UPDATED 9:51 AM PT – Tuesday, December 29, 2020
A Michigan mayor is pushing back against criticism claiming he is trying to incite violence through his Facebook page.
On Monday, Potterville Mayor Bruce Kring slammed local media. He said they were “reporting on memes” and told them to focus on real news. Kring has been vocal about his disapproval of mask mandates and coronavirus restrictions on his Facebook page. His posts were reported to local media.
Some people argued the posts could incite violence as they targeted Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-Mich.), who was the focus of an attempted kidnapping plot earlier this year. One post said: “Either we take power back or we will never be free again. No more asking nicely.”
In response to the criticism, Kring cited his first amendment rights. He added Whitmer’s coronavirus policies threaten the freedom of all Michiganders.
Additionally, a number of Michigan residents have shown support for Kring’s message. Duston Twichell, a city councilman in Potterville, said he’s seen the mayor’s post and agrees with him.
“This an incredible overreach and an invasion of personal privacy and the government has no business telling us what we can do,” Twichell stated. “Many people have chastised me for the way I am or the way I act on council and people tell me I need to lead by example, [but] I believe I am doing just that by not conforming [to] the mask laws.”
Some residents have even criticized the professionalism of Michigan’s elected officials over the matter. On the other hand, other Michiganders feel conflicted on how to interpret Kring’s posts.
“He’s right and he’s wrong because it is supposed to keep us safe; we don’t want the coronavirus,” Potterville resident Justice Livingston said. “And in another way, he’s right because it is time for us to finally be free.”
Kring declined an interview with local media, but he sarcastically noted, “How dare someone have a personal opinion?”