MANITOWOC – A Facebook post by Manitowoc County Supervisor Mike Williams has come under fire after the Lakeshore United Visionaries publicly condemned what the organization called its “outdated, offensive and inflammatory language”.
“We are extremely disappointed and appalled by Mike Williams’ latest Facebook post,” LUV said in a July 23 Facebook post. “… The outdated, insulting and inflammatory language used against the former Alder [Aaron] Bailey, other council members and Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes is totally unacceptable and we condemn his testimony. “
LUV’s post was written in response to a July 22 post by Williams that read:
“Boy! Am I impressed with our Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes! Much like Manitowoc’s own Negro politician who sadly failed to talk about his past, which included not living in the district he was elected to, didn’t pay child support and lost his driver’s license because of it and got charged on the battery! Our great councilor didn’t think it appropriate to challenge Bailey’s past antics until her feet were held by the fire. Mandela Barnes is bringing his own luggage to the US Senate race! was chastised for overdue property taxes, unpaid parking tickets and increased security costs. He compares our very capable Senator Ron Johnson to the era of Joe McCarthy when Barne’s legacy should be better highlighted than the ‘Charlie McCarthy’ show! “
Barnes, the first black man to serve as lieutenant governor of Wisconsin, recently announced his candidacy for the US Senate. During his tenure as lieutenant governor, Barnes was criticized for overdue property taxes, unpaid parking tickets and an increase in security costs as lieutenant governor.
Aaron Bailey, a former Manitowoc City Council member and the first black man on Manitowoc City Council, faced allegations that he was not living in the residence he claimed. After much back and forth between Bailey and the city council, the matter was taken to the Wisconsin Attorney General.
In 2019, Bailey was found guilty of criminal damage to property with a domestic violence modifier in Manitowoc County District Court and was fined. The charge of administrative offense and behavior was dismissed and read out during the conviction.
Bailey was appointed to the seat of District 7 by the council in July 2020, but then lost his candidacy for election in April 2021.
Williams serves on the Manitowoc district board of directors, who also serves on the district finance committee and staff committee. He also served as an alderman for the Manitowoc Common Council in 2018 and was Mayor of Ripon in the 1970s.
Williams said he was not racist and intended his post to “make people think”.
“What I’ve been trying – well, it’s hard to explain I guess,” he said. “It was about creating some kind of reaction. I know better than to write what I’ve written like I want everyone to say, ‘What a great article.’ It was an attempt to get people to realize or think about that if you happen to be a certain color or race or something, no one can go wrong. “
The LUV statement said they welcome and encourage civil discussion from the community, but Williams’ contribution is not “constructive”.
“We hope that a seated individual on the District Board and through Human Services will serve our community to perform their duties and daily lives with understanding, education, and loving care while serving a population of many different races, origins, sexual orientations, and genders. Income level and lived experience, ”says the LUV declaration.
CONNECTED: Manitowoc schools do not teach critical racial theory, but a “very vocal minority” says otherwise
CONNECTED: Manitowoc is mostly represented by white men. Why some say changing this is “necessary work”.
LUV also called out Todd Reckelberg, a Manitowoc Common Council member and former Manitowoc County auditor, for responding to Williams’ post with a laughing emoji.
Reckelberg said he did not see LUV’s statement on Williams’ post, but said he remembered responding to the post because he “kind of laughed” at the last part of the post.
“I don’t care who you are, whether you’re Joe Blow or Mary Smith or white or black or yellow, it doesn’t matter to me,” he said. “But I get angry when people call you a racist and you are not. It’s easy to put out of the mouth to draw attention to yourself when you don’t want any attention or are not racist. “
On its Facebook page, LUV describes its mission statement as follows: “Lakeshore’s United Visionaries is an organization dedicated to celebrating and improving the lives of black, indigenous and colored people in the Lakeshore area. We vow to bring the entire lakeshore together through education, understanding and love. “
Contact Alisa Schäfer at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @AlisaMschafer.
Comments are closed.