Equal rights group calls for sheriff’s resignation

Western Courier Staff

Don Schieferdecker, the sheriff of Schuler County, has come under fire from not only the citizens of his constituency, who he took an oath to protect and serve, but in media outlets across the state. Schieferdecker made a comment regarding a photo posted by one of his Facebook friends which contained both religious and sexual slurs. The comment was removed following the subsequent uproar, and Mr. Schiefendecker is using his technological ineptitude as an excuse for the fact that his remark went public, without apologizing for its content. We at the Western Courier would like to offer our responses to Mr. Schieferdecker’s comments, and invite you to do the same by writing to us via email at micour@wiu.edu. Comments with contact information (name and phone number of writer) will be considered for publication in future issues of the Western Courier. We also invite you to vote in our online poll and make your opinion regarding Sheriff Schieferdecker’s actions known.

Bill Welt – The sheriff needs to accept responsibility for his Facebook comment and resign. He embarrassed his community as a public official. He should have recognized the potential danger of posting his joke on Facebook in the new technological age.

Bethany Bekas – The truly upsetting part of this saga is not the sheriff’s inability to understand social networking sites, but the frequency of this kind of dialogue that occurs on and off the web. I think this should act as a reminder to be wary of the adjectives used to describe individuals.

Pat Haynes – In accordance with the guidelines that the Courier follows, I’m forced to censor my response. So I’ll just say that this is a complete and utter . disgrace. Though I am a non-practicing Jewish person, I still take a great deal of offense to the remarks that this elected official decided to post on Facebook. What if this kid was in trouble and needed help from the law? The fact that this kind of hate still occurs these days is just moronic, which is fitting considering that’s exactly how the sheriff came across.

Lauren Staten – What concerns me most here is not what Sheriff Schieferdecker posted, which is undoubtedly derogatory and hateful, but the forum in which he chose to express his opinion. As an elected official, I would think that he should have some semblance of respect for the individuals that he is sworn to serve and protect. What is said in the workplace is one thing; what is posted on the WORLD wide web is another entirely. As a member of the LGBT community, I choose not to take offense to the hateful language Sheriff Schieferdecker used, but instead stress that his ‘joke’ isn’t very funny.

Michael Lowe – This event demonstrates that political correctness is always appropriate in professional and personal situations, whether people personally agree with it or not. Maybe some people should avoid Facebook if they don’t realize that it’s public, especially if they face the responsibilities and pressures of an elected office. This comment has to be taken seriously because of its insensitivity – even if it was just an inappropriate joke.

Beth Clothier – Regardless of whether or not Sherif Schieferdecker knew how Facebook worked, that his comments could be seen by other people -and I think he’s just trying to save his ass here, and badly -it doesn’t excuse the fact that his comment was insensitive at the very least. This is a man in charge of the protection of his county and the people in it, regardless of race, sexuality or religious beliefs, and these are the words of a bigot.

Tom Loftus – It doesn’t matter that no one outside of Rushville, Ill. had ever heard of Don Schieferdecker until this month. Public figures are public figures, whether they are Grammy Award-winning rock artists like John “If you had a hood pass, you could call it a n—– pass” Mayer, Academy Award-winning actor-directors like Mel “The Jews are responsible for all the wars in history” Gibson, Emmy award-winning actors like Michael “Fifty years ago, we’d have you upside down with a f—ing fork up your a–” Richards (Kramer on Seinfeld), or the chief law enforcement officer in a county so small, its entire population wouldn’t fill half of the stands at Hanson Field. Save the apology; it’s too late to “beg” for the public’s forgiveness. Your true nature has been revealed, in a game that has no “take-backs.” It’s time to unpin your pointy badge, turn in your service revolver, and slip away to a nice, quiet cave somewhere. You’ll be more comfortable there. And so will the citizens of western Illinois.

Kelsey Yoder – “Prejudice, wrote a song about it. Like to hear it? Here it go.” Sheriff Schieferdecker, “I said, free your mind and the rest will follow.”

-En Vogue, “Free Your Mind