TenHaken says, ‘No Haters’!

I first want to say that I think this resolution is a good idea;

Mayor Paul TenHaken next week will introduce a resolution to the city council condemning hate, a move endorsed by the city’s Human Relations Commission.

“Hate has no place in Sioux Falls,” TenHaken said in a news release Thursday afternoon. “I’m proud to stand with the Human Relations Commission and condemn bias, discrimination and hate in Sioux Falls.

“With this resolution we reaffirm our belief that hate has no place in Sioux Falls and remind the public of ways to report discrimination to the City,” he added.

We should all disavow hate. I am actually embarrassed that in 2020 we have to pass resolutions to tell people to stop being racist jerks.

But this resolution has many procedural and intent problems. It’s nothing but some feel good reach around more than anything else. I also find it ironic that this resolution is being proposed right after the human relations attorney with the city announced he is running for State’s Attorney.

Kawinky-Dink? I think not.

So what are the issues;

1) It has no teeth. It just basically says that the city doesn’t like people being racist. Well Lah-De-Dah. I guess I am unaware of ANY city official, whether elected or employed who thinks it is a good idea to be racist. And in my personal life I ‘try’ to stay away from these people. So basically this is just a ‘memo’ or ‘sticky note’ from the mayor’s office.

2) The mayor should not be legislating. As I have told you fine folks in the past, according to charter, the city council is responsible for legislating and the mayor should run the city. As I mentioned above, this is just a campaign hat trick for the city’s human relations attorney, Daniel Haggar.

3) The mayor avoids gay pride events. I can’t tell you if PTH thinks gay peeps are ‘Icky’. Many have suspected that he does, but I have never seen him say anything publicly about it except at Dem Forum when he was running for office in which he stated that he was not ‘homophobic’. But what I find interesting about this resolution is that it did not include the LGBTQ community, or many other minority groups, like people of Muslim or Jewish faith that are discriminated against consistently. If we are going to pass a resolution disavowing hate, shouldn’t it cover all the bases?

This isn’t a Paul TenHaken issue, it is a bigger issue with politics in general starting with the top down, it’s all about ‘image’ instead of ‘substance’. If we really want to take a stand we need to pass ordinances that has teeth, otherwise this isn’t worth the paper it is written on. On top of that, hate speech is protected by the 1st Amendment, so is this a violation of our constitution?

We make change through education, and teaching people how not to hate. A more fitting resolution would be for the city to set up a grant program that funds seminars on teaching people about different cultures, creeds and sexual preferences. I have often told people that moving to a suburb of Seattle from a farm in South Dakota when I was 16 to live with my dad was the best cultural education of my life. I will sum it up really quickly, everybody has the same hopes and dreams as you do, no matter their color or creed. The city needs to educate people about cultures instead of handing out back rubs, sticky notes, lapel pins and pens.



19 comments ↓

#1 D@ily Spin on 01.09.20 at 9:33 pm

A blanket proclamation never works. Saying such then canceling public comment at council meetings is a conundrum. The city parks department has over 70 employees and not a single minority. Fix that then preach about hate. Civil rights is a federal matter. This city has no respect for race or LBGT. Hopefully, the feds are watching. When Moses goes to the mountain for the commandments, there will be TIF’s and play palaces in the valley. When TenHaken gets back, this will continue.

#2 DM on 01.09.20 at 10:25 pm

Is the mayor feeling heat or what from his Dutch Mafia?

#3 Moses6 on 01.09.20 at 11:01 pm

can we do better than this guy as Mayor.

#4 "Very Stable Genius" on 01.10.20 at 11:35 am

I thinks it’s a great idea, but let us also stop giving racists a “B” grade, too.

I also think the city should pass a resolution calling for: “Take some PRIDE in your work.”

And how about a resolution calling for staffers in the mayor’s office to stop making fun of people on FB, like right after a tornado and during its clean-up, especially.

#5 City Council Haters on 01.10.20 at 11:43 am

PTH needs to start with the Rubber Stamp 5 on the city council! There is so much HATE that emanates out of Erickson and Neitzert for other councilors who do not fall into their line of thinking.
They are immature and worse than school children. They want all the power and complete control. Really disgusting examples of behavior and open transparent democracy.

#6 Plausible Deniability on 01.10.20 at 11:52 am

I whole heartedly agree that this is grandstanding by the mayor. His role is clearly defined as administrative, not legislative. This resolution is toothless & symbolic, more appropriately handled as an advertising/public service announcement campaign. It’ll be interesting to see if the mayor’s pet councilor Greg Neitzert will challenge this measure as an inappropriate agenda item “detracting from the Council’s available time to pay attention to more important issues”, as he characterized the recent resolution presented by Councilors Brekke & Stehly pertaining to Neitzert’s (and others’) private texting during council meetings.

