My concern about Janice Daniels being our mayor is that she seems to have no intention of representing all of the people of Troy, but only those who are like her. She has even said that her votes represent only the people who voted for her.
That is problematic, I think, because as her tenure continues, we learn repeatedly that Janice Daniels has a tremendous patience for bigotry. Troy is the second most diverse city in Michigan. How can such a diverse city be led by someone who seems to support a social agenda of intolerance?
Examples of her embracing and protecting intolerance abound.
In December, Mayor Daniels demanded that a supposed “expert on transit centers” be given 20 minutes to speak to council. When her demands were rejected by other council members, she had her “expert” come in and speak for five minutes at public comment, during which time he threw around repeated cultural and ethnic slurs. The man who calls a train from Detroit a “mugger mover” and the “heroin express” apparently deserves 20 minutes under the Janice Daniels administration. This was her noted expert?
When a Troy resident and Daniels supporter used a racial slur against Chinese people, did Mayor Daniels immediately demand his apology? No. Did she apologize to Troy’s hugely successful Chinese community? No. Did she apologize in Troy’s name to Dr. Sook Wilkinson, Chair of the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission, who actually came to the next council meeting to protest his slur? No. Instead of vilifying the man, Janice Daniels appointed him to the all-important Troy Planning Commission. Again, bigotry is rewarded.
When a gay woman and two high school students from the Gay Straight Alliance at Troy High School spoke to Mayor Daniels about her attendance at a suicide prevention meeting for gay students, Janice Daniels said famously, "I will bring in psychiatrists who will tell you that the ‘homosexual lifestyle’ is dangerous." When asked to apologize for this and other objectionable things she has said about the LGBT community, the mayor apologizes just before assuring us that everything she has said is true.
Of course, everything she says is not true. But one thing I have learned, bigotry is not only rewarded by Mayor Daniels, it is embraced.
Mayor Daniels has written, “I never ran on a platform as a social commentator. I have absolutely no desire to continue any discussion on human sexuality--that is not why I ran for office.” That’s odd. Janice Daniels talked about this issue twice on mainstream radio in recent weeks and brought in anti-LGBT activist Gary Glenn to speak before the city council. Glenn is infamous for his desire to criminalize homosexuality. Really? Criminalize it? Is that what we’ve come to?
In a radio interview Janice Daniels did after taking office last fall, she said, “I want to use this new role that I have as mayor of this great city to promote the healthy aspects of society.”
The people of Troy must impress upon Janice Daniels that her role is NOT to be a social commentator. We do not want her to run our lives. We do not want her to critique or guide our religious, ethnic or sexual identities. We do not want her deeds to represent us as Christians.
We want her to stop promoting herself and her social agenda and get back to cutting ribbons and running meetings properly.
Keep Troy Strong blogger