sheriff Steven Smith posted the announcement to his Facebook page this past Friday morning (explored in the Newsplex story below). After his announcement sparked a public outcry, he changed the title of the event to “Understanding the Jihadi Threat,” and appears to have deleted the original post. This morning he posted simply, “The seminar is on.” The two speakers at this “seminar’ are Chris Gaubatz, who served as an investigator for his father’s book “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America” — and Suzanne Shattuck (described by Sheriff Smith as “a very informed citizen”), who is a frequent contributor to Alt-Right blog sites and maintains her own blog titled “I’m Wide Awake” at suzanneshattuck.com. Not one of the world’s more than 1.6 billion Muslims appears to have been invited to speak at this public “seminar” about the Muslim faith. The timing and location— in a rural, likely GOP-leaning part of a swing state on the eve of a national election— is obviously no accident. That it would in any way be supported, promoted, organized and hosted by a publicly-funded office of government and held in a publicly-funded school is worthy of investigation.
Finally, here are a few choice comments from Smith’s Facebook page on this travesty.
32 likes: “I would just like to say that most of the people that actually LIVE in Greene County and that know Steve and his dept know what the intentions of this seminar are and its to educate and make people aware. I find it very ironic that a lot of the post against this feel it is stereotyping and those same people are the ones calling citizens of Greene rednecks and uneducated. GOD BLESS GREENE COUNTY AND THE U.S.A !! #TRUMP/PENCE 2016″
10 likes: “I’m glad your talking about the real dangers we all face and tackling real issues rather than sitting around discussing what terminology to use. Our own leaders in Washington refuse to acknowledge that there’s a threat due to political correctness. Real terrorists do not care what you call them because their objective still stands. We appreciate everything you are doing sheriff.”
10 likes: “Greene County has more of a threat from rednecks firing guns into the air than it does jihadists.”
9 likes: “This seminar isn’t about Islam. It’s about Jihadi threat, hence the name of the seminar “UNDERSTANDING THE JIHADI THREAT”. It doesn’t say “understanding Islam”. Would you like them to get a jihadi in to consult? Fact is, even if it were about Islam as a whole I’m not sure why so many are outraged. In Islam women are treated as second class citizens and gays are killed in various horrible ways. Why anyone would welcome that with open arms is beyond me.”
8 likes: “The issue is that an elected official is inviting two very politically biased people to speak days before an election, claiming that the event is ‘educational’ when only ONE viewpoint will be represented.”
7 likes: “To the ones who oppose, why don’t you contact the victims’ families of 9/11, the Boston marathon bombing, the Orlando incidence, etc? How about getting their perspective on the subject. It is happening all over the world. Oh that’s right, it’s not on your doorstep yet! Be thankful that you have a sheriff that truly cares about the people of Greene County. If you don’t like his agenda, there are plenty of realtors that I am sure would love to list your property!”
7 likes: “Delete this event Steven Smith. It makes you look really really bad.” (note: Smith appears to reply with one word, “no,” to this comment; the person then writes ” You had an opportunity to stand up and show this community how to interact with people who are different and believe in different things. Instead you choose to spread fear and hate.
You should be ashamed.”)
5 likes: “Nooo! How is this meeting any different than the kkk or other racist groups getting together to discuss the threats of desegregation? You are becoming what you all fear: terrorists.”
4 likes: “Well to be fair should you not hold an ‘Extreme Christianity: Understanding the Threat’ of losing separation of church and state. To single out an entire faith group is ignorant. There are radical Christians yet this is not being addressed because it is the main religion observed in this community.”
2 likes: “Is the Mel Gibson-led seminar ‘Your Jewish Neighbors: How to Push Back Against Zionist Domination’ still planned for this December?”