The Outstater

February 1, 2021

WHAT IF A CABINET-LEVEL APPOINTEE in the Indiana governor’s office made “radical, homophobic and racially divisive” comments when she was in her late 20s? 

In today’s media environment, there would be serious inquiries, right? Well, not apparently if that person fills a historic post as the state’s first “chief equity, inclusion and opportunity officer.”

All of that was in a report last week from REAL News Michiana, a blog out of South Bend. The reporter, Clifton French, tells us that he has been unable to get a response from the governor’s office or even so much as a “no comment” from the press office. Nor can our search find any other news outlets investigating the charge independently.

OK, maybe there’s an explanation. Perhaps the officer has a mea culpa blaming improprieties on her youth, one in which we all could sympathize. Maybe her words don’t mean what we think they mean. Maybe the tweets are posted on a fake web site, although French is convincing that they are authentic and that they were taken down soon after he started asking questions.

In any case, the nature of the comments displayed in screen shots from the alleged Twitter account are shocking, especially for someone now in charge of monitoring the ethical conduct of Indiana government. They demand an official response.

That is what troubles us here, that such an obvious news story can be squelched. It feeds a cynical conviction that there is much in Indiana, even of clear public interest, that can been placed off limits by the silent decrees of official and media chieftains.

If we cannot get to the truth of a simple tweet, we don’t live in a representative government. We live in a fantasy. — tcl


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