Cancel culture: Juneau turns wrath on local artist over alleged ‘terroristic threats’


A 47-year-old artist accused of posting seemingly “terroristic” notes around Juneau that indicated he might shoot children has been shunned by the progressives of the capital city who used to call him a friend.

Mitchell Watley, illustrator of children’s books that have been sold all over the capital city and on Amazon, is no longer featured at any of the stores that used to display his work, which is a collaboration with his wife, writer Sarah Asper-Smith. Books such as “I Would Tuck You In” and “You Are Home With Me” have been removed from stores such as Kindred Post, Alaska Robotics, Rainy Retreat, and Hearthside Books.

The owner of Kindred Post wrote a long Facebook post condemning Watley, who has not yet been convicted.

The book illustrator’s relationship with his publisher, Sasquatch Books, an imprint of Penguin Books, has been terminated.

Watley has been released on bail from Lemon Creek Correctional Institution and is on supervised release with conditions, as he awaits trial for the charges of having made terroristic threats. He is required to stay away from children, schools, and parks and to turn in all guns that he may own to police.

Watley, whose only other encounter with the court system was an expired tag on a vehicle back in 2011, will have a preliminary hearing on April 11 for one Class C felony charge of making terroristic threats.

Although the media has all but convicted him, it’s unclear if Watley intended to make a threat or was improvising off of a popular social media trend known as the “Feeling Cute Challenge.” The challenge is to take a photo of yourself and label it “Feeling Cute. Might (fill in the blank) later. idk [I don’t know].”

Watley is accused of terroristic threats for designing small cards with imagery of a transgender flag, an automatic weapon, and the words “Feeling Cute, Might Shoot Some Children.”

The cards were left at Foodland, the State Office Building, and Costco on the weekend of April 2, which was had been declared by transgender activists as “Transgender Day of Vengeance,” which had not been labeled a terroristic threat by law enforcement.

Some residents of Juneau were frightened and alarmed by Watley’s notes because earlier that week, a 28-year-old who identified as transgender shot three children, all age nine, and three adults at a Christian school in Nashville, Tenn., killing them all.

That was the backdrop that made Watley’s alleged crime so concerning. Police traced the license plate that was seen on a Costco surveillance camera to Watley and he was arrested on April 3 at a home two blocks from where he and Asper-Smith live in downtown Juneau.

It’s unclear if Watley was making a threat or an editorial comment in the notes, but Juneau, the Alaska media, and national media reports have decided it was indeed a threat against exclusively trans children. Whatever Watley was trying to communicate — humor, irony, or thinking outside the box — he clearly sent a scary signal to an insular community that has turned on him with an over-the-top reaction.

Whether Watley will be able to get a fair trial in the capital city is also not clear, since the entire town appears to have turned against him. His court records still do not list an attorney.


  1. “It’s unclear if Watley was making a threat or an editorial comment in the notes, Juneau, the Alaska media, and national media reports have decided it was indeed a threat against exclusively trans children.”
    This statement is absurd Suzanne, as there has been no mention of a “threat against trans children.” Granted the sentence, itself, is poorly constructed but there is just nobody that has decided it was a threat to trans children, other than MRAK.

    • Bill, you say, “there is just nobody that has decided it was a threat…” However, its blindingly obvious the police decided he threatened someone and therefore arrested him. Let us try together to be very thoughtful in our commentary. Be blessed this Easter my brother.

  2. This is a little more clear then the first article, but I feel like I am still lacking critical information in understanding this. This may not be a critique necessarily on the reportage, but on nature of the incident and the information at hand.

    I have been telling those to whom it may be of concern to limit their activities in blue areas, because if you get caught up in blue law and blue juries it can be equivalent to a witch trial as far as fair jurisprudence.

    Julie Kelly wrote about this today >


  3. We are not talking about a possible threat to another adult, here. This guy is accused of making threats against children. I’m not even happy that he is on supervised release. IF he is properly investigated and IF he is cleared of making these threats, we can talk about not ‘being mean’ to him.

    Until then, keep him closely monitored and away from kids. ALL kids.

    • Has anyone connected this to Trans Day Of Vengeance that was planned before the school shooting but happening the Saturday after? It’s how I’ve seen the trans flag and military type weapon shown together lately.

      Can’t wait to hear the court proceedings on this.

      • A blunt question here: What, exactly is the ‘Trans Day Of Vengeance’. 100% sincere question as I had not even heard the title before a few days ago? Anybody have info on the origination of this?

        • I didn’t choose the tile but it was to be little more than a show that trans folks have guns too. Hoping for change in the over the top harassment, assault and death they face.

          Like what the Black Panthers did in California all those years ago. Gun laws sure did get a look-at there after that. And race. Hoping folks in this hyper gun owning country, that their haters would see they are real persons deserving respect we give any human being.

          Of course it lost steam with the shooter in Nashville.

          I don’t know a lot about it-this was the gist I got.

          • Thanks for the info.

            In the purest sense, I’m a 2nd amendment guy. If you are an American citizen, not barred from owning firearms (crazy or prior felonies), then arm yourself and provide for your own self defense. The 2nd amendment does NOT differentiate who is or is not allowed to arm themselves.

