Having skewered my Metro Councilperson Jim King for his comments on Brooklawn, I feel that I owe it to him to post a link to his reply.
After reading what he had to say in his own defense, a couple of thoughts struck me:
While I appreciate the need to understand context when evaluating statements, and while I also appreciate that Councilperson King did not intend for his inflammatory rhetoric to become public; if you don't want the public to hear your inflammatory statements, don't make them in the first place.
When Jim King wrote in an email to a supporter of the proposed group home that the teenagers to live there "will be psychotic with a propensity for acting out sexually or violently," and that they would be "very capable of committing a sex crime against your wife and children," he at the very least acted unwisely. The best case scenario for this is that he over-heated in an argument. I suspect that this is true. However, losing one's cool does not give one license to make such reckless and inflammatory statements. Whether or not he would have ever made theses views public, there is no doubt that he held them, and that, in an argument, he stated them clearly.
At the very least he attempted to bully Brooklawn and its supporters. And, his attempt to do so backfired when they made his insensitive comments public, which they had every right to do.
That said, he may have a legitimate complaint against Brooklawn. I don't know the details of the situation, and so I can't say whether or not his claims about the "mistakes" made by Brooklawn's management are true. But, even if they are true, by his own conduct King has jeopardized his position. The moment his comments became public - and he should have known that they might get out - he gave up both the moral high ground and public sympathy.
His defense of his actions, including his statement, "Like it or not, we humans are entitled to our fears, rational or not," paint him as prejudiced, recognizing that his fears may well be unfounded, while at the same time defending them and the reactionary politics that they bring about.
But I think I've wasted enough time here attacking him. Read his defense for yourself.
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