By Trinity Velazquez.
Ben Zahn, the Republican mayor of Kenner, screwed up big-time. I am just going to say it: this was a terrible idea.
Banning Nike products from Kenner’s recreational centers while claiming to protect city taxpayers from promoting Nike’s “political agenda” is hardly believable. He succumbed to his own personal beliefs, and never thought about the consequences.
I feel bad for him, because whoever works under him let the Nike ban go public, and then watched as it blew up in his face. Honestly, I probably would have done the same thing just so I could see everybody’s reaction.
He pissed off a lot of people, made the council members angry, and received many negative comments from random people online. He probably didn’t need any comments from the peanut gallery, but that’s what he got.
The fact that he put his own beliefs over those of whom he governs does not surprise me, because he is not the first politician to do it and he won’t be the last.
What surprises me is that no one agreed with him, and he was forced to reverse it. If the people of Kenner had not fought for the ban’s reversal, this story would not have been as big as it was.
If anything, this should give hope to anyone feeling like they are powerless or who feel like they cannot trust their political leaders. We can fight back and take the power that we feel we don’t have.
Kenner is close to my home, and because I am so far away, I just affiliated myself with everyone who lives there. I knew that there was no way the ban could last. And I was right because the ban was over as soon as it started—it only lasted a week.
So now, instead of being known for the arduous work he is doing to make Kenner a better place, Mayor Zahn could very well go down in history as the mayor who came for Nike and failed.