Video: Cynthia Chestnut says Clarence Thomas should “never” get a Key to the City

City Commissioner Cynthia Chestnut laughs at the idea of Clarence Thomas getting a Key to the City


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Gainesville City Commissioners Cynthia Chestnut, Bryan Eastman, and Casey Willits held a Sunshine Meeting on Tuesday, February 14, to discuss criteria for awarding a Key to the City. Eastman said he had done some research on how other cities award these honors: “Some of them were these really prestigious awards that would come out on an annual basis; some would be regular things that were given out, or if someone came into town, if they wanted to present to visiting dignitaries.” He asked Chestnut about her vision for how they would be awarded.

Before Willits arrived, Chestnut said she favored the award for prestigious visitors to the city, such as a “nationally known person” who came in for Gator Growl… If it was Rihanna, you would want to give her a Key to the City… We had a national gospel singing artist come to town who we should have given a Key to the City to, but we couldn’t because [Mayor Lauren Poe] said we weren’t giving them any more. But Dottie Peoples should have received a Key to the City… If Kamala Harris comes to town, she needs to get a Key to the City.”

Eastman said a lot of the awards he had researched went to residents, but he could understand Chestnut’s argument that it would be for a non-resident “as a description of opening up the doors to the city.” Chestnut said proclamations, rather than Keys, are a more appropriate award for residents.

Chestnut said Pegeen Hanrahan had given one to Tom Petty but he “had already moved away from here, and he came back. He was a national person.”

Chestnut gave more examples: “An Accent speaker, maybe a former Justice of the Supreme Court or something.”

Eastman responded, “Clarence Thomas comes and talks at UF, and he doesn’t get a Key to the City.” They both laughed, and Chestnut said, “Never! Never! Never! Never!” The video below shows that brief interaction.

Chestnut said commissioners could suggest recipients to the Mayor, like they do for proclamations, and the Mayor would make the decision.

Willits, who had arrived by that point, suggested presenting annual awards at UF Homecoming, but he also said the timing could be determined by the Mayor. Chestnut said she saw the Key being given throughout the year, whenever dignitaries visit: “If you had the President of the Democratic Party come to town, we want him to get a Key to the City.”

Willits said some people support renaming Forest Park after Abby Wambach, and that could be a first opportunity to award a Key to the City if the renaming is approved and she visits for the occasion.

Chestnut says the City already has a Key: “I took one for memory’s sake when I was on the commission before, so I would have it… It’s a great memento.” She added, “If someone gave a check for the East Side Sports Complex, we want to give them a Key to the City.”

Eastman said it was important to give individual commissioners the ability to nominate recipients because they might have “someone who matters to that community… if there are Hispanic singer-songwriters who are coming through, or something like that.” Chestnut agreed: “A person who’s an authority on climate change, maybe, the top leading person.”

Eastman interjected, “You know who we should get? Ibram X. Kendi,” and Chestnut said, “Oh, yes!” They agreed that he would have qualified for a Key even when he lived here because, Eastman said, “He’s a celebrity.” Willits agreed, “In a college academic town, we value that.”

Willits joked that citizens would demand a Key for “whoever finally brings a Golden Corral,” and Chestnut said that if anyone brings a Golden Corral, “They need it!”

    • Hate from the democrats? How Lyn? That’s called honesty. Clarence Thomas should NEVER get a key to the city. He’s an awful human…and his wife, too.

  • The only people the city commissioners are giving keys to right now are the homeless.

    As far as her comment about Justice Thomas, it’s another example of the liberal bias against conservatives regardless their accomplishments. That’s the only reason she feels he would warrant a key to the city – doesn’t fit her shallow box. Don Lemon recently made the comment that Nikki Haley wasn’t “qualified” to hold office because of her age. I guess Chestnut, Prizzia, Alford, McNealy and others should resign as well.

    Chestnut spends more hours dividing the community than she does working in it’s best interests. She’s like the rest, all liars, that itself should make them “unqualified” to serve in the public’s best interest.

  • I guess she does not appreciate a man who crawled his way to where he is and plays by the rules. Thomas may not be perfect, but he earned his place.

  • Wish I had the keys to her little self righteous, “better than thou” box…I would throw them away.

  • Give ’em enough time, they’ll turn on their own. Guess the keys are off limits to Denzel, Thomas, Morgan, Colin, Condeleezza & Ben as well. No matter their accomplishments, they don’t fit her narrative.

    People wonder why there’s so much B on B crimes in the city. Time to stop.

  • Why would anyone want a key to this city? I don’t think Clarence Thomas would have any qualms about telling old Cynthia that she knows what she can do with the key to the city.

    • He doesn’t even deserve a seat on the highest court in the land, let alone a key to a city. She knows exactly why she said what she said, and so does the person sitting there with her.

      • The whole thing sounds like a shameless way for commissioners to try to meet celebrities they idolize. I doubt all but the most minor celebrities would take time out of their day for it. As far as Justice Thomas, they probably still think he put pubic hairs on Anita Hill’s Pepsi can (or whatever the allegation was). And he’s married to a conservative wite woman, so he simply will not do. It’s a tempest in a teapot. Clarence Thomas would probably get a good laugh about the city of Gainesville “withholding its award” from him.

