A social media post has sparked hundreds of angry responses and has been a “learning” experience for a Georgetown city council member.
Current council member and former mayor Karen Tingle-Sames wrote a Facebook post earlier this week accompanying a photo of president-elect Joe Biden, vice- president-elect Kamala Harris and their families. “Doesn’t this make Americans proud! Crack pot little girls Hunter and creepy sell-out China Joe. Let’s hope it’s not over yet! If it is this is Americans punishment for All our sin and rejection of God..there is nothing on this stage representing Godly values.”
Almost immediately the post ignited comments in support and opposition. After a few hours Tingle-Sames said she pulled the post because a “sweet, kind lady asked me to and I respect her dearly.”
“This has certainly been a learning experience,” she said about the response. “I could have written it better. It wasn’t written in an eloquent way. I knew our country was divided, but I didn’t know our community was this divided.”
Others said Tingle-Sames’ statement was racist and inappropriate for an elected official.
A News-Graphic reader, who asked to remain anonymous wrote, “I am sending this not because of political differences with this official, but because I think this post is a stain on our community. These types of vitriolic exchanges continue the divisive politics in our country.
“This person represents a city that is growing and diverse and yet this type of racist language is so common place. How is ‘crack pot,’ not overtly racist. That is not about political differences. Her shield of Christianity is such hypocrisies. These types of disgusting posts should be addressed by this council member who just won re-election to represent citizens of this community. People should be held accountable for the information and opinions they put out in the world.”
Harold Dean Jessie, a Georgetown citizen, said Tingle-Sames should resign from the council.
“I continue to be disappointed in Karen’s history of marginalizing minorities,” Jesse said. “Which now includes African Americans, poor people and LGBTQ and yes, even people who live in apartments. Her history of using religion as a measure of how people have voted as a judgment on our country, I don’t understand.
“As a community we must stand up and say, ‘enough.’ She can resign and should. More changes will come two years from now, ether way. As a community we have opened our city as a place of commerce and all are welcomed. We are not like our past. We live in 2020 and our city council members should embrace all, even people who are not like them.”
Several people reached out to her personally about the post, and for the most part was positive, Tingle-Sames said.
“Some were rude and I didn’t listen to them, but others were considerate,” Tingle-Sames said. “It was time for me to listen and learn. I’m willing to talk with anyone one-on-one and to hear their side.
“I’ve always been controversial. I still have the same sentiments I expressed, but it could have been written better and more clearly.”
Some people felt her remark, “crack pot girls,” was directed at Kamala Harris, who is the first woman and the first woman of color to be elected vice president, and her family. Although Tingle-Sames is not ready to concede the election to Biden and Harris, she said her written frustration was directed entirely at Biden and his family.
“I’m worried that our Christian values are declining,” she said. “That’s what this is all about.”
In a typed statement, Tingle-Sames said, “I am a Christian conservative. I worry about where the Godly values of America are heading. The protection of life just to name one issue.
“I do not feel that the Biden’s represent those traditional Godly values, but if the vice president is legally elected than I will accept that he is president of the United States. Once the Electoral College has voted on the winner, we will all have to learn how to live together and respect each other’s thoughts, no matter what views we have. And I will try and take my own advice.
“We are a very divided country. I did not realize how divided our community was until making that post. This has been a learning opportunity for me and I have already reached out to some that were opposed to my comments.”
Georgetown’s city ordinances require a unanimous vote of the city council to have an individual member removed.
Mike Scogin can be reached at email@example.com.