Six days after Donald Trump's election, peaceful protesters stood oblivious to impending hostility outside Trump National Golf Course in Rancho Palos Verdes. The small group, including a kid and an elderly woman, waved signs including "Love Trumps Hate," "No H8" and "Trump: Not Suitable for Young Viewers." Spotting the scene, an irked Arthur Christopher Schaper, who calls California Democrats "a bunch of pansies," parked his vehicle, grabbed a camcorder and, without introduction, launched into a filmed interrogation. Over and over, he ignored answers and stuck with one question, "Why?" Labeled a heckler, he defiantly remained, turning his attention to a middle-aged man holding a poster that proclaimed, "RIP Civility, 11-8-2016."
"I'll tell you what," he lectured the man. "What you're calling incivility is something we kind of need in this country because political correctness is killing our culture."
Fast becoming one of Southern California's most obnoxious conservative, Bible-quoting activists, Schaper originally resisted jumping on the Trump bandwagon because of earlier pro-gay and pro-choice stances. There was also a worry in his mind that the real estate developer might be part of a conspiracy to elect Hillary Clinton. He favored Scott Walker in the GOP primaries because of the Wisconsin governor's war on public employee unions. When Walker faded, he liked Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.
Nowadays, the tall, husky, 36-year-old Torrance resident eagerly awaits January's inauguration. It helped that the New York billionaire re-tweeted Schaper's election-eve column at Townhall.com, "What I Like About Trump and Why You Need to Vote for Him." Wearing an undersized Trump campaign T-shirt, he almost broke down and sobbed speaking to a post-election crowd in Victorville. "[Trump] kicks ass!" Schaper said. "He beat down the media better than anybody. I love this! To see all of these creepy, crappy, media frauds getting kicked in the teeth. It's so precious!"
Slamming progressives as racist, fascist and "pro-government," Schaper's excitement for construction of a "big, beautiful wall" on our nation's border with Mexico can be summed up in one of his Tweets, "How do you like us now, bitchez?"
A self-styled "citizen journalist and activist" who is secretive about how he makes a living, Schaper serves as voluntary director of California's branch of MassResistance, a socially conservative, Massachusetts-created organization. (His neighbors say he's a grocery store employee, but he has adamantly refused to respond to multiple inquiries over several days.) That group supports state mandates against abortion, opposes government interference with bullying, objects to FBI and CIA hiring of gay employees, and dismisses all discussions of homosexuality that aren't condemnations. Such stances caused the Southern Poverty Law Center to designate MassResistance a hate group.
For his part, Schaper's duties include what he touts as an "aggressive" attack on the "vulgar, virulent homosexual lobby" that espouses "Orwellian nonsense." He believes too many conservative organizations aren't confrontational enough to be effective. "LGBT bigotry," "LGBT oppression" and the "LGBT hate machine" require constant battle because of the "assault on liberty, life and reality." In short, gay Americans are, he maintains, the real bigots in our society.
And Schaper is dreaming big. He hopes Trump turns California—"the land of fruits and nuts"—into Republican-controlled territory, where homosexuality and transgenderism are officially deemed "mental disorders." In his view, the heterosexual majority should withdraw civil-rights protections for same-sex couples. "Not all of us are fruits and nuts" who will tolerate "the malaise of cultural Marxism [that] is destroying California," he observed.
Schaper, who says he has taught in public and charter schools, led a May protest against Target in Torrance after the store's corporate headquarters in Minneapolis announced a policy of "inclusion" for transgender people's restroom access. Local Target management attempted to quash the gathering—even calling police—but Schaper refused to back down, noting he has a constitutional right to protest. He espoused an unequivocal message: "Transgenderism is a disorder—not something to be accommodated, not something to be recognized or celebrated."
The following month, MassResistance confronted Target's stockholders, who'd gathered at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. Protesters repeatedly shouted, "Boycott Target!" The Orange County Register quoted Schaper uttering the old line "It's Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve."
Energized by the skirmishes, Schaper targeted a state official. He memorialized the event online, commenting, "[We] pounded the pro-LGBT political establishment on June 29 by staging an in-your-face protest at the office of [state] Senator Ricardo Lara in Long Beach. Senator Lara, a 'radical' gay activist, is the sponsor and main force behind the infamous [California Senate Bill] S1146."
Lara wants the proposed legislation to ban the use of taxpayer funds to discriminate against gay and lesbian citizens. Schaper, however, sees a nefarious plot. "[The bill's goal] is to force Christian colleges to surrender their opposition to homosexuality and transgender behavior," he wrote in July. "Let's be blunt. The LGBT movement is not about individual liberty, but collective tyranny."
After receiving critical online comments, he responded gleefully, "The LGBT haters are attacking me on Twitter, too. . . . But we have a promise in Isaiah 54:17."
Lately, Schaper has targeted Taiwan, potentially on the verge of being Asia's first nation to recognize gay marriage. He has issued statements calling for that country to reject anything but "natural marriage" because "gay marriage is, in fact, a Trojan horse full of unintended, negative consequences. . . The devastating impact to public health and individual rights cannot be ignored."
In an interview with OC Weekly, the California native sought to slightly soften his persona, stating, "I know people whom I am friendly with regardless of their sexual feelings." But he loathes gay activists because, he says, they've "co-opted" the civil-rights movement that belongs to black citizens because "people are born black." Undercover videos recorded at gay bars by ex-gay-movement activists led him to conclude, "Most of the gays themselves admitted that they were not born that way." Molested children become gay, he thinks.
Distinguishing himself from Westboro Baptist Church antics Schaper calls "evil," he isn't a single-issue whiner. Latinos who don't obey Republican Party orthodoxy are also in his crosshairs. For example, he has called the Weekly's Gabriel San Román a racist on Twitter. In December, Congress failed to enact the Chicano Park Preservation Act, which would have protected artistic public murals in San Diego. According to Schaper, all Chicano art is "anti-American" and based on "neo-Nazi hatred." (San Román, who doesn't tolerate fools, responded, "Blah, blah, blah.")
But hoping to prove his point, Schaper blogged about a "particularly disturbing" photograph of one Chicano mural he thinks celebrates a Nazi swastika. He didn't know the symbol is the reverse of Adolf Hitler's propaganda piece and originated in ancient Buddhism. That same mural also contains a Chinese yin and yang symbol that's hardly adored by racists.
We'd never heard of Schaper until November, when he commented on an article about an entertaining radio appearance by ex-OC Congressman Robert K. Dornan, who engaged in rumble-style, right-wing politics in this region during the 1970s and '80s.
(Say what you want about Dornan; he was, unlike the subject of this column, an original character, not a copy cat.)
This month, Schaper ranted that the mainstream media ignored coverage of Olga Cox, an Orange Coast College instructor and immigrant who told students Trump is a white supremacist. Never mind that every major SoCal news outlet covered the event. In dozens of near-frantic tweets, this community organizer wanted more stories, writing: "Shame on Orange Coast for putting nut bags before students."
Any PR war hoping to change hearts and minds must deliver its messages to the masses. Schaper obviously isn't a scholar or a mature adult, yet he appreciates that tenet. After his confrontation at the Trump golf course, he made sure the showdown is available for worldwide consumption. He posted his video on YouTube and added a headline: "Delusional Rich White Spoiled SJWS Protest at Trump Golf Course (Very Sad!)."
R. Scott Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; and hailed by two New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing Southern California law enforcement corruption.