Once in a while, the mask slips down - and people like Allen West reveal their true thoughts. pic.twitter.com/zaREZ34VdF— Imraan Siddiqi (@imraansiddiqi) December 11, 2016
It all started with a meme.
The official Facebook page for Allen West, a former Florida congressman, army lieutenant colonel, and right-wing political pundit, shared a post, according to which President-elect Donald Trump was appointing Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis to serve as defense secretary in order to “exterminate Muslims.”
In a nutshell, the meme basically came across as morbid fascination over the idea of a coming genocide against a religious community under Mattis.
So, the post was not only inappropriate, it was also a genocidal threat against Muslims — posted on a page that has been liked by nearly 3 million people. Yet, it was allowed to remain on the page for a considerable amount of time. More than 10,000 people were able to share it.
Fortunately, a lot of reasonable people also came across the post and criticized it, so much so that it was eventually deleted.
An apology followed, claiming that the genocidal meme was not shared by West himself. It was, in fact, posted by Michele Hickford, the editor-in-chief for allenbwest.com.
Now, it’s a good thing at least the reprehensible message was taken down, however, the so-called apology by Hickford, many would agree, comes across as a hasty attempt at damage control — hasty and, to be honest, a failed attempt.
Well, according to Hickford, she takes “full responsibility” as editor-in-chief, however, she claims it wasn’t her who posted it. It was “reposted from another source.” She didn’t clarify how exactly it was reposted and by who. People have the right to know who is responsible for airing such murderous views, after all.
“Its message was despicable, offensive to many,” the apology states, or understates, to be precise.
The message came across as one anticipating the genocide of a community. It was not just despicable or offensive — it was frightening.
Also, Hickford failed to directly address the community that was targeted in the meme: Muslims.
There was no mention of the word “Muslims” in the apology, actually and that is not right.
West hasn’t issued an apology yet. And that’s making it more difficult for people to believe he didn’t approve of the meme, given his controversial history. He is a former army lieutenant who left the military after firing a gun next to an Iraqi policeman's head during an interrogation. He once suggested co-existence of religions would “give away our country” and views “radical Islam is the existential threat lurking around every corner.”