After a director of a taxpayer-funded museum expressed her hope for “every single one of you pieces of s**t that votes Republican,” she tried to walk it back, saying she was just “really mad.” It was too little too late.
Melonnie Hicks, the executive director of the Pioneer City County Museum in Sweetwater, Texas, which is partially funded by taxpayer dollars, found herself in hot water over a message she posted to Facebook. It was so bad that the museum’s Board of Directors called an emergency meeting to discuss her comment and her future with the museum, according to KTXS.
So, what did Hicks say? Well, she wished death upon others based solely on their political views and the way they vote. “I hope every single one of you pieces of s**t that votes Republican dies today,” Hicks wrote on Facebook. And, unsurprisingly, it wasn’t long before she came under fire for the controversial comment.
As word of Hicks’ post spread quickly, controversy erupted, and she issued an apology. “I was really mad at Republicans for voting against health care since my options today are [to] die or go into debt to see the doctor,” she wrote on Facebook. “It was gross which is [why] I deleted it.”
According to KTAB, both messages were posted on Hicks’ personal Facebook page — and both have since been deleted. But, she couldn’t just delete the consequences of her actions, and the city was none too happy about her remark. “It’s regrettable and reprehensible, especially from someone who is a community leader,” City Manager David Vela said in response to Hicks’ words, adding that the city doesn’t stand by Hicks’ statement.
“Those kind of comments should never be made on social media or anywhere else,” Vela said. “We hope they make the right and responsible choice,” he added, referring to the museum’s board of directors emergency meeting that was scheduled at the Sweetwater Police Department to discuss Hicks’ comment and her future with the museum. “(The board) may have a different definition of right and responsible. Let’s just see what actions they take and we’ll go from there,” Vela added.
After the Pioneer County-City Museum’s Board of Directors’ emergency meeting, Board President Matt Counts sent a news release to KTXS that said Melonnie Hicks had submitted her resignation, effective that day. “While we do not condone in any way the statements made by Ms. Hicks, we do recognize and thank her for her many years of excellent service to this Museum and to this community,” Counts said.
It’s worth mentioning that, prior to her resignation, at least one Republican wanted Hicks to be allowed to stick around. “I don’t in the least bit feel threatened by [Hicks’] off-the-cuff comment on Facebook wishing that I die,” explained Joe Hyde, the publisher of San Angelo Live and a Republican who wrote an op-ed saying Hicks should keep her job despite her post.
“I know Facebook is driven by creating engagement that produces long visits and lots of eyeballs on its advertisements. Facebook evokes strong emotions to keep its users scrolling. The easiest emotion to incite is anger, and Facebook’s algorithm is quite good at turning calm and peaceful people into raging lunatics,” Hyde furthered. “Hicks was spending too much time on Facebook and wrote something she regretted. She later explained her frustration and apologized.”
Hyde also added that the “cancel culture” that’s so prevalent today “means good people are given just one strike and they are out.” And, he’s right — at least in part. Just three days after making her controversial post on Facebook, Melonnie Hicks was “out” as she resigned. But, rather than using her story as a means to implore others to give second chances, perhaps it would better serve as a lesson.
Some things can’t be fixed with a simple apology. Words spoken can’t be unspoken, and certain things should never be said. Calling for the death of others based on their political views and how they vote is one of those things you should not only never say — you really shouldn’t think it either. After all, if we all agreed, we really wouldn’t need to vote, but in the great ole US of A, people do have different opinions and we are able to express our desires at the voting booth. That should never be met with death wishes.