Texas residents are enduring a deadly Arctic blast that knocked out power across the state, leaving them without heat or electricity in below-freezing temperatures. To make matters worse, many also lacked running water, forcing them to haul in heavy buckets of snow each time they needed to flush their toilets. But that is not stopping a Republican official from adding insult to injury.
Residents of Colorado City, Texas, turned to a community Facebook group to ask whether the small town planned to open warming shelters, while others wondered if firefighters could do their job without water. But when Colorado City’s mayor chimed in, it was to deliver a less-than-comforting message: The local government had no responsibility to help out its citizens, and only the tough would survive.
“No one owes you or your family anything,” Tim Boyd, a Republican, wrote on Tuesday in a now-deleted Facebook post, according to KTAB/KRBC. “I’m sick and tired of people looking for a damn handout!”
“The City and County, along with power providers or any other service owes you NOTHING!” he wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.
Boyd suggested that residents without electricity should simply “step up and come up with a game plan.” Those without running water could either deal with it, or “think outside of the box to survive and supply water to your family.” He did not offer any further guidance, such as where safe drinking water or reliable electricity could be found.
“Only the strong will survive and the weak will perish,” he wrote.
Home to roughly 4,000 people, Colorado City is located in between Abilene and the twin cities of Midland and Odessa, in a part of West Texas that’s best known for high school football and oil field jobs. Below-freezing temperatures aren’t uncommon in winter as winds sweep across the plains, but losing heat, power, water and the ability to cook at the same time was an unpleasant new experience for many in the area.
Though authorities across Texas encouraged residents to hunker down until power could be restored and avoid driving on dangerously icy roads, Boyd categorized those who were camped out in frigid homes and waiting for assistance as “lazy.”
“Folks, God [h]as given us the tools to support ourselves in times like this,” he wrote, claiming that those who expected the city to come to their aid were “sadly a product of a socialist government.”
In reality, community members already were doing their best to help each other out, offering to trudge through the snow to pick up supplies for neighbors or share water from their private wells. And as critics pointed out, even trying to access the emergency preparedness guide on Colorado City’s official webpage led to an error message.
Boyd’s tirade, which also demanded that “lazy” residents find their own ways of procuring water and electricity, immediately drew backlash. Later on Tuesday, Boyd announced his resignation and admitted that he could have “used better wording.”