Target: Jennifer Olsen, Chairwoman of the Yellowstone County GOP, Montana
Goal: Condemn Olsen’s use of a racist image insulting the president on Facebook.
Recently, a Montana GOP chairwoman shared a racist image of a “plot to kidnap the President” using watermelon as bait on her Facebook page. The image is not unique in its racism and was not created by Jennifer Olsen, Chairwoman of the Yellowstone County GOP in Montana. She did, however, share the image on her public Facebook account, thereby endorsing the message it contained.
The Tea Party has frequently stated that it is a party concerned with “fiscal conservatism,” which does not involve or tolerate racist behavior. This would be believable was it not for the overt racism the party displays on a day to day basis. Jennifer Olsen’s endorsement of a racist image is not the first racist incident the Tea Party has been engaged in and perpetuated, and it will not be the last. Yet the merest mention of a member of the Obama administration, Shirley Sherrod, suggesting she has a prejudice against white people sparked outrage in the conservative Tea Party, along with ringing demands for justice. When the incident was reviewed, it was discovered that Ms. Sherrod said nothing of the sort, but she had already resigned following the controversy.
The Tea Party’s hypocrisy is despicable. Members continue to maintain that they abhor racism, yet perpetuate it at every turn. Jennifer Olsen’s sharing of a racist image will probably be labeled an “isolated incident” and forgotten. The truth about racist rhetoric is that covert racism—masked as a “joke”—does as much damage to society as open racism. It is appalling that a member of a political party thought it was appropriate to make such a statement about the President of the United States, and it is even more appalling that she will get away with it without even a slap to the wrist. Racism is inherent in American society, even today. There can be no “cure” without condemning even the smallest acts of racism in our society. Sign the petition below to condemn Jennifer Olsen, Chairwoman of the Yellowstone County GOP, Montana, for sharing a racist image on Facebook.
Dear Jennifer Olsen,
Recently, you shared an image on Facebook depicting a “plot to kidnap the President” using watermelon as bait. By sharing this image on your public Facebook account, an account linked to your public profile as a politician, you endorsed the racism it contained. The Tea Party maintains that it does not approve of or tolerate racism, and yet, this incident is one in a series of racist incidents.
This hypocrisy, and outright denial of a fact, is despicable. It is appalling that you, as a member of a political party and as a public figure, felt that it was appropriate – even funny – to share a racist image about the President of the United States. What is even more despicable is that you will not be reprimanded for your actions, or face any consequences. I am writing today to express my disappointment in your behavior and to condemn you for endorsing even the smallest expressions of racist thought.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: vaXzine @ Flickr.