Here's the thing: If you share an in-your-face hateful post on social media and take it down with a non-apology only after receiving backlash, you are still a hateful person.
Case in point: a Texas city councilman, who shared an explicitly Islamophobic post on Facebook and deleted it after drawing criticism. He now insists he not an Islamophobe.
Oh, and he also wants to keep his job.
Plano city Councilman Tom Harrison has refused to resign after sharing a post that read: “Share if you think Trump should ban Islam in American schools.” The text was accompanied by an image of a girl wearing what appears to be a hijab, the traditional head veil worn by Muslim women.
Obviously, the anti-Muslim content set off a scorching round of criticism, both online and offline, with many demanding Harrison step down.
The councilman deleted the post, but the damage had already been done.
Plano prides itself on its diversity, and Council Member Tom Harrison’s anti-Muslim, racist sentiment has no place in it. This hate threatens the safety of ALL citizens and is unacceptable. Call on Tom Harrison to resign from office immediately. #FireTomHarrison @cityofplanotx pic.twitter.com/WYvf1ZW8PL— Nelly Kaakaty (@NellyKaakaty) February 14, 2018
This is unacceptable. @cityofplanotx if Tom Harrison isn’t fired by the next city council meeting, expect protests. We don’t care for him to delete the posts or post a half-ass apology. We want racists and bigots OUT of our government. #FireTomHarrison— #FireTomHarrison/#Harrison2Resign yall❤️semantics (@troubalight) February 14, 2018
Tom Harrison doesn't represent me with his bigoted views. I stand with my neighbors, no matter what their religion or skin color or cultural heritage. His website is riddled with racist dog-whistles. https://t.co/R38lutQtEC— Crayoh (@crayoh) February 19, 2018
In a special session, the city council voted seven to one to censure Harrison, who refuses to resign. According to him, he has released an apology and that should absolve him.
"I did put an apology out there. I did put a cautious note out there saying I will be cautious from now on, but I will not resign," he said. "I want to assure the citizens of Plano, I am not xenophobic. I am not a bigot. I am not a racist. What I am is someone who was elected, told people I would do a job for everyone in Plano."
First, let's take a look at his "apology." It reads:
"My intent on inputting this on my personal Facebook page was to emphasize that Christianity is not the only religion being targeted for exclusion in our public school. It was not meant as a personal attack against the Islamic faith. As a Christian, it is my belief that all should be free to worship as they choose, but we live in a time where any practice of religious expression in public schools is rarely tolerated."
For starters, Harrison is, in a way, admitting he targeted Islam for exclusion in public schools.
Secondly, it was a personal attack against the Islamic faith because the post included the words "ban Islam," which pretty much sums up the entire Islamic faith.
Lastly, if Harrison wants more tolerance of Christian expression in public schools, yet, he still advocated a ban on Islam, it not only makes him an Islamophobe but also a hypocrite.
What's more, Harrison made it look like it was a one-time offense. It wasn't.
As it turns out, he has previously shared a bunch of similar hateful posts.
A public recall would now be needed to remove him from office.