The mayor-elect of a small Missouri town says he considers a mass shooting suspect a friend, even if they don’t always agree.
White supremacist Frazier Glenn Miller was charged Tuesday with three counts of murder in the deaths of a 14-year-old boy, his grandfather, and another woman at a Kansas City-area Jewish Community Center.
Dan Clevenger, who was elected Marionville mayor on Tuesday, said he came to know Miller about 12 years ago as a customer at his auto repair shop.
"I considered him a friend, and everyone is entitled to freedom of speech and I didn't keep him away because he was a customer," Clevenger said. "I can just ignore things that people say."
He said Miller -- whose self-published memoir, “A White Man Speaks Out,” sits on the town library’s shelf -- was honest and respectful of others, particularly older people.
“As long as they were the same color as him," Clevenger said, laughing.
But he admits that Miller frequently expressed his hatred for some groups, particularly Jewish people.
"It was shocking that he would do something like that, but knowing him and how much was built up inside of him, I can understand why he would be the one to do that," Clevenger said. "He didn't expect to live very long. So after he done this, I kind of speculated that he might be wanting to go out proving his point big time on that. I imagine when he goes to trial, he will be able to really state his views on things, and I think he's just wanting to go out with a bang."
Even though he deplores what Miller was accused of doing, the mayor said they sometimes found common ground.
"Kind of agreed with him on some things, but I don't like to express that too much," said Clevenger.
He has expressed his agreement with Miller before, such as a letter to the editor of the Aurora Advertiser he wrote about 10 years ago.
"I am a friend of Frazier Miller helping to spread his warnings," wrote Clevenger. "The Jew-run medical industry has succeeded in destroying the United State's workforce."
He claimed Americans had “made a few Jews rich by killin' us off" and complained the "Jew-run government backed banking industry turned the U.S into the world's largest debtor nation."
Despite his claims to the contrary, Clevenger’s views haven’t changed much since then.
"There some things that are going on in this country that are destroying us,” he said. “We've got a false economy, and it's some of those corporations are run by Jews because the names are there. The fact that the Federal Reserve prints up phony money and freely hands it out, I think that's completely wrong. The people that run the Federal Reserve, they're Jewish."
But the mayor insisted he doesn’t hate anyone and deplores violence.
"I think it's terrible what Frazier did," Clevenger said. "He didn't have any right to do that and I think he should pay with his life."
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