Bureau of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Joel Silverman was in Gary hearing concerns from local residents about plans to shutter branches of his agency in some of their communities. In an effort to convince the audience to think as a county and not just as a city, he said some residents needed to shed their "city mentality."
The phrase was immediately branded "offensive and disrespectful" by the local chapter of the NAACP.
"When you mention the term 'city mentality' to an audience consisting mainly of African-Americans, they're not thinking city mentality means 'regional.' They're thinking you mean the N-word mentality. That was a perception problem," said the NAACP's Tammi Davis.