Kingman Farmers Market “Under Attack”? (Updated)

Published by The Bee News

August 10, 2018

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KINGMAN, ARIZONA – In recent news there has been much controversy regarding the request of venue change for the Farmers Market.  At the root of the issue is the flying of the Confederate flag that has been on display and for sale at Thunder Rode at the corner of Beale Street and 1st.  Is the symbolism behind the flag Hate or History?  Read below as Jack Alexander, proprietor of Thunder Rode and host of the Kingman Farmers Market for the last three years airs his opinion.

August 10, 2018

Good morning,

Although I doubt you will publish this information, I will give you the story anyway – I think it should be published. As you know, several weeks back there was a spoof done here in Kingman in front of a small crowd of Kingman residents by Sacha Baron Cohen, apparently a fairly well know spoof reporter, wherein he proposed that Kingman was about to become the recipient of the largest mosque in the world outside of Mecca. I did not learn about this until last Tuesday, Aug 7, I had not seen the video, knew nothing about it and have barely heard of this Sacha Baron Cohen other than that he had spoofed Sheriff Joe and Sarah Palin.

[https://thebee.news/kingman-residents-featured-on-reality-pranksters-show/]

That all being said Tuesday morning a customer came into my shop, the Thunder-Rode motorcycle accessories shop at the corner of First and Beale behind Mr. D’z and told me of a “racial“ meeting that was held at a church (which one, unknown) in Kingman Monday night August 6. At that meeting there were some disparaging comments about Thunder-Rode because there is (was) a Confederate battle flag on our fence. We sell Confederate battle flags to anyone who wants one. I did not think much about that other than to feel sad for the woman who spoke negatively about us because she clearly is uneducated as to the inception, founding and meaning of the Confederate battle flag. Nor, has she ever come into our shop to present her side of the story and/or the reason for her disparaging comments directed at our business. The article is in the Bee Newspaper, which addressed this meeting and was posted on the Bee’s Facebook page.

Wednesday I was informed by the president of the Kingman farmers market that there would be some people (Anna Fox Ryan and Paul Gaines) at the KFM directors meeting that evening, last Wednesday, Aug 8, to speak in opposition to the Kingman Farmers Market in the Thunder-Rode parking lot because of the Confederate battle flag being on our fence. It has been held, free of charge by Thunder-Rode, for the last three years. The Kingman Farmers Market has been doing very well, attracting 400 to 800 visitors every week since inception. For me, this revelation and the petition referenced below, were the first indications that I had heard that there was any opposition to the Farmers Market being located in the Thunder-Rode parking lot and a complete shock the opposition was based on a flag on our fence.

There was a lot of discussion, but not a lot of clarity, there was even a representation that the new City Council Manager, Mr. Ron Foggin, had contacted one of our board of director members and offered to provide the Locomotive Park to the Kingman Farmers Market at no cost. The meeting was adjourned and that was it – for the moment. There, of course, would be some follow up regarding the statement about the City Council approving the use of Locomotive Park free and/or the moving of the Farmers Market to Locomotive Park simply because a handful of people don’t like the Confederate Battle Flag.

I have also learned that on a website called change.org, a petition was started and posted by one Julya Carey in which, as the petitioner makes clear, the reason for the petition to have the Farmers Market moved out of the Thunder-Rode parking lot and into Locomotive Park, was because of the Confederate Battle Flag on our fence. That, in and of itself, was shock enough, since not a single member of the Board of Directors of the Kingman Farmers Market or the owner of Thunder-Rode where the market is now held had been contacted. Why would they do that? Why would they circumvent the Board Of Directors of a 501(c)(3) corporation and go to the city Council to seek the removal of the Farmers Market where it is currently located to a new location without the prior knowledge, consent and authority of the Board of Directors? Why would they do that?

This morning, August 10, when I went to the shop to open up, AntiFa had struck. Our $200 Confederate battle flag banner had been literally and forcibly ripped from the fence where it was secured with heavy duty zip ties and self tapping sheet metal screws into the fence itself. To me and to my loyal customers and the patrons of Thunder-Rode, this is clearly the work of another of the left-wing hate groups, which is out there fomenting hate speech, violence against non-conformists to their ideology and philosophy and groupthink as we have all seen in other events and locations around the country of recent date. It is hoped that the city will take note of these hate groups and prevent them from festering to the point of causing harm. It is clear that these people prefer to gather in hate groups, act violently against others, preach hate speech and groupthink over diversity, acceptance and tolerance.

