Student Media Watchdog Association

Throw Away Your Leadership, Not Your Bag

In Editorial on December 11, 2011 at 12:03 pm

By Cordi Craig

“Janice is a bully!” This chant could be heard ringing outside of Troy City Hall on Monday December 5, amidst the plummeting temperatures and ever-evolving precipitation. Recently appointed Troy mayor, Janice Daniels, has been under fire, not only locally, but also nationally for an anti-gay Facebook post stating, “I think I am going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there.” Students from a local Troy high school parked themselves outside of the city council meeting in protest, making sure that their city’s reputation will not be enveloped by this post.

Surely, Janice realizes her mistake. A political leader at any level, especially in this day and age, must realize the detrimental effect of such a comment. Especially, when such a comment is broadcasted on an online social network that is more public than every city council meeting in the country combined. Think again. Daniels not only admitted to the comment, but also provided a less-than-sincere apology to the students, stating, “I explained to them that this is a perfect opportunity for all of us to learn how important it is to choose our words carefully. I’m human, I made a mistake, but I feel I did the right thing — I admitted my mistake, I apologized.” Whether one accepts this as an acceptable form of apology, it’s hard to believe her sincerity when she later stated that ‘queer’ is “just a word.”

Not to mention, this “apology” took three days to deliver.

Nearly 80 people lined up to give their mayor an earful and encourage her resignation at the meeting held on Monday.

Now, I’m first in line to say that everyone has a right to his or her own opinion, whether or not I agree with that opinion; however, are we really expected to just accept that one of our political leaders and role models is prejudiced?

Hopefully, we can look to this event as a serious “What-Not-To-Do,” scenario. These hurtful, inappropriate, and uncalled for words of a local leader should not be representative of the citizens of Troy, nor should they be looked upon as acceptable. Despite that Daniels’ post was deleted from Facebook, we must not delete it from the public eye. Sometimes it is through showing what shouldn’t be done, that people learn best what should.

Within the past week, Janice has been attempting to erase her mistake by utilizing several different media outlets in order to show her side of the story, CNN, Detroit Free Press, and multiple other news outlets are not simply accepting her word, though, nor acting as the scribe to her commentary. By quoting the students of Troy, as well as, other protesters, the media is combating Daniels’ apologies with the opinions and outrage of LGBTQ supporters. This portrayal is a great example of how the media can determine the conclusions that an audience draws from a story. Instead of only showing and quoting the apologies of Daniels’, it is through the display of both sides that an audience is able to draw their own conclusions. In this sense, the media outlets are performing their role as a watchdog against the government, proving that the media’s loyalties do not always lie with those in power.

CNN carries apology from Troy Mayor Janice Daniels WITH VIDEO

Protesters urge Troy mayor Janice Daniels to quit over gay slur

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