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Protest planned for Monday morning while Gov. Snyder is in Grand Rapids

March 20, 2011

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder will be in Grand Rapids tomorrow (Monday) morning to present his budget proposal to officials from the City.

According to a Lansing-based news source, Snyder will deliver a special message on community development and local government reforms.” The WILX story also stated, “The governor will transmit the message electronically to legislators before beginning his 9:30 a.m. address in Grand Rapids. Snyder wants state and local governments to offer better government accountability and transparency, spend less on employee compensation and share or consolidate more services.

Snyder has been under attack from numerous civil society sectors in recent weeks because of his budget proposal and other government restructuring ideas that many feel are designed to weaken unions, defund public services, privatize public services and to take away more local government autonomy.

Snyder’s last draconian suggestion is to have local municipalities compete for state funds based on “best practices,” which means that tax revenue that would normally come back to all local governments will now be doled out based on how well these local communities have survived after several years of suffering from a spiraling economy.

In response to the Snyder visit there are two Facebook announcements for protests in Grand Rapids for Monday morning. One is called Protest Rick Snyder and is scheduled from 9 – noon at the Calder Plaza in downtown Grand Rapids. People are invited to come to this protest and make some noise.

The other Facebook announcement is called Protest Snyder at Grand Rapids City Hall. This protest is scheduled for 9 – 11am and says that Snyder will be presenting his proposal at 9:30 in room 660 in City Hall.

Seems like a great opportunity for people to voice their opposition to the Governor’s policies and to meet people who might be open to other organizing possibilities around these anti-democratic proposals.


7 Comments leave one →
  1. lori permalink
    March 21, 2011 2:06 am


    I’m not sure why you chose to use this graphic. I find it very offensive that the word “whore” is used in a manner other than in quotes. I see no reason for using this particular picture to illustrate the point of this article (to make matters worse, this didn’t add any value or help to make the point either). The person holding the sign is using this phrase in a way to insult Snyder, but it’s also insulting to women. The word “whore” is used to describe women, never men. Using this term (or reprinting it) is beyond inappropriate. Repeating this derogatory term in any fashion reinforces its normativity. I’m not working to build a world in which we use words like this anymore.

    I’m positive you could have chosen an alternate graphic.

    I shouldn’t even have to be explaining this. Women clean up and point out the mistakes made by men everyday.


  2. Kate Wheeler permalink
    March 21, 2011 3:07 am

    Lori, I happen to disagree with you. One of the dictionary definitions of “whore” is “a person who is considered as having compromised principles for personal gain.” This describes Snyder perfectly, in my opinion.

    From the medieval period in England forward, the term “whore” was a term describing courtiers,used equally for “kept women” of the court–that is to say, somebody’s mistress–and for male courtiers who shamelessly campaigned for favors from the monarch.

    In High German, the equivalent term, huora, meant “adulterer,” again used equally for men and women.

    In Turkey, or rather the Ottoman Empire, it was used as an alternate term for the masseurs who worked in the Turkish baths, and who were also available for sexual favors. These workers were men, not women.

    In literature, it appears frequently as a term that means working for an unworthy cause; Salinger used it frequently, and always to describe a male character, not a female. Holden Caulfield calls his brother a whore for working as a writer in Hollywood, for example.

    Of course it is and was also used to describe prostitutes, but as someone who has studied both history and literature, I don’t automatically think of “whore” as a term that debases women, having seen it used throughout the history of the word to describe both men and women.

  3. jay permalink
    March 21, 2011 3:28 am

    99.9% of people see the word whore and think of women. Doesn’t this site do articles all the time about gender neutrality? Is it fair to say that unions are “whores” to big government? or am I am bigot because it’s not in the context you like?

    wow being politically correct has become a lot of work

  4. Jeff Smith permalink*
    March 21, 2011 12:25 pm

    Lori, thanks for your comments. I was not intending to use this photo to offend anyone around issues of gender and oppression. The photo was from the Lansing demo where a woman from DeWitt is holding a sign. She is a senior citizen and member of AARP and made this sign to express her anger at Snyder. That was the intent of my decision to use it, since the woman from DeWitt told me she was made and the sign communicated how she felt, so I used it to communicate how others feel…..mad.

    Having said that, I can understand your point and will be more sensitive about language in future postings.

  5. miles permalink
    March 21, 2011 12:47 pm

    You say you hate the unions and big government now, but once we break free from their control and “mediation” with the capitalists I bet you’ll be begging for them to come back.

    And lori, I noticed the picture too and should’ve said something a few days ago. thanks for pointing it out, and sorry for not doing it myself.

  6. lori permalink
    March 22, 2011 1:57 am

    Thanks, miles. It’s nice to hear someone not making excuses for what was a stupid decision in the first place. I’m glad you understand where I’m coming from (or where most people I really think would be coming from had they read this.)

    And to Kate, I don’t care what the dictionary definition of “whore” is or any other technical mumbo jumbo. I also don’t care if you have a degree or not in this context. I was talking about the everyday common usage of the word. Quit trying to justify this word with academic bologna. Clearly, you don’t get it. It’s a term used to most often describe women (in an insulting manner), and in this case it’s even worse because it has a double meaning and has the practical effect of insulting Snyder by equating him with being female (which is always going to be an insult in a patriarchal culture.) Your endless rebuttals to even the simplest of concerns on this site are bullying.

  7. Kate Wheeler permalink
    March 22, 2011 5:01 am

    Wow. I’d say that it’s your insistence that nobody have an opinion different than yours is bullying, Lori.

    I wasn’t trying to be defensive on anyone’s behalf. I was just saying what I thought. My reaction was different than yours.

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