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December 20, 2022 12:12 PM UTC

Mayor Mike's Aurora Just Keeps Getting Nastier

  • by: Colorado Pols
Aurora City Councilor Steve Sundberg (right), as part of his series of ads making fun of Aurora’s various ethnic minorities.

Turning once again to the unlikely conservative stronghold on Denver’s eastern flank, the state’s most ethnically and economically diverse suburb–where as the Aurora Sentinel’s Max Levy reports, yet another head-shaking disgrace is unfolding for Mayor Mike Coffman’s hand-picked crypto-Republican majority City Council:

An Aurora City Council member filmed himself imitating Mexicans, Arab Muslims, South Asians and other minority groups as advertisements for his sports bar in 2020, drawing scorn from a spectrum of community leaders…

Community leaders shown the videos responded with frustration and disappointment, while Sundberg did not respond to multiple requests for comment and a detailed list of questions sent Monday.

“It’s disrespectful, and it’s insulting to our city. Aurora is a very multicultural city. What’s his intent, just to get people to go to his business? That’s not the right way,” said Lucy Molina, a Chicana mother of two and community organizer who works in Aurora…

It appears that before launching his run for the Aurora City Council as part of Mayor Coffman’s slate of Republican candidates to wrest control of the Council from left-leaning members in 2021, Councilman Steve Sundberg did a video ad campaign for his Legends Sports Bar basically taking advantage of every available racist trope that might offend an ethnic minority residing in the city. From Muslims offered pork products:

To the virility of…”black beer.”

In another video promoting Legends’ dark lager beer — referred to by its German name, “schwarzbier,” meaning “black beer” — Sundberg imitates a German accent as he performs a skit revolving around the stereotype of Black men having large penises.

And as you can see from the photo above right, Aurora’s burgeoning Latino community was not spared:

In another video, Sundberg wears a Mexican falsa blanket, folded to look like a poncho, and pretends to be a translator for a kitchen employee, saying in Spanish that the man has “26 girlfriends” and asking if the viewer likes his large “conejos,” which literally means “rabbits.”

Like an episode of Family Guy, Sundberg’s saturation-level over-the-top racism is supposed to cancel itself out and become funny. But Sundberg never gets close to actually being funny, and the writers of Family Guy didn’t run for Aurora City Council to represent members of every community that Sundberg denigrated.

If you don’t see how bad this is, like Bill Engvall says, “here’s your sign.”

After branded Republicans were shellacked for the third straight election in Colorado last month, now-outgoing GOP chair Kristi Burton Brown identified school boards and municipal governments like Aurora as the party’s next line of defense–despite the fact that these are nominally nonpartisan races. Mayor Mike Coffman’s political comeback after being run out of Congress in 2018, winning the Aurora mayor’s race by an extremely narrow margin, has been about building an in-all-but-name partisan Republican City Council to carry out his agenda.

Mayor Coffman is back up for election in November of 2023, and it’s not looking good. Steve Sundberg and Aurora’s new InfoWars-friendly police chief are most of what Coffman has to show for his four years in office, having completely failed to resolve glaring conflicts with the community on the pressing issues of racial justice and police accountability. These issues were ignored by Coffman’s majority so they could crusade against mask mandates and step on each other’s message about the “crimenado” allegedly consuming the city.

And now Coffman gets to answer for Steve Sundberg’s hipster racism.


7 thoughts on “Mayor Mike’s Aurora Just Keeps Getting Nastier

    1. Racial Stereotypes, Prejudices, Bigotry?

      I prefer to save the Racism label for structural obstacles. I mean, you can be non-prejudiced and very much a Racist.

      Yes, there is a spectrum over which stereotypes become prejudices and then bigotry. But, when does it become Racist?

      One place to measure the line is when someone in a privileged (or elected) position, presents a stereotyped image of a dis-enfranchised group. That is more than disrespect, it is encouraging stereotypes and prejudices towards the target group.

      No, complementing San Antonio on its quality tacos is not racist, bigoted, prejudiced or stereotyped.

    1. One said, “can you believe O’Biden is buying heavy crude from our enemies??” I’m paying too much for my diesel fuel.

      The other: Order Pfruit a double.  He’s never going to understand.

  1. While the GOP doubles, triples and quadruples down on their racist vitriol and dog-whistle bigotries thinly disguised as humor, Joe Biden continues to be a decent, kind human being who treats little girls who interrupt state functions seriously and with dignity, invites the gay nephew of that loathsome, weeping Republican to his signing of the Marriage Equality Act, and today, he just banned the sale and ownership of all tigers and similar big cats to anyone not associated with a rescue, shelter or similar nonprofit. 

    I don’t always agree with Joe and will continue to find fault with his policies when I believe it proper, but damned if he isn’t exactly the opposite of what the GOP has become in the last decade: a kind, decent and thoughtful leader who understands loss and personal pain, and who leads from his heart and conscience rather than from ego and ignorance. 

    And on a connected note, hiring Info Wars hero-guest and proven liar Art Acevedo as Police Chief with the belief that he will solve Aurora’s crime problems while simultaneously ridding APD of its longtime infestation of racists, liars and thugs is like bringing Denny Hastert into a local high school to teach the kids how to report sexual abuse to the proper authorities. Acevedo was credibly accused of harassment in 2004 and reprimanded by his employers for a pattern of improper conduct in 2016; his leadership in Houston led to an increase in unsolved murder cases in that area. He oversaw a no-knock drug raid in 2019 that killed two innocent people and injured a handful of officers; it was later revealed that the warrant used to justify the raid was based on lies. Acevedo has fought for years against mandatory bodycams for cops and in 2019 was photographed hanging out with the Proud Boys, a fascist far-right gang of thugs who contributed to the criminal  attempt to overthrow the results of our last Presidential election.  

    Of course, it helps that I can’t even see a photo of an Aurora PD officer without thinking of Elijah McClain. If there is any other event that better shows the total lack of humanity in the heart of Aurora, the APD and its faithful servants, I do not know, nor do I wish to know, of its existence.  In a righteous world, Elijah’s spirit should haunt every one of those evil shits for the rest of their lives.  Art Acevedo will fix nothing, and will serve and protect no one but himself, his paycheck, and the status quo. 

    Some of those that work forces…well, you know the rest.  

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