How is it that a handful (the change.org website says they only have some 200+ signers, some of which are very positive about leaving the Market where it is) of people can cause such a stir in such a peaceful, quiet community? Thousands and thousands of visitors have come through and supported the Farmers Market and its vendors over the past three years. If the signers of the Julya petition represent the total of the group-think haters which make up this left-wing radical hate group, we are looking at a microscopic handful of renegades who seek, among others nationwide, to tear our country down and destroy its history. I believe that the City, our police department and its citizens need to be aware of these people.

Sincerely,

Jack Alexander, Proprietor

[UPDATE – 8:36pm]

Response from the author of the petition

In the interest of accuracy and representation, here is a timeline of recent events as I was involved in them:

Multiple members of the public have voiced concern about the location of the Kingman Farmers Market, for varying reasons from the heat to the flag potentially being perceived by some as unwelcoming.

As reflected in the meeting minutes (distributed at the August meeting) from Wednesday, July 11, 2018, a board member proposed consideration of a new market location, excerpted as follows:

[A member] brought to the group that the City of Kingman’s council members were interested in working with the market and provided an opportunity to move the market to the cooler temped and more visible location of Railroad Park. Discussion of holding a specialty market first and then investigating the possibility of moving it for future markets. … [Another member] stated he would work with the current host to investigate options of moving the market permanently.

On Tuesday, August 7, 2018, I drafted a petition to gauge community support based the above information as well as input from downtown business owners, a market vendor, and community members. The petition read as follows:

The Kingman Farmers Market’s weekly event has had immeasurable impact on our community. It has provided a place for friends and neighbors to come together and for local farmers, growers, artisans, and craftsmen to share their products.

To widen its audience, we hope that the Kingman Farmers Market will consider relocating. Locomotive Park offers an attractive environment for tourists and Mohave County locals. Logistically, the transition would be simple, as the proposed new location is near to the current spot in Kingman’s ever-growing downtown.

The Farmers Market seems to have outgrown its current location in a number of ways:

Some community members complain that the heat is overbearing, causing them to spend less time than they otherwise would or avoid the market altogether. Locomotive Park has ample shade and grass to naturally cool the event and patrons.

The available space at the current location is limited. Locomotive Park gives the market room to “grow together” with the community as they intend. This setting also encourages patrons to explore their surroundings and potentially stay longer at the market.

Finally, the Farmers Market should consider the implications of the imagery that surrounds it –specifically the confederate flag displayed prominently around the event and adjacent business. However one chooses to interpret the meaning of this symbol, it does not represent the values of community and togetherness that this event promotes by its very nature. The symbol is unrelated and outdated at best; it represents something far more sinister at worst. We would like to send a welcoming message to those who wish to attend the Kingman Farmers Market. Would not the new arch that reads “Welcome to Kingman” be a more appropriate backdrop for this event?

If the Kingman Farmers Market aims to appeal to visitors, they should strongly consider a location change to Locomotive Park.

On Wednesday, August 8, two community members attended the public meeting of the Farmers Market board to continue conversation with the board members.

The petition gathered over 221 signatures before I closed it on Friday, August 10, as discussions were planned with the Farmers Market Board.

Also, on Friday, August 10 I became aware that a sign was torn down at Thunder Rode, on the corner of Beale and 1st streets and location of the Kingman Farmers Market.

As indicated above, my written statement – directed to the Kingman Farmers Market board – gathered significant support; it does not name or implicate Jack Alexander or Thunder Rode, nor does it suggest removal of the flag in any way. It certainly does not suggest violence or hatred.

The actions of the individual or individuals who removed the flag have tarnished my name and those of others mentioned publicly. However, I refuse to accept my labeling as a member of a “radical hate group,” and the accusation of “fomenting hate speech and violence against others.” I have not committed or encouraged any such acts. I simply created a written petition based on input from community stakeholders, including citizens with direct involvement with the market.

The writing and publication of Jack Alexander’s statement constitutes defamation of my name and character.

Julya Carey

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34 Comments

  1. Sharon vails

    Why can’t people leave well enough alone? Let’s see, nazi’s tore down historical monuments and recently so did ISIS. all I see is folks aligning themselves in that direction. Stop trying to force us to believe like you, allow us the freedoms to disagree with your narrow minded beliefs on the past of our country. Antifa be damned

    • TreciaC

      Antifa? So even if we did have antifa in town, which I assure you we don’t… Antifa = anti fascism, should we ALL be down with no fascism?

