Joking Around

We spoke with that Carlsbad city councilor with the sexist Facebook post

UPDATE: KOB 4 reports that JR Doporto has been fired by his former employer, HollyFrontier Corporation.Carlsbad City Councilor JR Doporto drew widespread criticism today after KOB 4 highlighted a Facebook post he wrote mocking women who participated in Saturday's nationwide demonstrations against President Donald Trump. Here's what he wrote: After angry comments rained down on his Facebook page, he doubled down on his jokes with additional posts. Here's a glimpse, courtesy ProgressNow NM (Doporto has since suspended his Facebook account):We caught up with Doporto this afternoon on the phone to hear his thoughts. (The following transcript has been edited for length.)I was wondering, do you know anyone who attended the march on Saturday?


When you made that Facebook post that was in the news, what was going on in your head?

You know, to tell you the truth, it was 7 o'clock in the morning. I was watching the news. It's been a long, drawn-out election. People were protesting for—hell, I don't know—women's rights? There were guys there. You know, whatever they wanted to protest against. I thought, you know what? I'm a humorous guy. I always make jokes. With everybody on Facebook, if you look at my past history, that's pretty much all I do—is joke around. I like to get under people's skin, you know? Piss them off. And I thought, you know what? I said, I had enough. I feel like I have a right like everybody else. I don't think it's right to hit a woman. I've never been charged with domestic violence. I think it's wrong. It was merely a joke, and I think people are blowing it out of proportion. 

Do you see why people are angry about the joke and why it's getting the reaction that it is?

I see their point of view. I know people have rights to feel the way they want. Some people feel you shouldn't be joking about domestic violence. You know, we should be held to the highest standards. I've been asking everybody that they could give me a book that shows what standards those are, on what I can and can't say. 

I don't think anyone is disputing that you have the right to say what you want to say. I guess the question was: The march was for women's rights. And the particular joke you made was disparaging towards women and some of the stereotypes you used were—it seemed you were thumbing your nose at what was taking place. Does that make sense to you?

Yeah, yeah. I 
was thumbing my nose at what was taking place. Enough already. Let's get on. Women have had rights for ... years that I have been alive. I don't see no rights they don't have that a man has. When are they going to get on and move on? I believe if a Democratic president was elected, Hillary, I don't think we would've had those protests. 

Some of the remarks [Trump] made of women and the locker room talk and all the media it got. They came out and expressed their opinions. It's great, we live in America. If I feel like joking around about domestic violence and I feel it's okay to joke around about that, that's my opinion. If someone feels a different way, that's their opinion. As far as domestic violence goes, that is wrong. I did apologize to people.

Do you believe a women's place is in the kitchen and to clean?

No man, it's a joke. See, that's what I don't understand. Those were back in the old days. Men would joke about stuff like that. No, I had a lady comment earlier and say, 'Hell, if that was my grandpa, he would've told my grandma to get her butt in the kitchen and finish fixing my supper and shut up while you're doing it.' It's just a joke, you know. It wasn't trying to demoralize women. I've done many, many things for women. Women have came and asked to help them put up signs for kids. I've coached softball. I've been involved with a lot of children's activities. I got the sports complex completed here in the city of Carlsbad. I got the waterpark started. I've seen that completed. That's for women and their kids. Why aren't people bringing up the positive things I've done? Now that everyone's focusing on domestic violence, I'm taking a stand to say, you know what? They're right. 

Domestic violence is a serious thing. A lot of people lose their lives over it and maybe awareness should be made. It opened up my eyes to see people feel strong to domestic violence. So let's bring up domestic violence and give people help if they're going through any situation. But like I said, everybody has their right to their opinion.

Okay. I recognize you have the right to say that, but is it appropriate for an elected official to make comments like that? Of course, not only do you represent women in your district, you also represent children as well. Would you want the children in your district to see what you wrote?

For one, I don't "friend" children on my personal Facebook account. I know I have it public, but children aren't supposed to have Facebook, right? It's not okay for an elected official while he's networking, while he's on the stand, to make comments like that. What I do on my own time, I can do. I don't think it's appropriate for elected officials to drink beer. But what they do on their own time—and I don't think it's appropriate for them to do it on their own time. What they do on their own time, and what we do on our own time. We have those rights.

But even when you're not on the stand, you're still a city councilor, no? You're still representing your district. For example, would you yell what you said on your Facebook, your public Facebook page, in public?

I probably wouldn't, you know? Because I know what audience is there. I would be aware of that. ... I know where you're getting at. As an elected official, we should be held to a higher standard. We should conduct ourselves a certain way. As a city councilor, I'm still trying to find somebody to show me what way that is. What are the rules? What the the things I can't say? One thing I might be able to say, you may be offended by it. Somebody else might not be offended. Where is that line? That is KOB's—the whole title of their thing—how much is enough?

Yeah, I mean, but—

The thing where I am being rude. Or I am being unprofessional. It might seem unprofessional to you, but some other people might not have a problem with it. 

Right but, what you call unprofessional, other people might call sexist.

Right, exactly. We all have different opinions, you know?

But that's not an opinion. What you wrote is sexist.

Let me give you a perfect example. People from Santa Fe, Albuquerque, they called me with strong opinions. You know? Great. People in Southeast New Mexico, I haven't had one call from anybody. The people who know me, that know how we are? There are two different types of cultures. You guys are a lot different in Northern New Mexico than we are down in the South. People down here in Southeast New Mexico might say, 'He's got his own personalities.' We're all different. That's the great thing about America. We all have the right to our own views. A lady called me from California earlier. She was an atheist. When I got off the phone with her, I said, "God bless you." She said, "I'm an atheist." Well, she's got every right. Right? So where do we draw the line?

Do you think we should draw the line at sexism, and for that matter, racism, as far as what it's appropriate for an elected official to say?

So, sexism. Men have had domestic violence against them. I don't know where we draw the line. Look at our president, hell. He's sexist every day. What's this world coming to? It's crazy.

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