Flint Councilman Eric Mays referred to Council President Monica Galloway as “Hitler” and performed the Nazi salute at their general meeting.

Flint Councilman Eric Mays is under fire for comparing Council President Monica Galloway to “Hitler” and performing Nazi salutes at their general meeting on Monday, Jan. 13.

In a video recording of the meeting, Mays directed the comment, “you ain’t got to be like Hitler,” towards Galloway and proceeded to perform the Nazi salute and stomp his feet.

Following the incident, Galloway continued with the meeting and Mays excused himself.

On Jan. 15, local news outlets indicated a special council meeting was called. Galloway issued an apology for not addressing Mays’ inappropriate behavior immediately.

At that same meeting, Mays did not apologize for his actions. He insisted that he would not hesitate to repeat those actions to someone else in power.

Steven Low, Executive Director of the Flint Jewish Federation, learned about the incident early Tuesday morning in an email from a very concerned non-Jewish member of the community.

Although Low’s initial reaction was dismay and outrage that Mays “could be so insensitive and ignorant,” he was also not surprised.

“Eric Mays has a long standing reputation for self-serving grandstanding and obstructionism at City Council meetings,” Low said. “Frankly, he has shown no remorse and has repeated this behavior and has even tried to justify it. He has also stated that he is not interested in rethinking his behavior.”

Even though what Mays said was disheartening, Low states that “both members of the Jewish and non-Jewish community have been outraged but not surprised that Mays was behind these actions.”

Low was also disappointed because Galloway did not immediately address the behavior nor eject Mays from the meeting. However, Low did have the opportunity to speak to Galloway on the phone and in person.

“She was very apologetic and is resolved to take action to address Mr. Mays behavior,” Low said. “In addition to her issuing a public apology, I offered to arrange for a visit for the entire city council including Mr. Mays to the Holocaust Museum in Detroit.”

Low hopes that this incident will lead to some training on how to better handle civil discourse and serving the public’s interest.

“I certainly hope that the city council will take the time to learn more and become better educated about the Holocaust and the harm that follows when trivializing it,” Low said.

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