In the past few years, Michigan has been among the top five states for antisemitic incidents and white supremacist propaganda distribution per the Anti-Defamation League. Although a state hate crime bill existed it was limited and unfortunately, it was necessary to enlarge the protected groups because we have increased our ability to hate. House Bills 4474-4477, Michigan Hate Crime Act and the Institutional Desecration Act expands the 1988 Ethnic Intimidation Act which received bipartisan approval.
These bills protect EVERYONE regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, affiliation, origin, disability, and age. They prohibit destruction and vandalism of churches, schools, community centers, nonprofit headquarters, and electronic property. It’s sad that our hate for each other has escalated to the point that it has to be regulated. Sadder that a resident would want to recall a Livingston County legislator who supported these protections. Opponents of the bills have circulated disinformation, mostly right-wing media, that it would be a felony to address someone with an incorrect pronoun.
Linda Ensley submitted the recall petition against Representative Conlin and may feel safe now but in the future, as an aging female, will welcome protection from violent actions, intimidation, or property damage. Livingston County is not immune from hate crimes and Representative Conlin voted to lessen fear and make her constituents feel safe and secure in everyday life. Linda Ensley’s political tactics and bigotry make it difficult for the county to shed its negative image and divert time and resources from critical problems like gun violence and human trafficking.
Representative Conlin puts the people of Michigan first and Ms. Ensley’s campaign of disinformation misleads voters.
By Evelyn Gallegos
Published July 23, 2023, in the Fowlerville News and Views