HALLAM, Pa. — The mayor of Hallam Borough condemned a recent derogatory post about Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine shared by the Hellam Recreation Facebook page last week.
The post shows an image of comedian Jeff Foxworthy, famous for his "You might be a redneck..." line of jokes, above a photo of Levine speaking with Governor Tom Wolf.
The text accompanying the photo states "If you are ordered to wear a mask by a guy who wears a bra...you might be a Pennsylvanian."
Levine is a transgender woman. The joke was in reference to the Wolf administration's recent order mandating that all Pennsylvanians wear cloth masks while in public.
Glenn Wascovich, the mayor of Hallam, shared a screenshot of the post last Wednesday, condemning the message and stating there should be consequences for a community leader posting that kind of derogatory content on a community Facebook page.
"Hate has NO home in Hallam" Wascovich wrote. "While some individuals may think that their privilege and status grants them the ability to make jokes or post/share things without consequences, they will be proven wrong.
"I am not alone in understanding that someones gender identity or any personal character defining attribute has nothing to do with their value or validity in their career or life.
"Words matter. Facts are facts. Trans folks and teens have the some of the highest rate of attempted suicide of any group of people. Violence against the transgender community is disproportionately higher than other marginalized people, with hate crimes and murder being committed against these individuals at a rate we don’t see in any other community.
"The individual(s) who decided to post this is an administrator of the Facebook page. Mistake or not, there was a decision to spread this hate in some way, intended for that page or not, it was a decision. Who it was will come out and it will be known, sooner or later.
"I said it before and I will say it again. Hate has NO home in Hallam.
"Our community and our surrounding neighbors deserve better and I demand better.
"The individual(s) that posted the below post from the Hellam Recreation Facebook page does NOT represent who we are or what we feel.
I ask that our community members and leaders join in the demand for answers, demand for action against this person(s), and the affirmation that hate has NO home in Hallam or surrounding areas.
I am watching. Your community is watching."
The post on the Hellam Recreation page was taken down sometime over the weekend.
In the comments responding to Wascovich's post, the Hellam Recreation page replied:
"I inadvertently hit share on a post on my personal Facebook page. It is by no means connected or represented by Hellam Recreation. It was an accident. I’ve apologized over and over again. What else do you want from me? Didn’t you ever hit a button on your phone by accident? There is no hate. Especially from Hellam or Hellam Rec. It was INADVERTENT."
The person writing on behalf of the Hellam Recreation Facebook page did not identify themselves by name.
"What do I want? I want transphobic people not representing my community and while I can’t demand that people not be personally transphobic and/or sharing hate speech, I can demand they not represent our community.
Who are you by the way?
“'Inadvertently' sharing things, personally or not, does not just have zero consequences. People are being murdered and mutilated because of the transphobia this post generates. A “whoopsie” doesn’t cut it. Lives are at stake here."
Several supporters in the comments under Wascovich's post called for the person who wrote the post for Hellum Recreation to resign.