Joseph Gergley is running for Mayor of Gahanna, Ohio, which is located in the central part of the state. As noted by multiple reports, however, Gergley has a history of making incredibly offensive social media comments.
Among some of the other gems of Gergley’s, all via Twitter:
- 2014: “The Easton Walmart might as well be Ferguson.”
- 2012: “The hungover girls on college campuses who go to Planned Parenthood are really just getting their breasts examined. Thank God for Komen!”
- 2011: “Having drag queens play softball in a family park during pride weekend isn’t the best way to get people to stop saying, ‘that’s so gay’.”
- 2011: “If I saw Kurt from ‘Glee’ in real life, I would bully him and tell him ‘It gets worse…’”
An additional story found a series of offensive and vulgar Facebook posts. Among some of those comments:
- 2007: “It might sound politically incorrect but it’s the truth, just like police who target blacks. Blacks commit a lot bigger percentage of crimes then (sic) whites even though they’re (sic) population is a lot smaller.”
- 2007: “Go Bears, beat the (expletive) Colts.”
- 2009: “Michael Jackson was white, Jamie Foxx you are a racist (expletive)!!”
- 2009: “Merry Christmas everyone. Everyone be careful. The Obama lovers are out looking to play Grinch and jack your stuff.”
The current Mayor of Gahanna, who is a Republican, expressed her disappointment with Gergley’s statements, calling them “disappointing,” while other civic groups called for Gergley to withdraw from the race.
After the first story, Gergley released a statement saying, “Out of context, sarcastic tweets from my college years are completely irrelevant to the dire issues facing Gahanna.” He then deleted his Twitter account.
Gergley also made this post to his official Facebook page:
After the second story appeared – one which contained additional offensive comments, Gergley declined to comment other than to say that the Facebook posts he made weren’t his. In other words, his second statement more or less contradicted his first. Ouch.
Of course, the comments made by Gergley are disgusting, but there are a few other points of note as well. First, note the timeframe of some of these comments, which were up to seven years old. If you run for public office, anything you’ve ever put on social media is fair game. Second, note the stupidity of saying that these posts were sarcastic. For a one-off comment, you can say that, but you cannot say that a series of offensive social media posts were all sarcastic – there is a pattern here. Third, stick to your story: Gergley’s second statement, in which he declined to take responsibility for his Facebook comments, contradicted his first one, in which he at least admitted it was his. Again, keep it simple: take responsibility, and move on.
And of course, the cardinal rule: Don’t be a racist.