Florida – A couple of remarks made by Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe regarding white people sparked anger in the council chamber on Thursday. The council is considering creating an ID card for the community that would give access to “local health services, libraries and bank accounts.” But it also would serve as an ID card for illegal residents, which is a main sticking point.
When someone expressed concern over immigration authorities wanting access to the database, things really heated up. The Mayor has previously attempted to reverse the city’s immigration policy, which said that officers encountering illegal immigrants were to write down their names and turn them into immigration officials. He wanted that policy changed in the name of “preventing crime,” according to the Orlando Sentinel.
In order to confuse authorities, Mayor Poe stated at Thursday’s meeting: “One potential solution is that we get every gringo in the world to show up on day one to get our IDs, so there’s sort of an illusion of who might or might not be…”
One woman asked him to explain that remark, to which he replied that he was referring to ‘privileged white people who don’t often face the same hardships as people of color.’
Nice thing to say to a room full of your constituents, many of whom were hard-working white folks.
Gainesville resident Nathan Skop jumped in, swore at the mayor then demanded a public apology, saying the term was derogatory and racist toward hard-working white people.
Poe refused, saying the term isn’t derogatory and that he was making fun of himself.
Later in the meeting, Skop again demanded an apology, to no avail.”
“I should not have to feel stereotyped in this chamber,” he said. “I shouldn’t have to feel ashamed to be white.”
Poe responded: “I assure you this will not be the last time you hear ‘white privilege’ in this chamber.”
Mr. Skop spoke about working his way through college, but it didn’t move the Mayor at all. Mr. Skop ran against Poe in 2012 for the City Commission, with Poe narrowly defeating him.
Poe assumed the office of Mayor in 2016. He is from Minot, North Dakota. Yes, he’s a white guy.
Some of the local citizens who contacted us are concerned that the Mayor is working toward creating an ID that could also be used to vote. It is doubtful we’ve heard the last of this Mayor and his agenda, or the ire of his constituents.
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