Mayor Diane Delaware said that city officials may not always agree on everything, but she will not tolerate abusive language.
Delaware said she was referred to as “woman,” during a previous board meeting, and she considered the term to be insulting.
“My name is not anything other than Diane Delaware,” she said. “It is common practice for men to abuse women by utilizing strange and unusual terminology. I was called, ‘woman.’ That is not my name.”
Delaware said she also doesn’t think it is appropriate for an individual to attempt to use religion against her when debating.
“Additionally, I was rebuked in the name of Jesus during the last meeting, and while that may be something that an individual may do, this was during a meeting that was going on, and this individual was speaking without being recognized. I consider this to be abusive language towards me. I endured abusive language from an employee from 2016 to 2017, and I do not intend to endure abusive language any longer.”
Although the mayor did not name anyone during her comments, Ward 3 Alderman Sir Jonathan Rucker said Delaware was talking about him and responded.
“I know that the mayor was referring to me as far as ‘rebuking’ because of my faith,” Rucker said. “If I offended you by saying ‘woman,’ I will publicly apologize because I am a Christian person before I’m an alderman.”
Rucker said he was frustrated because he felt like the mayor was interrupting him while he was trying to speak during the meeting.
“When I rebuked I was being interrupted,” Rucker said. “I’m not going to lie. I got tired. I rebuked Satan in the name of Jesus. I did not say Diane Delaware or anyone else. I said, ‘Satan, I rebuke you in the name of Jesus.’ I don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, which is people. If you don’t understand that I do not wrestle against flesh and blood against you as an individual, then that’s something between you and whatever god you serve. I said three times, ‘I rebuke you, Satan.’ Your name is not Satan. Your name is – as you said – Diane Delaware. I rebuked Satan himself, so if Satan is working through an individual that’s between them and Satan.”
Rucker said he was within his rights.
“I am covered by the First Amendment of the Constitution to practice – thank you Jesus, hallelujah – my beliefs,” Rucker said. “I have the right by the law of this land.”
“We all have the right to say what we want to say, but you don’t have the right to call me ‘woman,’ or any strange names,” Delaware said. “My name is Diane. I can also be addressed as ‘mayor.’ If it happens again I may consider taking legal action because I do not have to take abuse here.”