      This is silly. Let go of these antiquated symbols of intolerance and move on. It’s time.

    • TreciaC

      These comments are sadly proof that Kingman is STILL willfully ignorant and backwards. NO, I will not leave… my family will be here longer after Kingman dries up and becomes the ghost town these comments indicate to be the desire of many.

      But here’s the thing, there’s many of us on the other side prepared to drag Kingman screaming if necessary, into 2018. It’s time.

      • J. Solbes

        Go home… Why did you come here? If you want to live in a place that espouses these ideals….. Live there. Kingman is not perfect but it is better than any place I have ever lived. And I have lived all over this America.

  2. Margaret G. Ghost Dancer Wene

    I stand with Mother Road in this matter. The Confederate Battle Flag is part of our history, and as such should be able to be flown any where in this country. It IS NOT a symbol of racism or hatred. There are those who would like to re-write history, wipe out facts which are inconvenient for them to face, but history is history and cannot be re-written or obliterated. There is more history that these people wish to obliterate; The Nazi Holocaust and The Native American Holocaust are just two of them.

    Even though I was not part of this action, I apologize to Mother Road and the Farmers Market for the attacks on their rights and the destruction of their private property. I support Mother Road and the Farmers market and sincerely with them every success in their efforts and business.

  3. Margaret G. Ghost Dancer Wene

    Please excuse my error in saying Mother Road instead of Thunder Road. No insult was intended to either, it was merely a blooper on my part.

  4. Disappointed Resident

    I am a Kingman Resident who signed the petition for two of the three reasons listed. For the opportunity of growth and shade. I thought the part about the flag was ridiculous but if we want something that so many people enjoy to thrive (KFM) then a move wouldn’t be a bad idea. It was not mentioned that the good people that actually organize this event weren’t the ones that wanted the move. I can’t believe the amount of ignorance and hate that has come out of this. It saddens me and I hope nobody thinks of me as part of that hateful and disrespectful group of people who would vandalize someone’s property like that because I voted for the move.

  5. leonard walker

    clearly Mr Alexander doesn’t accept history and clearly is the pot calling the kettle black. The flag is a symbol of treason and even more so today a proud symbol of hate.

  6. Susan Jessee

    Well said Jack!! I agree 100% As the former Market Manager/Board member I support staying at Thunder-Rode. The spot that has ALWAYS been there for the market from day one!!

  7. George Wilson

    We love the Farmer’s Market and where it is located in Thunder-Rode’s parking lot. The Confederate battle flag on the fence is not offensive. What is offensive are the hate groups that are being formed by people like Julia Carey and her minions who set off this whole stupid thing with her imbecilic petition on change.org, which, as I understand it, had to be pulled down because she was getting so much heat for her derogatory and inflammatory comments. Good on the people of Kingman seeing through this fraudster.

    • Julya Carey

      You misspelled my name, Mr. Wilson. Your understanding is incorrect. My petition did not have “to be pulled down.” I closed the petition myself, as you can read in my statement above, because discussions were planned with the board of the Kingman Farmers Market. I didn’t get any “heat” until Mr. Alexander decided to use my name in connection with a crime I did not commit and accuse me of facilitating a hate group. The text of the original petition is copied above; the petition is still present on change.org as well. In it you will find no derogatory or inflammatory comments.

  8. John Harvey

    These liberal snowflakes who are complaining about the CSA battle flag need to shut up and grow up. They also need to get educated because it’s obvious their schooling in history is sadly lacking. There is no guarantee written anywhere in the Constitution, Bible or other holy books or anywhere else that I’m aware of that says one will be able to go through life without having his/her feelings hurt or sensibilities offended from time to time. So, stifle yourselves.

  9. Shocked at The Ignorance!

    Once again a hate group breaks the law and thinks it’s OK for them to do this! How about opening a business, paying taxes, create some jobs and fly flags etc that you approve of?! We know they won’t do that! That takes hard work and planning and caring for your community!
    Amazing how a small group of haters think they can take over ! We won’t let them!
    The ones that complain are more intolerant than those they are complaining about.
    Im all for Thunder Rode and any business selling or decorating their business however they want! Buyers will decide who stays open, and it shouldn’t be some malcontent that probable doesn’t add to our community.
    I hope the Farmers Market does not move because of bullying and acts of lawbreaking. I am sad to say I won’t go if it moves.

