It’s pretty obvious that Hamtramck is in a culture war – a war that has been brewing for months.
First, it was about whether the city should allow marijuana dispensaries, or the slaughter of animals in public, and now it’s about LGBTQ rights. These disputes pit the city’s socially conservative Muslim population against politically progressive-minded residents and their supporters.
This division has attracted the attention of local, state, national and international media –and, mostly, not in a good way. That is to say: Hamtramck looks like a bigoted, backwater town.
It doesn’t help that we have a mayor claiming that former city officials on the other side of the issue have the power to bring in the state attorney general to weigh in on the pride flag matter, and also influence other state officials.
Mayor Amer Ghalib is calling them a “militia,” which usually refers to a civilian armed military force that, in some instances, engages in rebellion or even terrorism.
That is some serious paranoid thinking
Attorney General Dana Nessel, who is gay, was offended when the city council voted to ban the display of pride flags on public property. She spoke at a price rally in Hamtramck recently, and called the city a “national embarrassment.”
Does the mayor seriously think that Nessel was prompted by former local officials to attend a pro-LGBTQ rally? The city council’s action on pride flags, with the mayor’s blessing, outraged many folks both in and out of the LGTBQ community.
Hamtramck does not exist in a vacuum.
Way to go, Hamtramck. The actions of local elected officials will only serve to alienate influential state government officials.
It appears to us that Hamtramck is trying to retreat from the modern world.
Hamtramck has long enjoyed a reputation of being a fun, culturallydiverse city in the state – a microcosm of the world at large. It is now increasingly becoming a laughing stock.
We wish folks could take a breather and step back, but it appears the culture war here is only going to get worse – and Hamtramck residents will end up paying for it in one way or another.
Posted July 21, 2023