What is going on in our fair (pardon the pun) city?!
I saw the city's Facebook post about the city not tolerating bigotry and being deverse etc. and wondered what was going on.
I remember when a city employee created a gigantic Trump/Pence yard sign before the election. That action was the catalyst for so many conversations across the community. Was the sign legal? It appeared to be - and, to be fair, a similar sign supporting the candidacy of City Councilor Gordon Eddington had been hanged in the same yard the year before. Was it in poor taste, an affront to the many citizens of Geneva who embrace diversity over the ethnocentrism being touted then by the Trump campaign? Opinions were mixed, but many seemed to come out against it for its sheer size. When balloons were hung for Trump's birthday on the same property, it seemed overkill to many. Then white supremacists in Virginia actually killed someone protesting Nazis, and the people rabidly supporting Trump went into the shadows a bit.
The shadows, I've said all along, is the last place we want these people. And now, it seems, another city employee with Trump-like views may have been brought into the light. There will almost certainly be spirited debate, again. First amendment rights to post material as racist/xenophobic as one wants to post on his or her own time? Or does the city have a responsibility to ensure that those who represent it don't hold - or, at least, publicly express - these types of beliefs? Hmm.
At least one thing should be clear: the fact that a city employee felt so comfortable posting a huuuuuuge Trump yard billboard, and birthday balloon yard celebration... and the fact that a city police officer felt so comfortable posting confederate flags and "trust me, I'm white" messages on Facebook... may just be an indication that holding these types of beliefs isn't as frowned upon within the City of Geneva as some expressed here that they wished it to be.
We'll all be waiting and watching to see what happens next. In the meantime I sure hope people will take the city manager up on his request. If you witness discrimination, harassment, racism, or hate speech, report it to a city councilman or leader.
And I'll add this: report it to EVERY city councilman. And every city leader. And to the Finger Lakes Times, and FingerLakes1, and the Geneva Believer, and [insert any new publications here]. Share it on Facebook, even. Our goal should be to bring people expressing racist, bigoted, and/or homophobic views into the light.