CapeCodOnline.com – George Brennan – Sandwich Town Clerk Taylor White is apologizing for comments he made on social media declaring September “offend Muslims month.”
On Thursday, White admitted making the comments, saying he was responding to a news story posted on Facebook about a Vermont restaurant that is no longer advertising bacon because members of the Muslim religion find the pork product offensive. White said he found that frustrating.
“The comments were made in jest,” said White, who has since scrubbed them from his page. “I’m embarrassed for the comments and I apologize.”
It will be up to the public to decide if the comments will hurt White politically. As an elected official, there is no recourse for town officials. He was first elected in 2009, winning a three-way race for the post to finish an unexpired term. He was re-elected in 2013 when he ran unopposed.
“Do everything in your power to irritate the ‘religion of peace,’” White wrote in the post. “These people NEED to be taught a lesson!”
In a separate comment, White wrote, “I will be tossing a slab of bacon.”
White said the comments were made after having a couple of beers.
“That was my first mistake,” he said.
The comments were in “poor taste,” but not racist, he said.
An attempt to access his Facebook page on Thursday indicated it had been removed. White said he has put his social media accounts on hold, but has not removed them.
Gerry Nye, a member of the town’s Republican Town Committee, defended White.
“I’m a great believer in the First Amendment,” Nye said. “Just because he’s the town clerk doesn’t mean he’s not entitled to have an opinion.”
Democratic leaders in town reacted to White’s comments with outrage and shock.
“He has some explaining to do as a public official,” Paul Houlihan, chairman of the Sandwich Democratic Town Committee, said. “That’s offensive and it’s inappropriate.”
Lou Cerrone, another member of the Democratic board, called White’s comments “offensive on so many levels.”
“This reflects on my town and me as a resident of Sandwich,” Cerrone said. “Does he speak for the town in doing that? It implicates us all in a certain sense.”
Whenever something like this happens, all the politicians, republican or democrat, get the whole thing so wrong. Everyone is taking sides and making this an issue of whether or not he has the right to make these comments. Of course he has the right to make them, this is the United States of America, we have a little thing called free speech.
The real point that everyone dances around is that anyone not smart enough to ascertain the correct levels of risk vs. reward in a case like this, is simply not fit for a leadership role in our government. If you are not working at a high enough level of consciousness to be aware of the ramifications of making these comments, and the lure of a few Facebook likes is too much for you to overcome, then you probably shouldn’t be in a position of power.
Do I think he should be removed from his position? Hell no. Let’s not be hypocritical here. If having a few too many drinks and posting inappropriate comments on Facebook were a fireable offense, we’d have a 99% unemployment rate. Luckily in a democracy we have ways of dealing with things like this, if you don’t like him, don’t vote for him next time.
As far as the actual Facbook posts? It IS insane that a restaurant is not advertising pork because they are scared to offend Muslims, but it’s in Vermont. That makes it about as surprising as that old dude from Duck Dynasty in Louisiana being homophobic. Save your ammo Taylor, on the Vermont crazy scale, this is about a 3 out of 10.
The real problem here is that the comments weren’t very funny. If you come up with something hilarious here, then it’s obvious you are joking and all is forgiven. If you are trying to be funny, the #1 rule is to, you know, be funny. Without a certain level of irony, comedy can be mistaken for reality, especially with the written word.
It’s like that episode of Seinfeld when Jerry thinks his dentist converted to Judaism just for the jokes. He tells the Rabbi he’s not offended as a Jew, he’s offended as a comedian. Well, I’m not offended by Taylor White as a citizen…
P.S. If you can’t figure out which person in the above photo got drunk and made racist comments on Facebook, here’s a hint; It’s not the brown one.
P.P.S. You have to own it Taylor, don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining. Calling September “offend a Muslim month” is racist, it may be a joke, but it’s a racist one. I am not offended by the joke in the least, I like jokes, but telling us it’s not racist means you aren’t very intelligent. Not the best thing for an elected official to expose.
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