Heidi Ganahl’s campaign for governor is facing controversy as she deals with a potential COVID-19 outbreak at a recent campaign event featuring right-wing media personality Dennis Prager, who tested positive for the virus this week after saying he’d been trying to catch it in order to gain immunity in lieu of getting vaccinated.
Ganahl, the leading Republican gubernatorial candidate in Colorado, is now being faced with questions about her decision to host Prager, who spread misinformation about vaccines and COVID-19 – and potentially spread the virus itself – at her Oct. 10 event in Colorado Springs.
Less attention, however, has been paid to Ganahl’s decision to share the stage with Prager in light of his history of racist comments.
For example, Prager once decried “the left” for making it “impossible to say the n-word any longer,” which he called “disgusting” and “a farce.”
“The left runs the country in the culture,” he said, adding, “the more the left controls the more totalitarian it is. That is not an attack, it’s a statement of fact, like two plus two equals four.”
“It is idiotic that you cannot say the n-word. Idiotic,” Prager said.
Prager also once said that there’s “almost always a valid reason” when cops kill unarmed Black men. Prager is the founder of PragerU, which is best known for short videos on social media promoting conservative views to young people. PragerU was recently the subject of mockery on Twitter for saying that in trying to be anti-racist, young people are “fighting America itself and the very values the country was founded on.”
Between digs at transgender people and drag artists, race was also a topic of conversation at Ganahl’s Oct. 10 campaign event with Prager. In particular, Prager compared “the left” to the Ku Klux Klan and said that college dorms that are geared toward creating community for Black students amount to segregation.
“All black dormitories on a college campus, two groups are for this: the Ku Klux Klan and the left,” Prager said. “Conservatives are against it; they’re for integration. … They will make segregated dorms and liberals will continue to vote left, that is the moral scandal of our time.”
Ganahl, a CU Regent-at-Large, chimed in that CU Boulder has such a dorm before changing the subject.
The Lucille B. Buchanan hall, named for the first African American woman to graduate from CU, is a living community for Black students and their allies, and according to its website, “aims to encourage first-year students to grow in their identities and cultivate a sense of belonging” and provides students “the opportunity to engage in dialogue around the cultures and diversity of the African and Black diaspora.”
Ganahl has also been an outspoken critic of critical race theory, an academic concept that acknowledges the existence of systemic racism, something many conservatives, including Prager, say does not exist.
As regent, Ganahl recently attempted to ban critical race theory on campus.
Ganahl did not return an email asking if she shares Prager’s views on race and the n-word.
Prager announced he has COVID Monday on his Youtube channel, just a few days after his event with Ganahl.
“It is infinitely preferable to have natural immunity than vaccine immunity and that is what I have hoped for the entire time,” Prager said. “Hence… I have engaged with strangers, constantly hugging them, taking photos with them knowing that I was making myself very susceptible to getting COVID… [It is] what I wanted, in the hope I would achieve natural immunity and be taken care of by therapeutics. That is exactly what has happened.”