* Proft got the ball rolling…
* About an hour later, legislators began receiving this inquiry from one of Proft’s papers…
This is Hoang again, assignment editor for LGIS. I’m reaching out regarding the controversial picture Kankakee County democrats posted this late last week:
We’d like to get your thoughts on this.
1) Wha do you think about the image comparing MAGA to KKK?
2) What are your thoughts on the divisiveness of the current political landscape? Can we escape this toxic rhetoric?
3) Isn’t this an expression of free speech? how does it differ from other expression of speech?
Those are all the questions I have for you. If you would prefer to conduct a phone interview, we can set up a time for me or another reporter to call you.
The unique email address above - though it looks strange - directly relays your response to our editorial system. When you hit “reply” to this email, your message will be sent directly to me.
If you have any questions please let me know.
* Craig tweeted it out…
* Greg picked it up…
A day after a GOP group caught heat for a faux poster dubbing four Democratic congresswoman “The Jihad Squad,” the Kankakee County Democratic chairman conceded he posted a now-withdrawn image likening a support of President Donald Trump to membership in the Ku Klux Klan.
In a phone interview, Chairman John Willard defended the picture of someone wearing a Klan-style peaked hat—dyed red and with a spin on Trump’s patented slogan, but here reading “Make America hate again.” To the side of the image, the posts reads: “What’s the difference between a Klan hood and a MAGA hat? The Klan hood was made in America.” […]
A screenshot of the image was forwarded to me by a Republican operative. I phoned Willard to see if it was legit, and he said he had posted the image on July 19 but the post was taken down a day or two later by a member of his organization who works as a web administrator and “said it wasn’t in good taste.”
Willard said he posted the image because, “for me, it’s all about the hypocrisy of this president. He says he’s going to make America great, and then did what he did to these four congresswomen. . . .If he’s going to really make America great, don’t make your stuff overseas,” Willard added, referring to reports that some MAGA hats are produced in foreign countries.
In fact, official MAGA hats are made in a California factory by a mostly Latino workforce, though some knockoff hats reportedly come from China.
People are so goofy. But, hey, at least they had enough sense to take it down before somebody demanded it.
* Or did they?…
The social media posts by the Democrats and Republicans represent the increasing political polarization over issues of race, immigration rights and ideology that have been fueled by Trump’s recent comments. The post by the Kankakee County Democratic organization, which appeared to have been posted after 5:30 p.m. on Monday based on the Twitter feed, followed a weekend Facebook controversy for the Illinois Republican County Chairmen’s Association.
* The governor stepped in…
Missing a K, dude.
* And then the Sun-Times added to the story…
A representative from the Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association did not respond to a request for comment Monday night. […]
Willard said he posted the image but deleted it July 19 — the same day that the Republican County Chairmen’s Association of Illinois shared a bogus movie poster on its Facebook page that depicted four Democratic congresswomen of color as “The Jihad Squad.”
I haven’t looked, but I’m betting lots of county party Facebook pages are nightmares just waiting to be discovered. Do better.
* Fox Chicago…
“Internet memes that’ve been posted by both parties on different partisan websites highlight something that I think most people in this state understand. Both political parties are run by a bunch of knuckleheads,” said Dan Proft, talk show host of AM-560 The Answer.
Democratic state Sen. Toi Hutchinson of Olympia Fields who also is president of the National Conference of State Legislatures, said “no one should be clutching their pearls” as if they haven’t seen such memes played out on both sides across the nation.
“It should make us all take a hard look at the power of social media to incite division and hate in our country,” Hutchinson said. “We should insist on doing better because I for one am tired of this.”
* Kankakee Daily Journal…
In a statement, Kankakee County Republican Chairman Jeff Keast said the local Democratic Party has become “a radical, left-wing, fringe party.”
“Comparing President Trump and his supporters to a white supremacist hate group that systemically engaged in terror and murder is absurd,” Keast said. “Democrat officials in our county must call out and reject such extreme rhetoric. While I appreciate that the county Democrats have since deleted their Facebook post, I believe they must apologize for their actions. They have gone too far.” […]
[John Willard, chairman of the Kankakee County Democratic Party] said his organization would not apologize for the local post, saying the demand for one is part of a political strategy.
“This whole thing was initiated by Trump, when he told four minorities to go back where they came from,” Willard said. “We are not in line with what the president instigated. It’s nonsense. It’s unbecoming of the United States.”
*** UPDATE *** Kankakee County Republican Central Committee Chairman Jeff Keast…
John Willard is so extreme and out of touch with his own county, that even far Left Democrats like JB Pritzker are saying he lacks ‘civility’ and are calling him out. It’s far past time for local elected Democrats to follow Pritzker’s lead and speak out against Willard. It’s clear that John Willard must resign as Chairman of the Kankakee Democrats. Our county deserves party leaders who are respectul in their disagreement. Willard has proven he is incapable of that.
…Adding… Wise advice…