    • So is her POS crook attorney son who ripped off his own black clients and who’s been permanently barred in Florida & now can no longer practice law. He’s also got a warrant out for his arrest. Anybody know where he’s residing? I like extra money.

  • Dems in the hood cannot stand it when Black men succeed *legit*. It negates their entire narrative that we have a caste system built on excuses, not individual merit. And look at the results in their own hoods, today 🤡👹🤬

  • Chestnut is a bigot. She’s a Democratic hack who if you don’t agree with her politics then she wants to cancel you.

  • Yes, she’s right! No judge who’s mission is to follow the United States Constitution should be given any modicum of respect in this city.

  • Judge Thomas is an excellent jurist and a strict constitutionalist. He also has a very compelling personal story of a rise from the absolute most extreme black poverty. But because Ms. Chestnut doesn’t agree with his decisions she will never see this. Clarence Thomas is EXACTLY the role model young blacks need today. Sad. 😔

  • Chestnut “kiss the ring” bigot hates white people, conservatives and men. I’ve dealt with her so I know by my own experience.

    • Yeah. The entire family…. Nice folks…yet if you choose to do business with them, you should expect to be taken… nothing personal… just the way business is done…

  • For YEARS there was a Ryan’s at 2400 North Main street. Right around where she implies she wants this Golden Corral. Ryan’s had traditional dining, the best wait staff, low prices, tons of seating room and great food. What happened? Too many robberies? Not enough customers? East Gainesville used to thrive until eventually those who got tired of the crime pulled out. I dont see Golden Corral pushing their way in. The old Ryan’s building is a used car lot… sheesh.

    • Ryan’s was old, dark, kinda dirty inside, and in need of remodeling back in the late 80s. It’s been closed for over 30 years. The China Palace became the new and better Ryan’s, at least for us.

  • Give the key to someone that’s “an authority on climate change , maybe the top leading person”? Don’t tell me they want to give a key to that ugly white devilish climate change girl….you know the one…she looks like a female Damian from the Omen.
    This Soddom & Gomorrah bunch would give a key to the city to the devil.

  • Wow…so much hate here. The elected officials are people too…just like you. What happened to decorum and respect in the public arena?

    • Kinnon:

      I can smell the horse shit of a liberal progressive
      Democ”rat” anywhere..your post was easy….very stinky….peeeew!

      “What happened to decorum and respect in the public arena?” Why don’t you tell the GNV CC that citizens need to be able to address their local government…it’s the people business and the citizens need to be able to address them more than once a day and we don’t need to be limited to 3 min and have to sign a sheet, etc.

    • You gotta give respect to deserve it. She does neither.
      She’s a joke looking for an easy way to make a quick buck. She’s found it.

    • Are you speaking to the lack of respect and decorum from these commissioners toward those with different opinions than their own?

    • Save the crap…”What happened to decorum and respect in the public arena?” What happened to citizens being able to address their local government during citizens comments?

  • I think Chestnut is normally one of the better commissioners. At least she didn’t wish him dead (like Saco saying people in the audience should be dead already) or we’d have the federal police showing up in the middle of a commission meeting to talk to her. She probably knows he wouldn’t be interested in taking time out of his day as a Supreme Court Justice to come downtown and have his picture taken with a motley bunch of weirdo leftists.

  • 1. If Cynthia gets to “take one” for memory’s sake then I would also like one for memory’s sake. I am born and raised in Gainesville.
    2. If you have to buy your way to a key by say…building an East Sports Complex, how much does that cost? What if I wanted to donate that same amount to do something for every child in the city of Gainesville…do I still get a key?

    • No you wouldn’t, because every child in the city implies law abiding middle class kids who make goid grades and will be successful people. Not woke enough. Buuuuut, You might get a key if you gave something to all east side teen thugs who carry illegal guns and shoot people. That woke politics in action!

  • She is a thief, she admitted it:
    “I took one for memory’s sake when I was on the commission before, so I would have it… It’s a great memento.”
    That explains the vote for a pay increase.

    That’s a fine example for our youth to follow. Some people actually voted for this.

  • Chestnut can lobby to give the keys to anyone she wants……GRU still holds the city’s pink slip.

  • Kamala Harris? What has she done? Her 2 big break appointments were by Willie Brown 30+ years her senior who she had 25 year affair with, while both married to other people. Clarence Thomas has served honorably for many years despite being the subject of hate and smears. Read his book: Son of my Grandfather and you’ll see why he dislikes gov handouts. Sounds like this award will be race based.

  • It could make for a funny episode of South Park, where Justice Thomas has already been featured in one episode. After being rejected for the Key to the City of Gainesville award, Justice Thomas has to check himself into the hospital for major depression where he shares a room with John Fetterman. Ward, Saco, Willits, Chestnut, etc. would all make great South Park characters.

  • Maybe if she raised her ex-lawyer son more like Clarence Thomas was raised — without excuses — he’d still be practicing law instead of mortuary flowcharts, today?

  • Its always about the power and benefits that come with it. People want to be the center of attention but she can’t even control her own body how can she manage part of a city?

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