Shelby Twp trustee under fire after offensive online post of meme

An alleged Facebook post by Shelby Township Trustee John Vermeulen has earned him backlash.

The caption on it says "Can't we just all get along."  It shows the 'Aunt Jemima' and the Quaker Oats images in bed. 

"It seems pretty inappropriate," said Dan, a resident. "I think he can put whatever he wants on his social media."

Vermeulen is running for reelection.

"Why would he put that on there if he wanted to run for office," said resident Susan Harp.

And it's not just that picture. Allegedly, Vermeulen supported keeping statues of Robert E. Lee, pointed out the criminal history of George Floyd, and questioned whether the police were at fault for Floyd's death.

Tammie Hawkes has been living in Shelby Township for over 10 years. She enjoys walking her dog in the municipal park.
But she sometimes feels uncomfortable in the city she loves.

Shelby Township Trustee John Vermeulen

"I've been called the N-word here and been told to go back to where I came from, which I assume they mean it's Detroit," said Hawkes.

She said she's followed the politics of Shelby Township and she wasn't surprised that the trustees voted 5 to 2, (Vermeulen) voting with the majority) to keep its police chief, despite what some called questionable posts. 

"He's probably even more angry now that he was called out about it. So what is his disposition toward people of color are going to be now, I think it's going to be worse," she said.

FOX 2 did reach out to Trustee John Vermeulen but he did not get back to us. However, if you're watching this- we would like to get your side of the story. Please give FOX 2 a call.

"I'm not going to let anyone run me away from where I enjoy living and working," he said. "No I'm not going to let that happen."