'We're a totally peaceful racist group,' says 'Straight Pride' organizer to a California city council

Don Grundmann was facing activist calls to cancel his planned “Straight Pride” event in Modesto, California, when he made the apparent slip-up.
By Tim Fitzsimons

A man behind a planned Aug. 24 “Straight Pride” rally in Modesto, California, said at a city council meeting there that the organizers were a “totally peaceful racist group.”

“You pulled the race card,” Don Grundmann, a chiropractor from the Bay Area said as he pointed at one council member at the meeting Wednesday, according to a video uploaded by the Modesto Bee. “You pulled the race card to pull in attacks against us, to justify attacks against us in that park, and when they come you're going to turn right around and say we deserved it. We haven't done anything, we’re a totally peaceful racist group.”

Meeting attendees who oppose the rally erupted in laughter and began to shout and clap. "He said it," some could be heard exclaiming. A member of the council put her palm to her face and swiveled her chair away from the crowd, apparently convulsed with laughter, while the rest of the council stared unblinkingly at Grundmann.

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Grundmann then turned away from the microphone and engaged with the crowd. When he returned to the microphone, he said, “We’re here to defend all races and colors. I started the WAR alliance — the Whites Against Racism alliance.”

Gay marriage opponent Don Grundmann, left, argues with a supporter of gay marriage outside the California Supreme Court in San Francisco on March 4, 2008.Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP file

“If you want to find a hatred group against blacks who killed 20 million Americans, look at Planned Parenthood,” Grundmann said, echoing a popular conservative talking point. The crowd hissed in response.

When the Straight Pride rally was announced last month, Grundmann told NBC News that the event would express “a very specific religious view of Christianity and its cultural foundations” and that he hoped for more such events “in all states and all counties.”

Last week, Matthew Mason, an estranged, adopted son of Grundmann’s organizational partner, Mylinda Mason, told NBC News that when she home-schooled him from kindergarten through 12th grade, she taught him a history of America that was laced with “white supremacy.”

Matthew Mason said that he was taught that America was a “God-blessed nation,” and that the lessons completely ignored “the genocide, slavery, and white nationalism that built it.”

Mylinda Mason told NBC News in response, “Let’s get the quote correct — it’s Western civilization that was built by European males that came here to establish the greatest nation on earth.”

Straight Pride organizers in Boston have been linked to far-right groups, according to NBC News.

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