In a two part fail, a staffer for local Republican Party in Duval County, Florida, got into hot water after wading into the Ferguson controversy and posting racially inflammatory tweets.
The staffer in question was Kim Crenier, the secretary of the Duval County GOP. The first post was made on a Twitter account of the Duval County GOP:
That tweet was quickly deleted, but Crenier shifted over to her persona account and continued tweeting. Among the other things she tweeted:
A suggestion for Ferguson — fire hoses. Grt big fire hoses, serious water pressure. Knock those thugs over. They probly need a shower anyway.
There are two pretty obviously racist things about this tweet. The first is the use of firehouses, which became world famous for their use in harassing black civil rights protesters during the 1960s:
The second is Creiner’s use of the word thugs, which many have argued is the new way of using the N-word.
Creiner has since apologized, telling local news that she didn’t mean to offend anyone (not quite sure what she did mean then, but that’s a whole other story). Rick Hartley, chair of the Duval GOP, distanced himself and the local party from the remarks, saying,
…she was speaking on her own behalf and as a compassionate human being I feel the pain of any parent who has lost a child no matter what the circumstances. The party has not sought to politicize this tragedy and we are saddened by those who choose to do so.”
Hartley added that he would not be seeking Creiner’s resignation.
Both parties need to be extremely careful with how they react to Ferguson. However, it is bad from both a policy and political perspective for either party to speculate on Darren Wilson’s innocence or guilt, and the Duval County GOP failed that here. More to the point, Creiner should have been given strict instructions on what she could and could not tweet about – and this should never have been tweeted about! Indeed, Creiner becomes the latest politically-oriented individual to get into trouble for using social media to discuss Ferguson – unfortunately, I’ll have even more entries on the subject later this week.