Who is Shane Fuhrman? Colorado mayor bans Pledge of Allegiance, Internet says 'he should resign'
A mayor of a small Colorado town has kicked up a storm that has made it all the way to the US Capitol. Silverton mayor Shane Fuhrman said on June 14, that the Pledge of Allegiance was banned from all public meetings, and anyone reciting it would be thrown out. The divisive news wasn't just slammed by town residents, but also caught the attention of Rep Lauren Boebart.
The pledge has become another topic of controversy in a highly polarized America. In May, Donald Trump's former National Security advisor Michael Flynn was trolled for forgetting the pledge at a pro-Trump rally. In September 2020, Trump and Melania kicked up a storm after they appeared to forget the pledge at a 9/11 remembrance ceremony. Way back in March 2020, a Democrat from Connecticut was slammed for kneeling during the pledge, reportedly to protest against Trump.
Fuhrman made local, and indeed national news for his ban on the pledge, which he said was due to "threats". Thanks to Boebart, the news has now gone viral, leading to Fuhrman being widely trolled online.
Who is Shane Fuhrman?
Along with serving as Silverton's mayor, Fuhrman is also a lawyer and businessman. According to his LinkedIn profile, Fuhrman graduated from Brooklyn Law School in 2007, before working as an associate. In 2013, he co-founded Atikus Investments, a company that offers credit to small businesses. In 2015, he left Atikus for Mixpanel, where he helped establish the firm's New York headquarters.
Fuhrman's first role in public service was as vice president of Silverton School District. He served in that role between 2017 and 2020, before being elected mayor of Silverton in April 2020. At the moment, he is also working as a managing partner for a Silverton-based firm and counsel for a New York-based company. Little else is known about Fuhrman, including his personal life. His website has been restricted, and his Facebook page appears to have been taken down. His Instagram account is also set to private, but we could not confirm if that was always the case. This is likely in response to the massive trolling he has received for banning the pledge.
Pledge banned due to 'divisiveness' and 'threats'
During a virtual town meeting, Fuhrman can be seen threatening attendees for reciting the pledge. "I'd note that that's out of order... I am not going to ask everyone to leave tonight but if something like that happens again we will," Fuhrman can be heard saying after the pledge is recited by almost everyone present. According to reports, Fuhrman made an executive decision to nix the pledge from town meetings in April 2020. Despite a 4/3 vote to continue with it, Furhman used his position as mayor to overturn the vote.
"I personally didn’t like his unilateral decision, when we as a collective group had already decided over a year ago to continue to do the pledge," Silverton Trustee Molly Barela told a local Fox News outlet. "To tell members of the public they are not allowed to say the Pledge of Allegiance during public comment and threaten to have them removed violates every single one of their first amendment rights," she added.
During the June meeting, Furhman reiterated that the pledge was banned. He said, "due to direct and indirect threats, inappropriate comments in and out of public meetings and general divisiveness and issues created in our community, we will not be reciting the Pledge of Allegiance during Town of Silverton trustee meetings," but did not detail what those threats were. When slammed by Berela, Furhman replied, "If you’d like to find somewhere in the code, something that doesn’t permit me to do this, then I welcome that discussion at our next meetings."
'How does it feel to be humiliated nationally?'
The video was spotted by Boebart, who shared on Twitter and smalled Fuhrman, "Silverton, CO’s Mayor unilaterally banned the Pledge of Allegiance at city meetings. It’s hard to put into words what kind of anti-American disgrace this is. Mayor Fuhrman should resign and purchase a one-way ticket to China where he won’t have worry about hearing the pledge!"
Silverton, CO’s Mayor unilaterally banned the Pledge of Allegiance at city meetings.— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) June 18, 2021
It’s hard to put into words what kind of anti-American disgrace this is.
Mayor Fuhrman should resign and purchase a one-way ticket to China where he won’t have worry about hearing the pledge! pic.twitter.com/tjzU1cnOv0
She wasn't the only one. Another person said, "@shanefuhrman You seem like a little socialist creeper. I hope people loudly recite the Pledge of Allegiance in your face everywhere you go." One user tweeted, "Mayor of Silverton, CO wanting to eliminate the Pledge of Allegiance from their opening meetings. @shanefuhrman what a complete JACKASS."
@shanefuhrman You seem like a little socialist creeper.— Random Beer Snob (@OgrabmeNY) June 22, 2021
I hope people loudly recite the Pledge of Allegiance in your face everywhere you go.
Mayor of Silverton, CO wanting to eliminate the Pledge of Allegiance from their opening meetings. @shanefuhrman what a complete JACKASS.— HellRoosters (@HellRoosters) June 22, 2021
One person retweeted Boebart's tweet and added, "I completely agree. This man is a communist working for China. He needs to resign. #ShameonShane@shanefuhrman." Another person took a more light-hearted approach, joking, "@shanefuhrman how does it feel to be humiliated nationally?"
@shanefuhrman how does it feel to be humiliated nationally?— Portnoy’s Intern (@portnoysintern) June 22, 2021
The ban doesn't appear to be permanent. Fuhrman said that it would be in place "until such time that we could discuss this at a board retreat or workshop." He did not, however, specify when that would be. The fiery exchange between Fuhrman and Barela can be seen on the town's Trustee Meeting video, which is up on YouTube.