  10. Anna Nyberg

    I have been a vendor at the Kingman Farmers Market numerous times and am appalled that people are treating this like a hate incident. I respect the confederate flag because of its history. I have never felt uncomfortable being in its presence at your store. Unbelievable that the board of directors of the Farmers market was not even contacted. I sincerely hope it continues to be at your venue..

  11. Lindsay

    These people have no clue of our history and what that flag means. The farmers market is not the only place they will have to take it down at. Trucks, houses, etc. There all over the place. It’s call freedom and then trying to tell us to take down the confederate flag, our history, is trying to take away our freedom. So for our freedom, I say fly our flags high. Everyone in Kingman who still believes in our freedom and our history fly the confederate flag. Hang our crosses high, pray out loud, celebrate Christmas and whatever else offends these people and remind them this is the USA ?? AND WE ARE FREE. If they don’t like something close their eyes look the other way and leave. As for the farmers market it should stay and the confederate flag should stay to. Amen!

    • Michael Devon

      So you love America or you love the traitor Confederacy? It’s odd how you seem to think you can love both. Try reading the articles of seccession and the cornerstone speech. The CSA stood for the slavers and the idea that blacks place in life was toiling for the superior white man. But please pretend it’s about state rights even though the CSA had less state rights than the union.

  12. Kathy Schall

    Pushing people aside.
    I have enjoyed the awesome
    changes done
    over several months.

  13. DJ

    The only flag you losers should be flying is a white one, you fucking anti-American

    Flying the confederate battle flag is the equivalent of a participation trophy. Thanks for trying, kids, now take this loser award and try harder next time.

  14. Robert

    I think we need to walk the town with the flag to show are supporting of what it stands for and if you look up in history there where more colored soldiers in the confederacy army than there were in the union army so which is the more racist side and if the war had ended differently whould we be saying the us flag is racist think about that anymore if it doesn’t go over well with everyone then we need to get ride of it is the way of thinking so if we are just going to try and band everything that is not expected by everyone every thing’s going to be band and history will be band every day you are not ever going to please everyone that is one of the things that makes this country great so stop trying to get rid of that and except everyone for who they are and get over yourself and grow up

    • Ricky Bobby

      “there where more colored soldiers in the confederacy army than there were in the union army”

      Geez Bobby, I wonder why? What a complete redneck dipshit…

  15. Larry morello

    They hide like the Nazis in the night and try to intimidate people when they know they won’t be confronted they won’t face you that’s why they hide behind a mask

  16. Deborah

    Display of the confederate flag should be confined to museums. Yes, it is part of the history of the USA but, displaying this flag in any other context other than in a museum is tantamount to treason. The only true flag representing the USA is the Stars and Stripes. The same is true for displaying the Nazi swastika. History, yes but inappropriate in any other setting other than a museum. I have seen confederate flags flying in truck beds in town and was very disturbed. It is a symbolic, belligerent refusal to accept that the confederate states lost the Civil War, the bloodiest war to date involving the USA. Continuing to display the confederate flag outside of a museum is divisive and disrespectful of the UNITED States of America.

  17. JOHN T

    Arizona wasn’t even founded until after the civil war ended. But yeah, it’s part of your history.

  18. Callie

    I can understand moving the location based on room and shade, but for a flag?! Please.

    What’s most disturbing is that Thunder Road, more specifically Mr. Alexander, has been put on the defense, when he’s graciously allowed the market to grow and flourish, without cost. Cutting down his property and creating ridiculous Change.org petitions… Is this really how you thank someone for giving to the community?! How very sad Julya! Perhaps, I don’t know, acting like an adult and TALKING to Mr. Alexander about your concerns, might have been a more polite and mature move.

    So sad to see Kingman politics never change.

  19. DJ

    You guys should fly a white flag, it’s the only flag that the confederacy deserves, you traitors.

    Take your participation trophies and go home.

  20. Shawna S.L.

    It seems fairly obvious that more of the community would have benefited from attending the meeting held downtown last Monday. Some of the comments here are shameful. That being said, I do not agree with property damage, but trying to justify a symbol of hatred as a piece of history is just as ignorant as the property damage.

    • J. Solbes

      Oh please…No more kool-aid!!

