Fort Worth removes controversial human relations commission official

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The Fort Worth City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to remove Mike Steele from the Human Relations Commission, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

A member of that anti-discrimination commission since 2015, Steele has used Facebook to promote divisive and offensive content, the newspaper reported. Other members of the commission recommended in July that the council remove Steele because he had posted material that attacked Muslims, immigrants and transgender people.

Those posts dated back years, but were not scrutinized by the public until TCU Professor Emily Farris included screenshots of some of the posts on Twitter, the Star-Telegram reported.

Mayor Betsy Price asked Steele to resign the next day, but he refused. Steele did not attend the July meeting of the commission or the city council meeting on Tuesday.

“Some may not agree with my message, but I followed the policies and procedures set forth by the City,” Steele said in a July email that touted his military service. “I have fought foreign enemies, and I will fight domestic social media mobs.”

Steele shared a Facebook photo on May 12 that featured photos of cooked bacon – which Muslims usually abstain from eating – and a laughing President Trump with the text, “Bacon Fact: People who eat bacon are less likely to blow themselves up.”

The Star-Telegram reported that some city staff members said Steele’s controversial Facebook posts were well known, although only one formal complaint was lodged, in 2017.

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