How Should We Punish Janice Daniels, the NYC-Hating, Bigoted Mayor of Troy, MI?

Janice Daniels, Idiot Mayor

Back in June, Janice Daniels typed out an insightful embargo against products showing love for marriage-equality states on her Facebook page. Once it hit the internet last week and people noticed she’s now the $135-a-month mayor of the small town of Troy, MI, the backlash in the news media and gay blogosphere was swift.

She still hasn’t given a full apology without making excuses or rationalizing, and a meeting on Monday with protestors, residents, and city councilpeople doesn’t seem to have gone so well. The Detroit Free Press reports:

Monday, [Janice Daniels] said she met with some of the protesters and apologized. “I explained to them that this is a perfect opportunity for all of us to learn how important it is to choose our words carefully. I’m human, I made a mistake, but I feel I did the right thing—I admitted my mistake, I apologized,” she said.

Daniels’ apology was accepted until she said that queer “is just a word,” said Zach Kilgore, 17, also a senior at Troy High School.

“That shows she just does not understand. We had a pretty calm conversation and then it erupted into people screaming at her and calling her ‘bully,’ ” said Kilgore, who said he organized the protest.

“We need to show the region—and now the country, because this is national news — that we aren’t this bigoted community,” Kilgore said.

Although the protesters stood outside, inside Troy City Hall were three adults with a sign about what they said was the inviolability of heterosexual marriage.

“It’s the law of God and the law of the land,” said the sign held by Mary Mills, 69, of Clarkston.

“The mayor happens to be a friend of mine. We’re both in the tea party,” Mills said.

If only that meant they had adorable tea parties every Sunday afternoon.

Laura Berman of the Detroit News (Detroit has two newspapers? I thought print was dying) gets Daniels’ problem just right:

Although Daniels has apologized weakly several times, always with caveats, she has yet to suggest she actually understands how she offended real people who live, shop and work in Troy and who are her constituents.

She is getting a short, not too happy, education in the facts of political life—specifically that the kind of sweeping stereotypes that fringe groups applaud don’t play well with the wider electorate, who may include the CEOs of major corporations or the local chamber of commerce.

While Daniels says “I love all people,” her Facebook post emitted the kind of “those people” vibe that created a barrage of Facebook jokes about Troy hairdressers and waiters exacting revenge on the mayor.

“We don’t regard this as statesmanlike or leadership,” said Michele Hodges, president of the Troy Chamber of Commerce.

“We’ve been deluged by emails and calls, but we want people to direct their anger, their justifiable anger, at city hall, not at local business.”

So where do we go from here? What’s the most appropriate punishment for Daniels’ original transgression and her further transgression of not apologizing appropriately? Here are three suggestions from a bunch of Queerty queers.


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  • christopher di spirito

    “We” shouldn’t do anything. However, pending the Troy, MI city charter, I think the city council should remove her from office or, there should be a recall petition to remove her.

    Someone who harbors such a vile view of us “queers” does not belong on the city payroll.

  • Kyle

    Had she said nigger or kike she would be instantly removed. It’s a shame that queer is forgiveable. Gay people need to boycott The Somerset Collection. Shop at 12 Oaks Mall in Novi. Boycott ALL Troy businesses. Threaten the politicans. Do what you must. Destroy her car, home, church, etc. Go after her. Seriously. Only gay people have the power to make situations like this non-existent and punishable. Use this woman as a scape-goat as to what happens to you when you use a slur against gay people.

  • Dave

    @Kyle: 1000x YES!

    I am SO sick and tired of this kind of crap being thought of as something to sign a petition about. The fact that she’s being allowed to go to sleep at night thinking that she can somehow smooth everything over with the right insincere words just galls me. Janice Daniels deserves to be made an example of–taught a lesson of the most extreme sort. Everything she holds most dear in life should be targeted and obliterated.

    Most sincerely: If she ended up traumatized, penniless, friendless, starving, and destitute, it would be too kind a fate. She should be made to SUFFER without mercy.

  • Ian

    Bottom of Janice’s ILOVENY carrybag: moldy potato chip crumbs, cat hair, Lane Bryant charge card, McDonald’s salt packages, copy of Sarah Palin’s “Going Rogue” (overdue from Troy library), hair brush full of brassy-bleached hair, seven-year-old Maybelline eyeliner, tampon, WWJD button, Dress Barn receipt, weight watchers coupons, tissue with thick lip-gloss-kiss……

  • Kyle

    @Dave: 1,000,000,000,000 times correct.