  4. With all the recent events I must say, and this is not easy, I agree with Yankee. We don’t know the actual meaning or intention of the note but, c’mon “…might shoot some children.” Really? What was he thinking? The schools and their staff were freaked out. Juneau has a very biased media which he should have taken into account as well. Costly mistake on his part.

  5. Billy, Billy, Billy… Absurd is as absurd does.
    The idiocy of arguing whether alleged threats were made against special trans kids or just regular kids notwithstanding, this Watley guy deserves a fair judicial process (Innocent until proven guilty… you know the thing!). I hope we can all agree that, if found guilty, a person who makes threats or commits violence against children deserves the maximum penalties. It’s a hard subject for some to grasp (you know who you are..), but people who threaten and/or commit acts of violence against children are the problem that needs to be addressed, not “scary looking” guns.
    Most (if not all) Alaska schools are severely lacking in security protocols to keep nut jobs from committing gun violence. Shamefully, we protect most federal buildings and employees better than we do schools and students. I’ve brought this up before with teachers and been shouted down with arguments that schools already don’t have enough funding. “Where will the money come from!?” I’m sorry, but to me the most important job of any school should be to keep children, teachers and staff safe from a lunatic shooter; so you make the necessary cuts to other programs and do whatever is necessary to make sure no kid gets shot while in school.
    The solution is simple, but it doesn’t fit the narrative and the leftist goal to keep pushing an agenda to slowly disarm America and increase government control.

    • The solution is not simple.
      Many (most) schools have beefed up security at the front entrance, with locked doors that you can only enter when staff sees you & buzzes you in.
      The Tenn. shooter shot out all the glass at a side entrance and walk through the door.
      If we make school doors steel w/ no windows, a shooter can shoot out low positioned school room windows & enter that way.
      What next? Concrete bldgs w/ no windows on the ground floor?
      There are a few Federal bldgs/courthouse in ANC. and there are over 80 schools.
      The “solution” is better human beings, that have morals & follow the law.
      It is not a simple solution.

      • I’m with you, George. We keep trying to solve spiritual problems with giant, bloated, programs. How about we get back to our roots and simply follow 10 simple rules. Last I looked “Though shalt not commit murder” was in there.

  6. Why are we labeling this person’s deserved public shunning as “cancel culture”? Maybe the police missed something. Maybe the green M&M made him do it. Ya’ll want some real “cancel culture”? Look at what the Tennessee State Assembly did yesterday.

      • Of course he is innocent until proven guilty. But, at the moment he is under investigation for threatening to harm children. I see nothing wrong with keeping him handy until the investigation either clears him or sends him to a judge.

  7. “ Trans day of vengeance” bespeaks a time of reprisals against those who have ‘mistreated’ the trans population. I believe the trans attack on the Christian school was a form of reprisal against the straight children and adults who happened to be vulnerable and somehow ‘ guilty’ of mistreating the dead shooter , a woman. I personally think the writer in Juneau was trying to provide a sublime warning to the children of Juneau ( or everywhere) to be on the alert for further attacks. Likely the writer did not want to be overt in his warning as he would suffer consequences from the ‘ blue’ community in small town Juneau. As an author of good childrens books he probably has a genuine concern for his clientele and his motive was for their protection not harm.

    • You may be correct about Watley. And he is due a fair investigation and, if warranted, a fair trial. But until that is completely cleared up, he needs to be monitored and kept away from any and all kids. I will not take chances with children’s safety.

  8. Reading the card, it’s an edgy meme that should have stayed on 4chan. Normies perceived the opposite meaning, and he deliberately spread it so normies could read it.

    • 4Chan types sometimes do what this guy did, putting their memes out in public to trigger cognitive dissonance among people with liberal politics. Examples are posting flyers around Boston saying “It’s OK to be white” or “Muslims are right about women”. Things with plain text that liberals would prima facie find offensive, but forces them to argue their beliefs which either contradict their values or betray their bigotry. This Juneau guy failed hard using very online jokes and putting an image of guns and something that could be construed as a threat.

      • In reference to this. I have to say, between the people from other countries coming in who think women are less than a dog, over radical feminists, and now the transgenders beating up on women in sports and making womanhood look like a joke, I fear us women are going back into the dark age real effing quick here in the good ole USA. Thanks to you bunch of radical twits, and to all the women out there who think all this BS is ok and will not hurt us in the end.

  9. Examples:
    Airport… when there, one must never utter the word “bomb.” (This holds true even when one is an artist.)
    Shops… never wander around in public wearing a mask while holding a firearm. (Life expectancy will be dramatically shortened.)
    Advice to all creative people – avoid learning these lessons the hard way.

  10. I no longer believe in shaming since reading
    Loretta outwater-cox’s The Storyteller Club book. Shaming is pagan.
    If the illustrator get a misdemeaner, that’s enough punishment for him.

  11. Oh Geeze, these over sensitive people can’t even get the jest of a badly tasted yet too close to the truth meme joke anymore.
    It was a transgender who shot up the school, pretty sure it was created in reference to that, especially when you have transgenders online making real threats. Is anyone picking those people up yet.??

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