A statement questioning whether the July 4 celebrations were appropriate in the wake of “division, hatred and unrest” across the country has sparked cheers, backlash and apologies from the city of Orlando, Florida.
The pronunciation appeared in a July 1 email newsletter promoting the city’s annual “Fireworks at the Fountain 2022,” which begins at 4 p.m.
“A lot of people probably don’t want to celebrate our nation right now, and we can’t blame them. When there is so much division, hatred and unrest, why on earth would you want to celebrate?” the statement began.
In the wake of the email, some – including locals, conservative politicians, the Republican government press secretary Ron DeSantis and a local police union representing 800 officers – took to social media to protest what they characterized as being “disrespectful” and “inflammatoryshow.
A day later, officials on behalf of the city apologized on Facebook and Twitter, where it attracted thousands of likes and comments.
“The City of Orlando sincerely regrets the negative impact our words have had on some in our community,” the statement said. “We understand that these words have offended some of our residents, which was not our intention. We value the freedoms we have in this country and are grateful to the men and women who have fought and continue to fight for it. We are proud to celebrate the 4th of July to express our gratitude to those men and women and to honor the country in which we live.”
But the apology wasn’t enough to nip all criticism in the bud.
“Very sad that this level of disrespect for our country has infected the city in this way,” one Facebook user replied to the apology message. “So very, very sad and embarrassing for our city.”
Another wrote: “It is because of our independence that we disagree, speak our minds and encourage our government to be of the people, by the people and for the people – not just those we agree with. So much so.” to celebrate.”
Others welcomed the first statement, some characterizing it as fair and humorous, pointing to the recent Supreme Court dismissal of Roe v. Wade as an example of the “division” of the country. A recent NPR/PBS/Maris poll found that a majority of Americans — 56% — say they oppose the Supreme Court’s decision.
“You said what many of us are thinking and saying to those around us,” a Facebook user responded with the city’s apology. “Not only should you not apologize, you should be applauded for bringing so many of us forward.”
“I thought the message was 100% accurate,” wrote another. “I was happy to see that the government recognized the division and unrest I feel every day. There is no flag on my house this year.”
Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law – Die came into effect on Friday and prohibits “instruction” about sexual orientation or gender identity “in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a way that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards” — has also been a source of division, with some LGBTQ students and teachers say they feel attacked as a result of the new law.
Supporters of the law say it only applies to children from kindergarten through third grade, and its goal is to give parents more jurisdiction over the education of their young children.
a march POLITICO/Morning Consult poll found that 51% of Americans were in favor of “a ban on teaching sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten to third grade,” while 35% opposed it.