    I wish I knew you in real life.

  • joec

    Stick her on a float in a Gay Pride Parade. Supply the crowd with free rotten tomatoes and eggs.

  • Jose

    Her twitter account still has her NYC comment as her Bio @JaniceLDaniels
    If this is indeed her twitter account.

  • Mike

    She made the comments before she was even mayor. She apologized. Can’t you just accept her apology?

  • Mike M

    punishment … I think that hair style is punishment enough

  • Ian

    Interesting how things unfold nowadays: Someone expresses something like that and then “apologizes” by saying how important it is to “choose your words carefully.” WTF? The issue is not one of word-choice. The issue is the underlying belief/opinion. She thinks it’s a “learning opportunity” for everyone to see how important it is to choose words wisely?? Sorry Janice. “Apology” unaccepted.

  • Daniel Villarreal

    @Mike: Please link to the article where she apologized. As far as I know she has not actually uttered the words, “I’m sorry” or “I apologize.”

  • bagooka

    “The mayor happens to be a friend of mine. We’re both in the tea party, Mills said.”

    Jesus Christ, all the anti-gay politicians and their friends are teabaggers.

  • slanty

    Janice probably realizes that her comment is less offensive for the word queer (which is still a slur) than her sentiment that she wouldn’t want to touch NY bags because of their “gay germs.” Her remark that she “made a mistake” is bullshit. A mistake is something you do by accident, and maybe she said this by accident, but the view she holds is one she must have had a long time, and still has now. She wouldn’t try to wheedle her way out of her responsibility for the comment unless she still believed what she said.

  • chink change

    The good lady of Troy would not have any wars started for HER body.

  • Chris

    They keep referring to Troy as a “small town”. While it may be small, that phrase has connotations that are just not correct. Troy is home to the largest, high- end mall in Michigan, including stores like Gucci, Burberry, etc. It also has plenty of fabulous restaurants and contains many office buildings.

    It is not just some hick town.

  • slanty

    @chink change: Good one! Her manly face makes me think she’s taken more than one Trojan horse through the wrong entrance.

  • Henry

    @Chris: That’s right, it’s not like we’re talking about Atlanta, Georgia, or Athens, Georgia here. This is a Northern town!

  • Kyle

    Troy, Michigan is a wealthy Oakland County suburb. Fuck that shithole. Boycott it.

  • Eastwood

    @bagooka: I don’t know if I would ever make friends with a tea party politician, but I don’t think I would. The man who said it might have his own hang-ups with gay people.

  • Mike

    @Slanty: so it is okay for you to make fun of someone’s looks. And @bagooka and refer to a group of people as some kind of pervese sex act, but if this woman says the word ‘queer’, which could be argued that isn’t a slur, she gets this kind of treatment? Remember the TV show “Queer eye for the straight guy”. Did any of you buycot that show because of the name? Forgive and move on.

  • slanty

    Mike, this woman is ugly, objectively speaking. This is just a fact. Her politics make her even uglier, as if there really was a negative physical effect to hating gay people.

  • bagooka

    I’m sorry you feel that way, Mike, but if you think queer isn’t a slur, I have to question your intelligence. Claiming that teabagging is perverse (we’re all gay here, aren’t we?) and spelling the word boycott as “buycot” doesn’t help you there.

  • Mike

    Slanty, why do you interpret her beliefs on marriage as hatred toward gay people? Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. If someone merely disagrees with you, don’t interpret that to mean they hate you. If I don’t like the car you drive or the shoes you are wearing (thus disagreeing with your preferences), that doesn’t mean I hate you.

  • slanty

    Mike, are you bi? This would explain your lenient view of Janice’s hatred.

  • Mike

    Wow. You guys are very unforgiving … even for a typo. I will drive out of my way just to give the city of Troy my business, in spite of your intentions. Good luck to you all.

  • Dave

    @Mike: “Forgive and move on.”

    No. What Janice Daniels said was not merely a word. In the context she used it, she betrayed a deap-seated and and utterly inexcusable hatred of millions of innocent folks she doesn’t even know, and never bothered to try to know. She is just the latest example of the language, belief, thoughts, and values of those who willfully and consciously attempt to stamp out the existence and crush the souls of an entire group of people simply because they exist and she doesn’t like it. The fact that she is one of many makes her hatred even more unforgivable and even more corrosive, not less.

    What Janice Daniels said, and what she did afterward, are no less than pure, unmitigated EVIL committed knowingly and intentionally. And if I am being totally honest, I would have to say that I strongly feel that she deserves to die for it–after all, she wants no less for me. But since literally destroying her is not a viable option from a practical or legal (or, I suppose, moral) point of view, her life, her dreams, her achievements, her ambitions, and all that she cares about should be obliterated instead. Again, she wants no less for millions of innocent men, women, and children who ask nothing more than to live their lives with the same freedoms and responsibilities as any other human being.

    Your suggestion that Daniels’ actions should be ignored is extremely naive at best, and is destructive in and of itself because you refuse to acknowledge the tremendous amount of pain and suffering that she is intentionally inflicting on others. I have to admit though that it makes me smile inwardly to hear you say such a thing, because I fully expect that as more evil bigots get a fraction of they deserve, the chorus of voices whining for clemency will grow louder and more numerous. But if you are going to side with people who can dish it out, you should not be surprised when they are made to eat a part of what they’ve served up.

  • Henry

    @Mike: I think you’ll be driving pretty far if you intend to go to Troy, Charles.

  • Dave

    @Kyle: Same here. Though I remain amazed that there aren’t more LGBT folks who’ve gotten fed up with standing around waiting to see what privileges the massahs in the big house might generously decide to grant us in between the whippings.

  • Kyle

    @Dave: You’re right. Standing around is not the answer. Freedom will never be handed to you. You have to take it.

  • the other Greg

    This all seems a little strange coming from QUEER-ty.

  • Kyle

    @the other Greg: Queer was used a slur by this woman. She could have easily said, ‘faggots’, ‘homos’, ‘deviants’, or ‘those people’ which I’m sure she has in the past. Jokingly of course. “She is human”. She said that on the news.

  • Henry

    @Kyle: I see that Charles Rozier, who is extremely anti-gay, is still calling gay people deviants. How many months have passed since he first started calling them degenerates? Six months? Longer? It’s been a long time.

  • Miss Understood

    Mike’s just a troll. If someone’s “difference of opinion” is that a class of people are not equal then that opinion is hateful. Go defend the KKK’s “difference of opinion”.

    I never understand why apologies are demanded in these cases. Saying she’s sorry because she feels obligated to say it won;t change how she feels. I’d rather she tell the truth about how she feels, lose support, and be booted out, period.

  • joec

    @Mike: No, this is real life where you have to own up to your actions, not the Catholic Church where you can recant on your death bed (whether or not you mean it) and get a free do-over.

  • Dave

    @Miss Understood: I think you are spot-on in your assessment of “Mike” as a troll–though he’s a troll who almost certainly genuinely believes the hateful garbage he spews, he was not here to engage in any substantive dialogue.

    Troll or not however, I am amazed that the argument that “if someone merely disagrees with you, [you should not] interpret that to mean they hate you” continues to be used in the context of LGBT equality. It’s as if the bigots feel they’ve found a perfect middle ground that allows them to sound politically correct and still cling to their hatred, fear, and disgust–and they just can’t understand why people reject them and the argument.

    Not for the first time, I find myself wishing that the Internet was a lot less anonymous. I’d enjoy showing Mike my appreciation for his lack of hatred toward us with a right to the throat followed by a steel-toed kick in the nuts.

  • Lisa

    troy isn’t even a small town

  • christopher di spirito

    “We” shouldn’t do anything. However, pending the Troy, MI city charter, I think the city council should remove her from office or, there should be a recall petition to remove her.

    Someone who harbors such a vile view of us “queers” does not belong on the city payroll.

  • I

    Mike, what’s wrong with you? She called gay people queers. You don’t think that’s hateful? Not only that, but you actually want to support her?

