Amarillo, Texas is as Normal as Ever

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Faulkner once explained that he set most of his stories in Yoknapatawpha County because there was such an inexhaustible wealth of material contained within that one slice of Mississippi there was simply no reason to branch out. That’s kind of the same way I feel about this 128-word AP news item:

A man who last year swiped a Quran from an Amarillo preacher planning to burn the scripture at a park was arrested at another event featuring the evangelist.

Police say 24-year-old Jacob Isom of Amarillo was planning to disrupt a David Grisham event Sunday that also featured the Rev. Terry Jones, a Florida preacher who gained notoriety last year for threatening to burn a Quran. Grisham, who is running for mayor, was holding a campaign rally.

You probably know Jones as the Quran-burning preacher from Gainesville. You may know Isom as the shirtless skateboarder-turned-Internet-meme who, while shirtless, broke up a planned Quran-burning in Amarillo by filching the Quran. You probably don’t know David Grisham, but he was the preacher whose attempted Quran-burning was broken up by the shirtless Isom at a rally last August. Grisham is also the founder of Repent Amarillo, an organization devoted to waging spiritual warfare against strip clubs, gay bars, and the city of Houston. He also shot Santa Claus.

As you were.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend