When Ethics Alarms Don’t Ring (And You’re Incompetent And Stupid Too)

The Lawrence County Republican Party in Montgomery, Alabama wanted to post a GOP elephant graphic on its Facebook page, and settled on the charming one above, on which the white spaces between the pachyderm’s legs double as hooded hooded Klansmen.

Naturally, Democrats pounced, as they had every right to do and should be expected to do. “Shame on the Lawrence County Republican Party for this disgusting image,” Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels posted on Twitter.

“I would like to offer a deep and sincere apology for a picture that temporarily appeared on this page last night. A Google search picture of a GOP elephant was used and later found to have hidden images that do not represent the views or beliefs of the Lawrence County Republican Party,” Shannon Terry wrote in a Facebook post apologizing for the use of the image. “As chairman I take full responsibility for the error,” Terry added.

Not good enough, you incompetent fool. “Hidden images”? Does anyone check and double check what your dumb party puts online? If the image came from Google, the source was listed. That graphic was part of a typical Mother Jones attack piece accusing all Republicans of being racists. That image was part of the smear. Did the low-level staffer who posted that graphic know what Mother Jones is? Did anyone look at what was being posted at all?

The digital and the power of the web means that successful organizations have to be especially careful, and there is little margin for error. Each party knows any provocative mistake will be exploited to nth degree. The Lawrence County Republican Party just fertilized the Big Lie that the entire national party is racist, and they did it by not paying attention.

Meanwhile, I had to search high and low to find out what exactly the image was, because apparently news organizations are afraid to publish Klu Klux Klan imagery even when it is necessary to understanding a news story.

These aren’t professionals. These are children.

9 thoughts on “When Ethics Alarms Don’t Ring (And You’re Incompetent And Stupid Too)

  1. I think I saw the image before it was explained.

    But, they got it from a third-party source?!?!

    Or, why not just create your own image!!!! I mean, the image is a nice variation on the cartoonish GOP symbol.

    If you don’t create the image, how can you NOT inspect it fully? So, why not just commission a drawing. How is using this not stealing? Plagiarism? Some sort of intellectual property theft?

    This is what they call an unforced error.

    I cannot come up with an adequate way to close out this comment. It is just thoroughly stupid that deserves nothing more than a shaking of the head.


  2. Seems to me that imagery of Klansmen should be included in Democrat visuals given that the Klan is an outgrowth the Democrat party.

    In all seriousness, I looked up Lawrence County Alabama and found that this is a county with fewer than 35,000 residents whose per capita income is $3,000 less than the state average of a mere $24,000. I believe it is quite possible that most of them have never heard of Mothers Jones and live quite insular lives. I also would not be surprised to find out that the low-level staffer who created and maintained the Facebook page was one of the members kids who volunteered to be the “webmaster”. Using images on web pages without permission is typical of kids and adults who do not understand copyright law.

    I often miss hidden visuals in images unless I am told they are there, and I go looking for them.

    I won’t give them a pass on either issue, but a simple corrective notification would go a long way to restoring civility. This was not the RNC putting this out this was a Facebook page of a Republican club in one of the poorest counties in America and thus not promoted by the “Party” that cannot review every local Facebook post.

  3. I don’t understand how the images between the legs were missed. It was the first thing I noticed when I saw it above. Surely anyone made responsible for putting up such an image on social media is an adult and is adult enough to see the problem with that particular elephant pretty quickly.

  4. I would also note that any number of “democrats in Republican’s clothing” would love to pull off a stunt like that – inserting a clearly incendiary image into Republican material to smear the party.

    Rep. Daniels’ apology leads me to believe that it was not the case in this instance, but it’s certainly plausible in our current climate. Any kind of trust is rapidly disappearing and Republicans in general – and conservative Republicans in particular – have to be ruthlessly careful with everything they say and do.

    • Everybody does. This is, ultimately, a technology competence cautionary tale. Mistakes that once would have received only brief and limited attention and comment now can cause massive damage. The only response is extra care and competence…or not to use the technology.

      • Very true. Honestly? I missed the white hoods on my first look (I was focused on “Why doesn’t the logo look like the one that Jut posted in his response?”), which is the main reason I don’t edit anyone’s Facebook page. That includes my own…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.