  • Dan

    I am a resident of the city of Troy. I am also a gay male. I sent an email to the Mayor and the entire City Council to voice my concerns and asking that Mayor Daniels resign. But let me clarify a few things….First, Troy is not a “small town”, it is a northern suburb of Detroit with a population of 81,000…Second, Troy is home to the most high-end mall in Michigan named “The Somerset Collection” that is frequented very heavily by gay men. Third, Troy has one of the largest business districts outside of Detroit. I have to admit that I was remiss in voting for mayor and I was shocked that a Tea Party bigoted person was elected as mayor of Troy. In the email, assuming she doesn’t resign, I stated that I vowed to canvas the neighborhood in my city to support a competitor and to do my part to ensure she is not re-elected. Unfortunately, the damage has been done. She also rejected $8 million in federal dollars for a rail project that was to have a hub/station in Troy. So not only has she insulted her gay constituents and other constituents who support diversity, but she has put on her Tea Party hat to prevent Troy from moving into the 21st century. I am so upset that I didn’t vote….just goes to show you what happens when we don’t exercise our right to vote.

  • Kyle

    @Dan: Thanks Dan, good going! Thanks for sending an email too. Your anger and motivation to get this bigot removed is obvious.

  • Kyle

    This woman is not going to resign, and what are gay people going to do? Get so angry they won’t do anything about it like Dan? Because that’s what she expects. That’s what all anti-gay people expect because that’s what gay people do. Nothing.

  • Jay

    “Unfortunately the damage is done.”

    That line breathes ‘oh well, not my problem.’ This woman needs to be forced out. She can’t be given a choice to resign. She must resign. If she attacked Jewish people or African-Americans she would be removed instantly.

  • Queen Anne

    @Dave: you may have put your name out there, “Dave,” and you may be regretting it now, but that doesn’t mean you’ve stopped being anonymous. Every time you post on an alias, you’re anonymous (you would be able to see this if you had an above average IQ). Just think about it, Davey. If the internet wasn’t anonymous, you’d be limited to a single name. I’m sure that would prove extremely troublesome for you and people like you.

  • Dave

    @Queen Anne: That makes no sense whatsoever, but then you sound like a real nutball anyway. I don’t regret anything I’ve said, nor using my real name–the only name I’ve ever posted under–to do it. As far as it being troublesome for me, it wouldn’t be at all–because if the internet were not anonymous, douchebags like Mike and nutballs like you would be a lot more likely to think twice about attacking folks. You’re right to be wary though–people whose rights have been constantly trampled are a hell of a lot more likely to stand behind their threats than cowards like the two of you.

  • Queen Anne

    @Dave: Dave, you’re deluded and still showing yourself to be quite stupid. We both know Dave isn’t your real name, and even if it were, it’s foolish to gloat about it until you use your LAST NAME. Are you foolish, Dave? Not everyone has your fears, Dave, which include losing some teeth (oh yes, you do have that fear), and not everyone has your motivations or your beliefs. I feel embarrassed to spell out such a simple line of thinking for you, but you make me do it. My belief about anonymity in particular is not your belief. Americans, Southern Americans, American politicians, use their real names all the time to say and do the most barbaric things, and they’ve done it often enough that there’s no longer anything special about using a real name to defend a point of view. This must be the case in a country where the gap between public and private life is a yawning gulf. I don’t think you’ll be able to parse this – that’s beyond you. You might, however, be able to bow before a superior mind, and absorb the sense of what I say. Your type is the type to bow before superiority.

  • Dave

    @Queen Anne: Your desperate need to “win” an idiotic argument of your own making gives the lie to your pose of superiority. Not only are you a nutball, you sympathize with bigots–making you a bigot yourself. There’s no doubt in my mind that your low self esteem will drive you to post more embarrassing drivel here, so I know that it will vex you to hear that I am done wasting my time with you.

  • Queen Anne

    @Dave: Oh no, Davey, you’re the one who sympathizes with bigots, and you’re the one who’s desperate to win – those are your problems, problems of narcissistic projection, the chronic inability of the narcissist to distinguish himself from the people around him. No one competes unless he wants to win, and if you didn’t want to win, you wouldn’t have competed. In other words, you’re a sore loser, and you admitted defeat with just enough sulking to feel compensated for your loss. The last two sentences in my reply indicated clearly enough that I was done with you, which is to say that I had said everything I wanted to say – do you get it?

  • Rick

    Drop Janice a note and let her know just how wrong she is. I have.

    [email protected]

  • Queer Supremacist

    To paraphrase Barry Goldwater, extremism in the defense of our rights is no vice. I’m glad to see more “kill the homophobes” rhetoric. Now let’s move from rhetoric to action!

    It’s time to start making examples out of the breeders. There can be no holds barred. Not even family members should be spared. If they say something offensive and they refuse to stop, punch them in the face.

