Earlier this summer, Madison Lake Police Chief Dan Bunde was on vacation at Yellowstone National Park. Like many tourists from all over the globe, he was drawn to the park’s natural splendor – the geysers, the waterfalls, the hot springs.
But something was not right on this sunny day in this beautiful place. As he sat among the other sightseers, he pulled out his phone and began to record a monologue. Zooming in on his nose and his reflective sunglasses, he speaks softly, confidentially, into the microphone.
“So I’m sitting here at Yellowstone Park in the good old U.S.A. -- a proud veteran...” he says, tipping his hat to display the American flag logo. “...And listen to the languages I hear.”
He turns the phone around like a periscope, taking in the chatter from some of the fellow tourists talking and laughing near him. It’s difficult to make out exactly what languages are being spoken before he fixes the camera back on his face.
“All I hear is blalalalala,” he says, fluttering his tongue in his mouth. He scoffs. “Wake up, America.”
Click here to watch the full video.
Bunde was not immediately available for comment, so we cannot know for sure if this was really, truly the first time he realized that there are other people in the world who speak other languages and travel places to see things. (What a beautiful moment for him!)
All Bunde would say is that the video happened “in his personal life” rather than when he was on duty. His Yellowstone monologue has since been taken down, and the city of Madison Lake didn’t respond to interview requests.
Madison Lake City Administrator Curt Kephart told KEYC that people should be “cautious” before calling Bunde a racist, and that the police department has his “full support.” Since the person who tipped him off didn’t identify themselves, he said, and since the video is “not a city issue,” they won’t be delving further into it.