A single-topic water cooler from me might be a first…. This long Texas Monthly article looks fairly at both sides of an incident that took place this spring. I’ll skip quotes and give a semi-brief summary so you can decide whether it’s worth reading more.
How Houston Lost Its Mind Over a Trump Shirt
On Holy Saturday (the day before Easter) in one of the affluent areas around Houston, four 8th-grade girls were standing in line to order treats from a place called Milk & Cookies. They heard a commotion behind them from a mom who was in line with her husband and two young sons. This mom saw that one of the girls was wearing a Trump shirt, so she felt compelled to scream out, “Grab ’em by the p___y! Woohoo! MAGA!”
It took a minute for the girls to realize her ire was directed at them, One called her mom as soon as it started and pointed to the t-shirt one of the others was wearing – a souvenir from a trip to DC. Her mom told her to be sure to get a picture of her.
It was just a coincidence that the woman happened to be there with her family, but she was not your average Jane Doe. Her name is Kellye Burke, a member of the local City Council and also a member of Moms Demand Action.
The family of the mom who had been on the phone had recently moved back home after getting flooded out for months by hurricane Harvey. She posted a comment that night in a neighborhood Facebook group about the incident, without the picture and without knowing who the woman was. It didn’t take too long before she figured out who she thought it was, and she then sent Burke a private message on Facebook.
The next day
A friend of Burke’s sent her a text with the original comment, figuring she’d want to know about it. Burke read it and of course realized it was about her. She signed on to Facebook and saw the message from the mom. She texted her at the number the mom gave her and said she’d call her when she returned from church. She met the family in the afternoon and apologized, and the mom said something nice about it in the FB group.
Burke tried to work through the mom to get in touch with the other three families, but one of the families got the feeling she was blowing them off and then things went downhill quickly. A police report was filed, a recall petition was launched, a local TV person got wind of it and gave it legs, Burke made a really dumb comment, etc. Pretty much whatever could go wrong did go wrong after that – all in a matter of just a few days.
Burke is still on the West University Place Council. I’m sure plenty of hard feelings still exist. I thought this was interesting to read in light of the recent Red Hen incident and so many others.
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