(Facebook is forever – Promoted by Colorado Pols)
About five years ago, Kenneth Wilkison got in a Facebook dispute with Denver-area lawyer Elliot Fladen that ended with Wilkison writing, “And JEWs wonder why they are so disliked.”
Fladen is reflecting now on why he mostly ignored Wilkison’s comment.
Part of the reason, says Fladen, is that Wilkison was a “nobody,” just another extremist on Facebook, where Fladen is used to taking hits.
That changed recently as Wilkison began mounting a campaign to be vice-chair of the Denver Republican Party.
Wilkison became a itsy bitsy somebody.
A screenshot of Wilkison’s exchange with Fladen (right) verified by sources, as well as another post in 2018 in which Wilkison accuses Fladen of “circling the wagons to protect your rich, fellow Jew,” (referring to Polis) began circulating (below).
In response, just after Wilkison was elected vice-chair this week, Denver Republican Party leader Garrett Flicker said he and other newly elected Denver Republican leaders asked Wilkison to resign.
“We asked him to resign, and he did,” Flicker told the Colorado Times Recorder.
Wilkison didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
Fladen is wondering if he should have done more five years ago to expose the posts by Wilkison, who also once served as treasurer of the Colorado Log Cabin Republicans.
“What should we do when confronted by racist or anti-semitic statements from people who are nobodies in the world?” asks Fladen, who has only a vague memory of the Facebook exchanges with Wilkison, which Fladen did not unearth himself.
It’s a question we deal with every day at the Colorado Times Recorder as we expose misinformation, bigotry, and hate, much of it on social media and talk radio.
I pretty much agree with Fladen, who doesn’t have a clear answer.
“The lesson here is, the person who you think of as a nobody could become somebody,” says Fladen.
And he and I also agree that if you draw attention to them, you can “give them power.”
The proper course of action lies somewhere between filing away the offensive remarks for possible retrieval later and confronting the person directly and fully immediately, we concluded.
That’s not a ton of help. But at the end of the day, it just depends.
I’m starting to lean away from exposing the nobodies, even if they are partial somebodies.
And to the Denver Republican Party’s credit, the Wilkison example shows how ignoring an anti-semite in the short term doesn’t mean it’s going to be okay for him in the long run.