A Charlotte city councilwoman is under scrutiny for a controversial tweet she posted comparing President Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler.
Councilwoman LaWana Mayfield posted the tweet Friday morning, which reads in part: “For All who read about Hitler you are Now Living how he reigned in #45."
WSOC spoke with members of the community for reactions to Mayfield’s statement.
"I don't think it's appropriate,” Charlotte resident Ulga Mazets said.
Mazets is from eastern Europe and said her family was impacted by Hitler’s reign.
“My grandfather was in (a) concentration camp, so I feel it's a very harsh comparison,” she said.
Others felt the comparison was inappropriate but said Mayfield had the right to make it.
“Everybody got their own opinion,” a Charlotte resident said.
Earlier this year, one of Mayfield’s fellow council members, Dimple Ajmera, landed in hot water when she said Trump supporters have no place leading Charlotte government.
Ironically, Mayfield just called for an investigation into a Charlotte Housing Authority worker who allegedly posted a tweet on Facebook applauding the death of Keith Lamont Scott, who was shot by police during an incident that sparked a nationwide debate.
University of North Carolina - Charlotte professor Anita Blanchard said these types of comments on social media are becoming more common.
She said leaders and those who use social media platforms should learn to be more media savvy.
“Finding a way to say something that’s not rude that still gets your point across,” she said.
Mayfield didn’t immediately respond to Channel 9’s calls about the tweet, but she tweeted again Friday afternoon saying, “I wish the media would question #45 about why we were in Niger.”
Mayfield is up for re-election. Her Republican opponent Daniel Herrera sent WSOC the following statement:
"I have heard of my opponent's divisive, and inflammatory tweet of political rhetoric comparing the President of the United States to Hitler, pure evil and everything President Trump and I stand to oppose.
While LaWana Mayfield only wishes to divide our community by using the power of fear to distract from her failures. I stand to change and unite District Three. I will move us forward with policies that support safer streets that allow mail to be delivered and not canceled because of street violence. I have a real plan to promote affordable housing rather than subsidized soccer stadiums that only support the developers who own her vote. I will always represent my faith and never write a policy like her devastating bathroom bill, the one she spearheaded and forced upon our Queen City and which brought so much distrain to our community.
Shame on Mayfield for her continuation of divisive political tactics. Shame on her for disrespecting the over 400,000 Defenders of Freedom who fell beneath our flag to defeat Hitler."
Mayfield's statement in response to the backlash:
"The Constitutional right of "Free Speech" is a precious and uniquely beloved gift among Americans. With this gift of free speech comes great responsibility. To some, I did not express that responsibly within the limited characters of my earlier tweet. I apologize for the brevity of my statement due to being limited to 140 characters. Many times, we cannot fully express intent or emotion through this limited platform."
"I do not want to diminish the heinous treatment and genocide that our Jewish brothers and sisters experienced at the hands of this dictator nor do I want to further create a dialogue that does not focus on the facts at hand."
"Today, we read about history as a story in a book and sometimes disassociate from the realities of lives impacted. Our communities must unite and realize that at this intersectionality of both conservative and liberal, white and people of color, gay or straight, young and seniors, these variances and diverse populations have strength when they unite in one voice."
"My anger and passion when tweeting was directed to those that continue to make excuses for a man who is leading our Nation in a divisive direction. His policies, the creation of the 'Birther movement,' executive orders and continual mistreatment of marginalized communities has quickly eroded the landscape of civility and civil discourse in our society.
"I value the diversity of my community, work to be inclusive and give voice to those that are not at the table and bring equity to this city that I love.""While my words chosen have offended some, my intent was to bring attention to the continued crisis that we face each day while this president is leading us. My post angered some and I stay in a state of anger every day I watch the news and this like many posts was shared to shine a light on hypocrisy and the discourse rising in our nation."
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