#7 Jean Claude on 01.10.20 at 11:54 am

The term “Dutch Mafia” itself finds humor in hate…. #Interesting

#8 "Woodstock" on 01.10.20 at 1:26 pm

“Hate the hate and love the hater”….#Williamson4Prez

#9 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 01.10.20 at 1:40 pm

Don’t you hate it, when people want you to be nice to someone you can’t stand?

And, what if I hate the fact that the roads are no longer plowed, sanded, or salted on a regular basis, does that make me politically incorrect as my car slides through an intersection and unintentionally causes an old lady to go flying onto the top of an other car that it’s about to crash into mine?

#10 DEFINITELY. ON IT. on 01.10.20 at 1:45 pm

Hate is nature’s birth control. Without hate, there would be more haters.

#11 Plausible Deniability on 01.10.20 at 2:43 pm

V.S.G. : “And how about a resolution calling for staffers in the mayor’s office to stop making fun of people on FB, like right after a tornado and during its clean-up, especially.” Excellent point! PTH turned a blind eye to his twit TJ’s rude and adolescent GIFs against commenters at that time. One or more constituents I know of emailed the mayor’s office, and got NO response whatsoever. PTH – you’re no judge of disdain or hatred. We’ve all seen your “if looks could kill” expressions at City Council meetings when you hear inconvenient truths.

#12 "Very Stable Genius" on 01.10.20 at 3:52 pm

The mayor’s office use of FB is exhibit “A” of what Ellis calls “amateur hour” at city hall.

There was a time when staffers like that would have been fired for such actions, but in these days, such staffers are needed to fight the constant war of spin and image within the cyber world, which sadly has become our new reality, and thus, our new politics, and especially our current mayor’s politics, whether you love, or “hate” it.

I am sympathetic to people, or a group, protecting a brand, but when it’s the taxpayers employees and their actions protecting a given brand against the taxpayers, then I say we have a problem, which we should all “hate.”

( – and Woodstock adds: “Paul needs to get himself a woodshed, if you ask me”…..)

#13 Alex Ramirez on 01.10.20 at 4:25 pm

Soth Dacola… would love to have coffee and discuss this and more at your convenience…
I can clear some of your questions!

#14 l3wis on 01.10.20 at 7:26 pm

Alex, I support this, I said that at the beginning of my post. BUT, I think having the city fund some education programs about different cultures, races, religions, etc. would make this even better. Just punishing racists doesn’t fix the problem, in fact, it makes those people even more bitter.

#15 The Guy from Guernsey on 01.11.20 at 1:27 pm

“It has no teeth.”
Well, the teeth seem to be empowering a citizen’s commission with enforcement of some sort [from the KELOland feature on this: “… If the resolution is adopted, it will allow the Human Relations Commission to take action against cases of hate or discrimination.”

Yet, according to the City website, here are those actions with which the Commission is already permitted:

“The Commission enforces the law by investigating allegations of illegal discrimination. … It may order compensatory damages, reasonable accommodations and modifications, affirmative action, hiring, reinstatement, promotion …”

Regardless the ugliness of an insult, threat or crime, are you OK that a citizen’s commission has this sort of power outside of legal proceedings in a court of law?

#16 l3wis on 01.11.20 at 1:40 pm

Guy, that is my issue with this. Like it or not, people have the right in America to say Sh**ty things about other people. They cannot harm people, or discriminate, but they have the right to call you an A-Hole. I often tell people, when it comes to the 1st Amendment, you have to take the good with the bad. If you want to say glowing things about people, you also have to accept the criticism. That is why I think educating people about cultural differences has more ‘teeth’ than punishing people who say crappy things. They have to live with their miserable selves, just think about that.

#17 The Guy from Guernsey on 01.11.20 at 1:45 pm

OK, I’ll bite.
Press accounts indicate that two recent incidents formed the impetus to bring this resolution forward:
– an anonymous pamphlet campaign combining candy and recruitment information to a racial supremicist race group; and
– a single individual in downtown Sioux Falls hurling a vulgar tirade which also contained racial epithets and insults toward a group of young men.

Mr Ramirez, assuming adoption of this resolution, what action would the Commission adopt in response to each of these circumstances?

#18 Alex Ramirez on 01.12.20 at 11:04 pm

Guy, feel free to email and we can set a time to discus it and I can answer your questions.

#19 The Guy from Guernsey on 01.13.20 at 9:11 pm

It is 2020.
Why is not sexual preference included in this resolution from the Human Relations Commission?
Why is not sexual preference specifically covered in Chapter 98 of the City Ordinances?
[wink, wink] I think we know the answer to that question. I bet PTH doesn’t accept an invitation to discuss over coffee “his questions” over a policy which would specifically decry hate on the basis of sexual preference.
And no one on the Human Relations Commission has the gumption to tell PTH that a complete resolution of this type in 2020 includes sexual preference.

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