The city of Kenner went viral this weekend, and it wasn’t for the right reasons.
If you are from the greater New Orleans area or even Louisiana in general, you know where Kenner is. Think of it as the little brother of New Orleans. With its roots as a large suburb of the big city, Kenner is home to thousands of residents who work, and play in New Orleans everyday.
But unlike its progressive older brother, Kenner just decided to turn back the clocks with a pretty hypocritical gesture. The Mayor of Kenner, Mr. Ben Zahn sent out a memorandum in the middle of the night to the city’s recreational department claiming for this moment forward all Nike products were effectively banned from their city. This is of course in response to NIKE endorsement of Colin Kaepernick.
Mr. Zahn created this memo without any other council member or city official having any prior knowledge of it’s existence.
That my friends is what we call shady. Read the full letter below, followed by a detailed response from a local city councilman.
So let’s recap what just occured. The elected mayor of a public city just banned the use of a private company at his public facilities because they used their first amendment rights to endorse an American citizen exercising his first amendment rights.
Tell me that sentence isn’t dripping with irony?
Listen, I get this issue is an extremely hot-button issue, but let’s face the reality of this. What NIKE does with their advertising dollars is their own personal business. How you, as a private citizen, respond to those ads is also your own personal business. This is the beauty of the American system.
But when a public figure effectively strips the right of his citizens choice to even protest or boycott something by effectively banning it entirely, that my friend is what we call morally wrong. Kenner, you are better than this.
When I write this I’m speaking to both sides of this issue: Believe in what you think is right, hold your convictions high, and respect your fellow American’s right to protest, boycott, or even have an opinion on this issue.
But please Kenner, Please Mr. Zahn, don’t use your power to justify your viewpoint for thousands of Americans. That’s a path we as can’t go down as people, and mostly as Louisiana residents.
This is a developing story, without any comment from the Mayor on the issue. As this story develops, we will update this article. This is an editorial and does not represent River Beats as a whole, but rather the author.