  21. Jasmine Marin

    Having been involved in the community action to move the market, I have personal knowledge of the events and the people involved. I can assure you that Julya’s timeline is accurate.
    Jack’s letter is libelous, jumps to all kinds of unfounded conclusions, and blames people by name simply for engaging in civil discourse with him. Those people who drafted the petition and attended the market meeting would never have vandalized someone’s property. It is unfortunate that someone chose to do that to his private property. None of us would ever condone that action. That is why we chose to address our concerns directly to the board. Keep in mind, that ultimately the goal was simply to move the market. No one ever suggested that his flag should be taken down. Those of you that went that direction with your comments need to reread the petition.

  22. Cullin Pattillo

    Here’s my take–The Confederate Flag is a symbol of oppression of our friends neighbors and fellow Americans; a symbol of the most vile institution ever to exist in America!!!! My Great Grandfather separated from me by only three Generations fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War and I can tell you if my Grandfather is any indication of my Great Grandfathers Character he was a hero among men and had a sense of ethics and morality I have yet to see equaled even in myself. I am certain he would be incensed by the use of the Flag of the Confederacy relative to it’s current utilization. I do not believe that the owner of Thunder Road intends the display of the Confederate Flag to be anything more than an exercise of his rights and the rights of his customers to freedom of speech and expression and in that Regard I wholeheartedly AGREE with him and his PRIVATE PROPERTY SHOULD HAVE BEEN LEFT ALONE.. Please continue to sell them if that’s what you want, but you need to know something—I was at Canada Mart two weeks ago after the Sacha Baron Cohen Debacle-what a disgrace to this community—Someone in a beat up pickup truck came driving by with a full size Confederate Flag waving making a spectacle of themselves. Much to my dismay there were two 15 passenger vans full of Route 66 European Tourists just disembarking to partake in the local scene. The first thing they all did when they saw that was pick up their phones and started taking pictures and video. I am sure those pics went all over the place. So my point is this… To those of you that think this is OK… It’s not!!!! The people associated with the Sacha Baron Cohen episode and the people waving symbols of oppression are defaming our entire town—I know many people see this as only an act of exercising their rights guaranteed by the Constitution of this Great Republic and I fully understand that and you can continue if you like, but be aware of the way others view what you are doing. I doubt you’d have the same view if they were selling Nazi Flags. And before anyone tells me to go back to where I came from my Family has lived here for nearly 125 Years so perhaps you’re the one whose viewpoint is out of sync with our wonderful town!!!

  23. Charles Snelling

    Let me start this by saying Mr Alexander has every right to fly the Confederate battle flag. As a business owner, he has displayed it for years and clearly his paying customers and their patronage are support for his choice. Having said that, and after reading both comments it is clear that Ms Carey is being wrongly vilified. She simply brought a public petition to the proper forum for consideration. Like Mr Alexander displaying his flag, something she has a right to do. Too much jumping to conclusions, too many false characterizations don’t help this situation. Let me be the first to say I hope the party responsible for the vandalism has the same guts as Julya has to bring his or her grievances to a public debate. Doing it in the safety of night is cowardly.

  24. Cullin Pattillo

    Just for the record Julya Cary is a fine upstanding member of this community and those of you disparaging her are a bunch thugs you really should be ashamed of yourselves.

  25. Rebekah Miller

    I would like the writer of this opinion piece to clarify what he believes the Confederate flag symbolizes and why it’s important to him.

  26. Lindsay

    If you say not to fly the confederate flag then I say I don’t want to see the black lives matter flag or I don’t want to hear about slavery especially if they were never slaves nor were their parents. I don’t want no black history month because there’s no white history month. I don’t want schools named Martin Luther king or streets. I don’t even want my kids learning about that history. What for, theirs no reason for it right? No reason to learn about any history, Blacks, Jesus, Jews, etc right? No reason to learn from our mistakes so we don’t repeat the same. I feel like ever since Obama became president the world went backwards and everyone is so offended by history rather than learning about it and teaching not to have history repeat itself. Well guess what all I hear and see lately is hate so just keep erasing the past and the future will get worse. Wake up people ALL LIVES MATTER! Also blacks you are not the only people that live a hard life there are many people that do. Mexicans, immigrants, go live in a different country see how others live and come here they still struggle. It’s how hard you work for that life to have a better one. Get off your ass go to school, low income it’s free. Quit making excuses about flags, slavery, black lives, hard lives, poor lives, whatever. I’m over it we all have it tough.

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