GOP Lawmaker Shares Meme Running Over Protesters To Advocate Safety

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The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office has since apologized for posting the offensive meme that showed a vehicle ramming into protesters on the road.

UPDATE: South Dakota GOP lawmaker Rep. Lynne DiSanto of Box Elder also shared this racist meme and faced similar backlash.

Less than a month after the horrific terrorist incident in Charlottesville, which caused the death of activist Heather Heyer, the Republican lawmaker shared the disgraceful meme which advocates for running over protestors. 

DiSanto currently serves as the GOP's majority whip in the South Dakota state legislature, and will continue to serve during the 2018 legislative session unless she opts to step down from the position, Republican House Majority Leader Lee Qualm said

"I don't think that will have an impact," Qualm said. "Obviously I think she wishes she had not put it out there, but she was quick to pull it down and it seems like one of those things you do without putting much thought into it."

It's interesting how easily Qualm has dismissed the matter, considering the political implications. White supremacists and neo-Nazis have recently been emboldened after the events in Charlottesville, and following Trump's troubling remarks, it seems more important than ever for politicians to denounce this type of behavior. 

By posting a meme that justifies running over protestors, DiSanto is essentially condoning the behavior that murdered an innocent counter-protester to white supremacy. 

While Qualm thinks her thoughtless actions are harmless, Keller Williams Realty begs to differ. Due to her distasteful joke, DiSanto was removed as a real estate associate from a Keller Williams Realty agency.  

Working Against Violence, Inc. also stated they were in search of another speaker for an upcoming event after DiSanto shared the image. Seems like the right choice, considering DiSanto's message is actually working toward violence. 

“I am sorry if people took offense to it and perceived my message in any way insinuating support or condoning people being hit by cars,” DiSanto told the Rapid City Journal. “I perceived it differently. I perceived it as encouraging people to stay out of the street.” 

Yeah right. How could a meme advocating violence against protestors possibly be a "safety" warning to stay out of the street? This out-of-touch lawmaker is simply scrambling to defend her hateful actions.

Our country is already severely divided, yet members of the conservative media and the Republican Party continue encouraging violence against the other side —only further exacerbating that schism. 

DiSanto has received backlash online, The backlash DiSanto received online just proves her apology didn't fix the situation, and that posting hate online will eventually have its consequences. 

Good luck on your reelection DiSanto!

 


The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office in Washington state is facing backlash after an employee reportedly posted an offensive meme to the department’s emergency management Facebook page.

The meme, which shows a car ramming into people, read “All Lives Splatter. Nobody cares about your protest. Keep your a** off the road.”

The post, which clearly mocked the Black Lives Matter movement, also had a caption that said, “I don’t wish harm on anyone ... but protesters don’t belong in the road!”

The employee, whose identity has not yet been released, cross-shared the meme from another Facebook page titled “Libtards; You gotta love ‘em!”

Soon after the incident took place, the department deleted the post.

Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett claimed the employee had meant to share the meme on his personal account and shared it on the department’s official page by mistake.

“Staff at Chelan County Emergency Management feels terrible that this inappropriate and hurtful post made it onto the Facebook page. Changes have already been made in procedure to assure nothing like this will occur in the future,” said Burnett.

He further added, “This post does not reflect the views of the Sheriff’s Office and we trust the public will continue to follow us during emergency situations on our (page). There will be an investigative review to follow up on all things and how it was done and what was done.”

The department also posted an apology, however, it failed to mention if the employee was reprimanded for the act.

As comments started pouring in on the apology post, the employee who posted the meme, still logged in from the department’s administrator’s account, also began commenting to provide an explanation.

“I was on my personal page, went to share….must have hit share to a page you manage rather than just the share….I didn't see that I had done this until I got a phone call — it was meant to be shared with a cousin of mine….now I'm trying to figure out how to unlink my personal and work facebook pages….so it will never happen again,” he commented.

He added, “I must have hit share to a page which is what I use all the time to share to EM … rather than share….and I didn't catch it before I hit post….did it too fast, made a horrible mistake. I have all the various sites I monitor on my personal page to make local information easier to find….then I just share it — all I can think of is I hit the share to page rather than just the share….that is the only thing that makes sense to me. So I've unfollowed all the public pages that I usually use for information….and will do more with cut and paste so that I won't be so stupid again. Unless the boss assigns the page to someone else, which could happen."

No matter what he says, there is just no excuse for racism.

The employee’s explanation doesn’t erase how insensitive the meme actually is. Considering the recent spate of hate crimes in the country, including the tragic incident in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which an alleged white supremacist rammed his car into a group of anti-racist protesters and killed 32-year-old activist Heather Heyer, it is chilling to even think what idea the meme, intentionally or unintentionally, promulgated. 

Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters, Justin Ide

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