I come from a very quiet, suburban area, Troy, Michigan where the biggest news that ever happens is when a new store is added to our city mall, Somerset. However, recently, the big news with my hometown involves our newly elected mayor, Janice Daniels. This past June, she made an extremely inappropriate facebook status that involved a slur against gay people. She wasn’t mayor yet, but she knew she was running by then, and didn’t find it wrong to post this status. My town is normally very conservative, but recently it’s been shifting to become a little more liberal. Either way, although I’m conservative, I still find this to be extremely disgraceful to Mayor Daniels and my city as a whole.
My old high school rallied together to form a protest against Daniels at City Hall. They made it onto CNN among other news medias, which you can view at these links:
Daniels argues that she made a mistake and that she apologizes for offending anyone. However, people aren’t satisfied. They want her to step down because they don’t find her to be a proper representation of Troy. Machiavelli talks about whether or not it’s better to be loved or feared as a leader, but what happens when your citizens choose to do neither? I was extremely shocked that the mayor of Troy would find it okay to post that kind of a facebook status, but I’m not sure what would be an appropriate role of action from this point on. However, out of this entire experience, I’m proud of my city with everyone coming together to support the people in the town who were offended and hurt. If it wasn’t the gays, it could be a specific race, or economic status that gets discriminated against. Daniel’s excuse is that she wasn’t technically the mayor when she made the status and she also was just trying to make a joke, but I don’t find this something to joke about. What would be an appropriate form of action at this point? Should Daniels be forced to resign or should the city council give her some lenience? People use the term “gay” in a negative way everyday. Do we need to change the social norms for everyone, or just those in positions of power? If you were really going to take this seriously, it should be banned that the term “that’s so gay” be used in everyday language. At what point does this cross over the point of freedom of speech and equality?