This week in Minnesota, the Chisago County Republican Party posted a photo of a slavery auction on their Facebook page, with the following words:
Against Slavery? Don’t Get One.
NOTE: Yeah, I get it. It’s supposed to be like the “Against abortion? Don’t get one” bumper stickers. I guess they missed the part of the pro – choice argument being about control over their own body, not someone else. Slavery was about having full control over other human beings – including their bodies and the choices they made with their bodies. Think about that. Considering the plans for Republican minority outreach, this was a horrible idea.
MSNBC Host Ed Schultz drew attention to the post on his own Facebook page. Thousands shared and condemned the photo posted from this group online, including some Republicans.
Republican Party Chairman Keith Downey had this to say on Twitter:
Slavery is morally reprehensible as was Democrat support at the time, but this is the WRONG way to make the point.
DFL Chairman Ken Martin let Republicans know how disgusting he thought the photo was:
I find the reference to slavery disgusting and reprehensible. How can a party work so hard to sell themselves as multi-cultural and welcoming to others when their leadership approves and publicizes racist photos to make a point?
Minneapolis Star Tribune spoke to Minnesota Republican Party Secretary Chris Fields :
Minnesota Republican Party secretary Chris Fields said in an interview that he found “absolutely nothing offensive about that (Facebook) post.”
Fields said that as an African-American man he finds slavery reprehensible but saw the post as a reminder that the Republican Party started as an abolitionist party, at a time when Democrats supported slavery.
Although he said the posting would have benefited from further explanation, he added: “I’m not going to condemn that posting.”
As of Late Wednesday, the group took down the posting and offered an apology:
The Chisago County Republican Party is very sorry that something so clearly improper (either intended or in poor taste) ever made it to our page. Postings like this are not representative of our party.
The Chisago County Republican Party also says that due to large number of people who are allowed to post, they haven’t found the person who was responsible for posting the photo.