Metro Weekly

Anti-LGBTQ Activist Kicked Out of Bookstore for Harassing Customers

Right-wing provocateur Ethan Schmidt goes on videotaped rant over "Pride" book display at Arizona Barnes & Noble.

Ethan Schmidt (right) and the Barnes & Noble “Read with Pride” book display – Photos: Ethan Schmidt, via Twitter.

A right-wing provocateur known for his activism opposing LGBTQ rights and mask mandates was recently kicked out of an Arizona bookstore after filming himself harassing people browsing a display featuring LGBTQ titles. 

Ethan Schmidt-Crockett, 24, entered a Barnes & Noble store in Arizona — it remains unclear which branch — and filmed himself harassing people browsing in the store’s LGBTQ “Read with Pride” section.

Schmidt-Crockett and an unidentified companion entered the store on Monday, and filmed themselves mocking and harassing customers while they perused through the titles, reports the UK-based newspaper Daily Mail.

In the video, which was posted to Reddit, Schmidt-Crockett enters the store and asks an employee if there is a gay Pride section for children. When told there is a Pride section, but it doesn’t contain children’s books, Schmidt walks over to the stand while muttering about gay people.

“Here’s the gay loser Pride section,” he says. Two females browsing the books on the table look up in surprise and annoyance before walking away.

“Just really tempted to just kick it down, man,” Schmidt-Crockett says to his companion, referring to the the LGBTQ display’s placement at the center of the store as a “satanic shrine.”

A store manager, named Ryan, is seen walking over and telling Schmidt to leave the premises.

In what could be interpreted as a threat to tip over the display Schmidt’s companion described the table the books are sitting on as “unstable.” But he then adds “…much like their ideology” and takes no action.

Schmidt-Crockett continues to rant, approaching a young heterosexual couple, asking them if they are vaccinated against COVID-19. 

“Excuse me… you vaccinated … you get the COVID-19,” he asks while making a shushing sound.

The couple shake their heads and reply in the affirmative, prompting Schmidt-Crockett to say, “natural selection they said, folks.”

In the next clip, the store’s manager is seen rushing over to the couple, mentioning Schmidt-Crockett’s name out loud.

“I am going to have to ask you to leave, so if you would,” the manager says, making a gesture towards the exit.

Schmidt-Crockett says, “What’s wrong? … What’s wrong? You don’t like Ethan Schmidt …We exposed all your woke s**t!”

The manager replies: “That’s fine.”

“We already exposed it!” Schmidt exclaims.

Schmidt-Crockett and his companion exit the store, at which point the companion tried to stoke Schmidt-Crockett’s anger.

“They teamed up on you,” he says. “Do you think they knew you? They figured it out who you were pretty quickly.”

Schmidt-Crockett then replies: “Yeah, they know who I am. All these employees of these woke stores now know who I am.”

Schmidt-Crockett has become known for videotaping confrontations with people who support policies he opposes and posting it online. For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, he videotaped himself entering private businesses in Mesa that required masks to enter, and harassing the store employees, according to the Phoenix New Times.

Schmidt-Crockett was sentenced earlier this year to three years’ probation and a suspended 60-day jail sentence for harassing a wig store for cancer patients over their mask mandate. In February, he filmed himself making a scene at a bookstore over a section dedicated to Black authors and Black history, claiming that some of the books promote “anti-white racism” and questioning why there is no special section for “white history.”

Last May, Schmidt-Crockett posted a video to Twitter, in which he threatened to “hunt” LGBTQ rights supporters. In another video, he filmed himself harassing Target employees about the company’s sale of  rainbow-themed merchandise to celebrate Pride Month. In July, he was removed from a PetSmart store after demanding an employee take down a Pride flag hanging near the cash register.

In August, he filmed a video message in which he suggested that LGBTQ businesses need to be shut down and LGBTQ people placed in concentration camps in order to “eradicate monkeypox.” He also claimed in the video that the disease was spreading because gay people are having sex with their pets and children, and claimed that the government “promoting” Pride Month is making the situation worse.

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