Perhaps no one noticed. Perhaps no one cared. But hours after a liberal news forum brought attention to a series of days old controversial photos on the Republican National Committee's Facebook page, the photos were finally taken down.
Among them was a picture of President Barack Obama eating fried chicken, subtitled with a call to prohibit interracial marriage. The photo's caption read: "Miscegenation is a CRIME against American Values. Repeal Loving v. Virginia."
Miscegenation refers to the "marriage or cohabitation between a man and woman of different races." Loving v. Virginia was a landmark Supreme Court case that, in 1967, struck down all of the US's laws against interracial marriage.
This is the photo as it appeared on the GOP's Facebook profile on Monday:
Members of the liberal news forum Democratic Underground launched a discussion about the photos on Sunday night.
"That's blatant f---ing racism, against Facebook rules and basic human decency," one upset commenter stated.
Another commenter noted the Obama photo had been on the RNC Facebook page since October 20. "So it has been up five days and not one person administering the site did anything about it. Apparently the site administrator finds this correctly sums up Republican philosophy."
The photo was posted by a Facebook user named "Gee Dub," apparently in reference to President George W. Bush. A comment by someone using the same user name, posted to the comments section of the RNC's photo page, stated:
"Racism is necessary in our capitalistic system. To subject ourselves to the the socialist ideal of equality will surely destroy the American way of life. As a black man, racism has served as a great inspiration for me to work harder. God bless the Republican Party and God bless America."
It was impossible to tell whether the writer was being sincere, or acting as a "troll" pretending to be a black man in favor of racism.
Other photos causing consternation included one of Mother Teresa, in which the revered religious activist was shown feeding a child. The caption underneath read, "Enabling scab-eating mouth breathers will do them no good. How do we expect them to take care of themselves?" That photo, also posted by Gee Dub, was also removed.
Yet another photo showed former presidential candidate John Kerry with what at first sight appears to be a rifle pointed at his head. The picture was framed in such a way that a gun several feet away from Kerry was made to look like it was aimed at his temple. That photo was removed as well.
None of the photos in question appear to have been posted by the administrator of the GOP's Facebook site.
The anti-interracial marriage photo comes on the heels of a recent controversy over a Louisiana justice of the peace who refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple, sparking outrage among social-justice activists and minority groups.
While most Republicans were quick to distance themselves from the justice's sentiments, at least one high-profile Republican politician -- Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana -- has been criticized for failing to condemn the justice's actions.
The Obama photo was posted to the GOP's Facebook page less than a week after the Louisiana justice's controversial move was made public.