    Attacking gays is a collective crime that warrants collective punishment. Just as Germany needed to be collectively punished for Nazism, the South needed to be collectively punished for slavery, and South Africa needed to be collectively punished for apartheid (only in the latter case did their punishment, necklacing, come close to fitting the crime), heterosexuals need to be needed to be collectively punished for the two-millennia-and-counting gay Holocaust.

    Start with Janice Daniels. I don’t care how it gets done, just fucking kill the bitch! KILL THE BREEDER BITCH!

  • Dave

    @Queer Supremacist: While I would certainly applaud her death, I do not think that there would be any point in someone taking such a legal risk outside the context of an all-out war against homophobes. Considering the typically docile responses by LGBTs to bigots over the last couple of decades, large-scale and widespread acts of civil disobedience would be a HUGE improvement. I’ve made it clear that I feel much more drastic measures are entirely warranted, but if you want to fight and win a war you must start with a sound foundation–and at this point, LGBTs can’t even seem to agree that behavior like that of Janice Daniels is unequivocally wrong, unforgivable, and actually deserving of punishment.

  • Patsy Stoned

    She’s just a pig in a wig. By the looks (and sound) of her, I’d say life has certainly punished this teabagger waste of space quite enough already.

  • Nbc nightly news

    Evan, I disagree that print is dying. That’s what the internet generation might think, but they’re so young. I think they’ll see the need for print when they get older. Anybody who reads books likes print. It’s the older people who read more.

  • Bathtub Bub

    “Throw some foreign-language insults in there if you can… she’s probably xenophobic too.”

    I’ve just posted a message that says “You’re a jerk” in Arabic.

  • Dave

    @Bathtub Bub: That’s really gonna break her heart if she can figure out what it means. No doubt she’s sure that at least the Arabs are on her side–because (she thinks) all Arabs are Muslims, and all Muslims hate LGBTs just as much as she does.

  • Bathtub Bub

    @Dave: um. That really doesn’t make any sense at all. An anti-Arab like you or her wouldn’t side with Muslims in any circumstances. I’ve heard with my own ears what conservatives like Janice think of them.

  • Dave

    @Bathtub Bub: Explaining a joke is always tedious, but here goes: I was being facetious–hence the “(she thinks)”. I am not anti-Arab or anti-Muslim, and I would have hoped that posting obvious right-wing stereotypes (e.g., that all Arabs are Muslims or that all Muslims are anti-LGBT) on a site partly dedicated to confronting stereotypes, along with the all-important intimation that Janice Daniels believes such stereotypes, would have hinted at the fact that what I posted was actually written in opposition to such thinking.

    The fact that Janice Daniels probably dislikes Arabs and Muslims was part of the grim humor I intended, derived from the idea that the only reason she’d have to side with Arabs and/or Muslims is because she FALSELY believes them to be as vehemently anti-gay as she herself is.

  • Bathtub Bub

    @Dave: You need help, Dave.

  • High me partee

    @Dave: “learning disabled”? You’re a joke. You have no personality, no knowledge, and no brains. You need petting from an older man just to get through the day, and it doesn’t bother you that the man is an anti-Semite. In fact, you didn’t know about it until it was pointed out to you. Your county (I can’t your state, or your nation) would be better off if you put a bullet through your head.

  • Dave

    @High me partee: I haven’t a clue what you are talking about, but you are obviously confusing me for someone else who posts under the same name. I am unpartnered; my ONLY long-term partner in my life was not significantly older than me, and he certainly was no anti-Semite. Personally, I feel much too strongly about bigotry to tolerate that sort of BS in a friend, much less a partner.

    Thanks for that ultra-classy attempt at a kiss-off though; I’ll be happy to accept an apology if you’re man enough to offer one.

  • Shannon1981

    @Mike: No, we cannot accept the apology of someone who is hardly sorry.

  • Shannon1981

    @Queer Supremacist: I have to say I am with you at this point, though I in no way advocate violence. I am just fed up with this “we aren’t all like that!” bullshit. Oh yeah? Show us you aren’t all like that and maybe I’ll believe you.

  • Dave

    @High me partee: Rabid trolling has been done far batter-and even then it’s as old as the hills and boring. Try again once you’ve grown up and learned to behave like a decent, halfway-intelligent human being; until then, it’s easy enough for me to use Greasemonkey to banish you to the oblivion you deserve.

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