Julius De Roma on David Duke donation: 'It's just free speech... whatever'

Julius De Roma, owner of Club Jager bar, seems relaxed about backlash to his support of white nationalist David Duke.

Julius De Roma, owner of Club Jager bar, seems relaxed about backlash to his support of white nationalist David Duke. WCCO/Youtube

In his first and so far only comments defending his support of David Duke, Julius De Roma did not so much as bother to put on a shirt.

Or pants with a zipper.

De Roma, exposed yesterday by City Pages as a supporter of right-wing nationalist David Duke, was tracked down at his home by WCCO, which conducted a brief interview on De Roma's doorstep. 

Since the story came out, staff at the Club Jäger bar appear to be fleeing en masse, and organizers are canceling events at the popular North Loop bar. De Roma, a successful real estate developer, seems unconcerned. 

"Well, whatever," De Roma says. "What do you expect? It's basically something that is blown up beyond what it should be." 

De Roma said his donation to Duke's U.S. Senate campaign last October was "basically free speech." Everyone else has been using their right to free speech to get away from any connections to the rapidly toxifying De Roma. 

Tuesday evening, used clothing store Buffalo Exchange became the latest to distance itself from the developer, who serves as the Uptown Minneapolis used clothing store's landlord.

In a statement, Buffalo Exchange said, "While we do rent a space from DeRoma, we are not aligned with him or his views and he has no role in our company’s values or operations. Buffalo Exchange is a family-owned business committed to celebrating diversity and individuality through inclusion and fashion. We stand against discrimination and hate in every way."

Earlier Tuesday, Huge Improv Theater, another business which has De Roma for a landlord, issued its own statement, saying "Nazis and the KKK... can fuck straight off."

The Ton Up Minneapolis Motorcyle Club also cut ties with Club Jäger on Tuesday. The club puts on "the largest single event held at Club Jäger every year," a "spring social" gathering that draws 3,500-some bikers to the North Loop neighborhood. 

In a statement, Ton Up's leaders said there are "many good staff members of Club Jäger who we know do NOT share the views of ownership," but they could no longer associate with the business itself.

"Our membership is diverse on many levels, and the very idea of what David Duke stands for is not only repugnant but goes against the very core of American and Universal values," said the biker club, which added it was starting a search for a new location to hold its 2018 event.