Hard-right Citizens for Liberty group hosting annual dinner at Grand Gateway Hotel, whose owners are being sued by US Department of Justice, others for discrimination

Mark this one down in the “you cannot make this up” category.

Former US Senate Candidate Bruce Whalen, who now calls his facebook presence “Whalen for Freedom” (after losing the US Senate Primary to Senator John Thune 73% to 19%) is advertising the annual dinner for hard-right group Citizens for Liberty, which they are holding at Rapid City’s Grand Gateway Hotel, with a gathering later in the “Cheers” bar on site.


“Place: Grand Gateway Hotel… Guests are invited to retire to Cheers after the Gala!”   Why do the “Grand Gateway Hotel” and “Cheers” sound familiar?  If you recall, there was a bit of a “to do” this last year there:

A recent social media post by a hotel owner in Rapid City, S.D., announcing that Native Americans would be barred from the business after a shooting in one of the hotel’s rooms has prompted swift condemnation from community leaders, a protest and a federal civil rights lawsuit.

The owner, Connie Uhre, was upset about an attack at the 132-room Grand Gateway Hotel early on March 19 in which the gunman and victim were both Native American. She also voiced more general concerns about what she described as increasing crime in the city.

“We will no longer allow any Native American on property,” Ms. Uhre, 76, wrote on Facebook on March 20. “Or in Cheers Sports Bar,” she said, referring to the on-site lounge where karaoke takes place six days a week. “Natives killing Natives.”

Read that here.

The hotel is more recently subject to a lawsuit from the US Department of Justice relating to the incident:

The US Department of Justice Department is suing the owners of a Rapid City, South Dakota hotel for saying on social media and elsewhere that it would not serve Native Americans.

The DOJ says the owners’ policies and practices violate the civil rights act.

In March, an owner of the Grand Gateway Hotel and Cheers Sports Lounge posted on Facebook that Natives were no longer allowed at the hotel and bar following an overnight shooting in their building. Days after, Native Americans tried booking rooms at the hotel twice and were allegedly denied service.


“Policies that prohibit Native Americans from accessing public places are patently offensive, racially discriminatory and have no place in our society today,” she said.

Read that here.

You know, if they wanted to demonstrate they were for ‘freedom,’ why would they pick the hotel and bar that is the subject of a lawsuit for allegedly being the opposite.

14 thoughts on “Hard-right Citizens for Liberty group hosting annual dinner at Grand Gateway Hotel, whose owners are being sued by US Department of Justice, others for discrimination”

  1. I don’t find mocking events by groups newsworthy – what’s more shocking is that you did.

  2. Whalen knows how to cater to his base, this will bring in a record number of attendees. His followers probably already pre-ordered Trump’s book at $80 each. Supporting a racist business is another great way to throw money away. These people are so dumb I may have to switch over to see if I can scam some money out of them too, it seems so easy.

    1. What ever happened to “We reserve the right to deny service to anyone”? You spout off about Mrs. Uhre’s comment, but make no mention of the fact that the room where the shooting took place was rented under false pretenses. My understanding is that an adult woman rented the room, then underage people came in for a “party” involving drugs and alcohol. These “guests” did not come in through a normal entrance, but through an open window. Has the woman been charged with contributing to the delinquency of minors? Was anyone charged with the distribution of illegal drugs and/or alcohol given to minors?
      The Green Dragon Gala has been held at the Grand Gateway for two years previous. There is no underage drinking or drugs involved at the gala.
      Bruce Whalen is and has been welcome at the Grand Gateway. That alone proves there is no true discrimination against Native Americans by the owners of the Grand Gateway.
      Perhaps the CFL still promotes our First Amendment right to Freedom of Speech. Does the person who wrote the article not believe in the Constitution of the United States?
      I also heard that CFL had been notified previous to the shooting incident, that the fellowship hall was booked for Parish events beginning in the Fall.

      1. “What ever happened to “We reserve the right to deny service to anyone”?”

        I would say it started to die when the south lost the war, and further enhanced by the civil rights act of 1964. You can refuse service, that is fine, but when you refuse on the basis of race, it isn’t right (or legal). I know you SD Seniors have a hard time accepting this still, but it is time to accept humans are all the same, regardless of ethnicity. Your way of thinking is dying out, and simply labeling respect as a liberal agenda item isn’t the flex you think it is. Have fun at the Gala complaining about “drugs, underage drinking, and liberal agenda items”, maybe you can get Kanye to stop by, and have a booth for Michael Kelly’s nazi memorabilia business.

  3. I wonder if Tonchi and her clan finally got kicked out of Blessed Sacred Church, where they usually meet. Then I assume the Belle Star was booked and maybe Grand Gateway is the only other place that would have them.Or maybe they just want to show support for the owners’ policies.

  4. Yes, the Uhre family has allowed us to use their facility for our meetings and other events and yes, Mrs. Uhre made an immediate comment out of anger when the shooting occurred. While I cannot remember all the verses in the different chapters of the Bible when I was attending parochial schools, I do remember one that stated “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. That being said, well I mean written, I will state that I am one of those ‘Hard Right’ members of South Dakota Citizens for Liberty, but actually, most of my fellow members are not as far right as me…having been personally referred to as the ‘president of the Genghis Khan Branch’ of the Republican Party!
    Back to the original point of this post, I am a disabled Viet Nam veteran. I am also of Asian descent and I have NEVER felt discriminated against during any of my ventures into the Grand Gateway Hotel. Mr. Uhre and his staff has always been respectful and helpful to me whenever I’ve shown up at his hotel’s door in my wheelchair.
    As for the Blessed Sacrament no longer being used for our meetings, it is my understanding it was because of complaints from some of the parishioners who did not want us meeting there because we are a political group…a group whose philosophies they do not agree with. That’s the rumor I heard, but one would have to pursue that directly with the church leadership.
    In closing, all this ‘discrimination’ talk about the Grand Gateway and Uhre family is fascinating. Why?…..you might ask???
    Well because they have Native Americans among their staff!

    1. If you embrace their ideology, they will accept you with open arms (e.g. Herschel Walker). See what happens when you question it though, you’ll probably get maced with some furniture cleaner within 30 seconds.

      1. I’m intrigued here.
        Whose “ideology” are you referring to? SDCFL’s? Native Americans? Grand Gateway Hotel? I know that Mr. Walker has neither attended or been invited to attend a Citizens for Liberty event. SDCFL never made any public endorsement of him because the bylaws under which SDCFL was created does not allow it.
        There have been views opposite those of SDCFL members presented at our meetings. You might remember that we were ridiculed for hosting Jamie Smith. We have hosted other Democrats as well – we are chartered as a 501 c-4 organization and one of our purposes is to provide education on issues.
        One can expect that opposing views WILL be challenged by our membership, but we respect the views of the opposition and our president has always done his best to maintain that modicum of decorum at our meetings. So as far as SDCFL meetings are concerned, if you question our views, you will NOT be maced by furniture cleaner as you childishly referenced.

Comments are closed.