GCAC Requests Removal of Ohio Arts Council Appointee for Hate Speech
Editor’s Note 01/08/2021, 2 p.m.: This article includes an update on the resignation of Block from the Ohio Arts Council.
After the violent insurrection of pro-Trump rioters at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, a board member of the Ohio Arts Council, appointed by Governor Mike DeWine, took to social media to air her grievances in a now-widely circulated comment on Facebook.
“No peace! No unity!” wrote Susan Allan Block, who is also a Block Communications family member, the holding company that owns the Toledo Blade, among other print and broadcast media.
“We will drag this illegitimate president, his whore VP & all of the Democrats though [sic] the same shit they dragged President Trump & his supporters through for the last 5 years!” she continued, emphasizing there will “be no healing.”
Now, the Greater Columbus Arts Council, which is financially supported by OAC, has requested her removal from the board.
“Incendiary hate speech cannot be tolerated in Ohio, let alone by a high-ranking government appointee,” said Tom Katzenmeyer, president and CEO of GCAC, in a statement addressed to the governor and Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “I look forward to your reply and action.”
On the afternoon of Friday, Jan. 8, Governor Mike DeWine released a statement announcing Block had submitted her resignation from the Ohio Arts Council.
That afternoon Donna Collins, executive director of the OAC, also released a statement:
“Agency staff does not comment on the personal opinions of its sitting board members. However, Susan is no longer on the board, so let me now say this,” read the statement sent out via email. “Our agency does not condone or endorse these inflammatory opinions in any way, and we will continue to work in alignment with our shared values of diversity, equity, and inclusivity.”