About a hat: Westminster’s DeMott addresses views and controversy
I love our nation. America is the best country to live in and I am blessed to have been born here. I love the diversity of people and thought that are the bedrock of this nation.
I consider myself a constitutionalist. I believe all people are created equal. The words from our Declaration of Independence are as true today as they were when they became inked by our founders.
I never imagined that buying a hat with an emblem of a group claiming to support our nation’s founding documents and their mission as the preservation of those words would be the reason for controversy. But, as with all things, people will jump on reasons to attack their opposition.
I purchased a hat with a Three Percenter symbol based on what I had read about the group and their vision. According to their website, www.thethreepercenters.org/about-us, they are an “…organization focused on creating a national network that strengthens and aids communities and individuals and helps shape the future by preserving, protecting, and defending our country’s founding principles, including our God-given rights to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Having the views I do of our constitution and beliefs of the importance of the founding of this country I made my $20-ish purchase in 2018.
It was not until months later when a resident made an issue of photos of me wearing the cap during the 2019 Westy Beer Fest with former Westminster Councilor and current Adams County Commissioner Emma Pinter, as well as with candidates running for City Council. The resident asserted that I was a member of the group.
To set the record straight, I am not, nor have I been, a member of the Three Percenters.
I simply own a hat because of what I believed the group stood for, according to their own website. This resident brought to light some people who held hateful views or participated in rallies with racists driving hate. They also brought up instances of people claiming to be members of this group breaking laws.
I will say that according to my research, this is a national effort composed of local groups that anyone can join. The national group states plainly that they are not a militia and that they have a clear ”no first use of force principle” and that force is for defense.
With all that said, I understand that people can take what they read and believe there are some bad people with hate in their hearts associated with this group. They may deduce that if you have their emblem or are associated with the group you may also hold these deplorable views.
Some articles assert they are a militia and anti-government group that holds racist views, however, these are all things they counter on their website.
“We are NOT racists, NOR are we white supremacists,” the website says, arguing that some who have used the name have “committed horrific acts.”
“In all of these cases these people were neither a part of our organization nor hold
the same views as we do. We invite ALL people to join us. Anyone who claims we are white
supremacists or racists speaks out of pure ignorance. Patriotism is color blind.”
Even though I have not found the group to stand for those negative views, I’ve chosen to not wear the hat. I have not worn it since.
For many months I thought this was behind me.
I was in a Jan. 27 Colorado Black Women for Political Action candidate forum. The event was organized like a virtual speed dating forum, where candidates would spend time in different virtual rooms speaking to residents. I was enjoying great discussions with this group and getting great feedback to help me be a better City Councilor.
In the last room, my former colleague Emma Pinter brought up the horrid violence in our nation’s capital – I would add I have condemned it myself, along with the rest of Westminster Council.
She then said that I was a member of the ThreePercenters and have been known to wear the hat along with my Westminster council badge, bringing us full circle to the picture from the beer fest.
I stated that I believe Emma Pinter knew her statement was false and gave the above account. I shared my views on racism that it is and ugly unacceptable part of our world and that I believe it should be stomped out anywhere it rears its ugly head.
I was then sent a private message and asked to leave the event.
I was sad because of the attack on my character and the truth ended a good event where I learned a lot from a diverse group of residents.
It is not the first time Emma Pinter and I have been different sides of an issue, as she and I share different views. I am a conservative and she would be a bit to the left of me.
With all this said I will close with this; I won’t allow people to spread untruths un-answered. I will continue to always press for life, liberty, and the right for all to pursue their happiness while I am in office and far after my time as an elected official ends.
I will let my record stand for itself, hat or no hat.
David DeMott is a Westminster City Councilor.