Randy Gamel-Medler, his husband and their adopted son moved to Hitchcock, Oklahoma just over a year ago and what happened to them is vile.
"When our family moved to the town of Hitchcock in rural Oklahoma we thought we were buying our last house, we wanted to know our neighbors by their first names and grow old together, but we were soon met with hatred, suspicion, and discrimination. We were terrorized, murder threats were made against our seven year-old African-American son. Town officials conspired to run us out of office, all while local law enforcement ignored our pleas for help. We are now left with the last 27 years of our life literally erased. What do we do now?"
He was called “a f***ing queer” in town.
People threatened to harm his son, who is black; one woman said to him:
“I’m going to grab your little boy, rip his n****r head off, and s**t down his throat.”
At the beginning of May 2017, Gamel-Medler was clearing an obstruction from the road, per his duties as town clerk, when he was assaulted by Jonita Pauls Jack, who had tried to enter Gamel-Medler's truck, found it locked, and began to call him expletives.
When Gamel-Medler attempted to file a police report after these incidents, he was informed that Mayor Rick Edsall had already described the incident with Jonita Pauls Jack to the police. Blaine County Sheriff Tony Almaguer and Undersheriff David Robertson refused to take a report, said that this is just how these folks are, and called the incident Free Speech.
Free speech isn’t hate speech; and threatening violence against a child?
Over the next several weeks, one or more of the defendants threw gravel at Gamel-Medler’s home, posted a sign outside of the post office stating that “the town clerk is a “f***ing queer,” and attempted to run a friend of Gamel-Medler’s off of the road.
And here’s a telling piece of information; at a town council meeting in September, a trustee asked Gamel-Medler:
“What’s going to happen when your house burns down and we don’t send out the fire trucks?”
On May 28, 2017, eight months later, Gamel-Medler heard the sound of glass breaking in his garage and called the Sheriff’s office to report a burglary; he then saw a fire in his garage and called the fire department.
Despite the fire department being located one block away from Gamel-Medler’s home, the fire department failed to arrive until the house had burned to the ground; and while it burned, Gamel-Medler says a number of the named defendants watched it burn, including Rick Edsall, who sat and watched with his family in lawn chairs.
Gamel-Medler, who was arrested in July, charged with threatening violence against the first responders, has filed a lawsuit against the town, the mayor—Richard Edsall—who says:
“It’s a farming community. Everybody knows everybody. He moved in and started stirring up crap.”
The lawsuit stated the mayor and other citizens watched as it burned, and that firefighters stationed a block away did not respond until it was too late but Edsall has a different story:
“Our fire department—a volunteer fire department—was at the fire within six minutes, putting the water on it,” he said. “I was in my robe, fixing to go to bed when I heard the ruckus, and I went down there and grabbed a hose and started spraying.”
And, to be fair, Edsall insists race and sexuality were never an issue because, wait for it ...
“I’ve got half-nieces that are half-black. I mean, we are not racist. We don’t care if you’re gay or anything else. We’re not that way.”
Except ... “fucking queer” and “I’m going to grab your little boy, rip his n****r head off, and s**t down his throat.”
Gamel-Medler filed a federal equal protection lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma against nine defendants from Blaine County, Oklahoma, including Mayor Rick Edsall, Sheriff of Blaine County Tony Almaguer, and Undersheriff of Blaine County David Robertson; the lawsuit also includes claims for assault, battery, destruction of real and personal property, and intentional infliction of emotional distress and details months of police and government inaction in response to racist and homophobic threats and harassment.
2017 and people are still acting like this, and saying these things and doing these things; and you can say its Oklahoma, a backwoods, backwater state that is far from progressive in any sense of the word, but you can also say it’s Donald _____, who doesn’t seem to have a problem with violence and Hate Speech against any minority group.
Remember that: Hitchcock, Oklahoma, still stuck in the 1950s but no longer wearing their hoods and white robes.