The Williamson County Republican Party of Tennessee this week defended sharing racist “political satire” about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
A recent newsletter from the party included a meme featuring Ocasio-Cortez. In the graphic, a reporter is seen asking the Democratic congresswoman about her views on the Roe v. Wade abortion ruling.
It then shows Ocasio-Cortez responding with a racist joke.
“Thats [sic] the only two ways Mexicans can cross the river,” the graphic says.
Debbie Deaver, chair of the Williamson County Republican Party, told the Tennessean that she would not apologize for sharing the meme.
“Allowing a few people on the left to whip up media outrage over political satire is just another example of the left manipulating the press to present their narrative as truth and all other views as wrong or worse racist,” Deaver remarked.
“The Republican Party of Williamson County will not let those outside our organization tell us what we can or can’t say,” she added.
This 👇 comes from the home-county party of newly elected TN Gov @BillLeeTN & US Sen @MarshaBlackburn + state lawmakers @GlenCasada @SenJohnson. I’d like to know if they endorse… https://t.co/AfkyLUuDTS# p #8_16 # ad skipped = true #
— Jeff Krinks (@jeffkrinks) January 20, 2019# p #9_16 # ad skipped = true #
Eric Welch, a Republican School Board member in Williamson County, condemned his party for sharing the graphic.
“The text suggested it was meant to be humorous. It absolutely was not,” Welch wrote on Facebook. “It wasn’t funny, or clever and it certainly wasn’t worthy of the party of Lincoln. Speaking as a Republican, this doesn’t represent me or my beliefs.”
Williamson County Democratic Party Chair Holly McCall said that she was not surprised.
“This is a tired, old racist joke that the Williamson County Republican Party has now shopped around in meme form, additionally attacking a Democratic congresswoman,” McCall remarked. “It’s not even shocking to see something like this coming out of [the party]. Instead of addressing issues, they would rather take the low road.”
But Deaver defiantly insisted that the party had the right to share controversial material with its members.
“While the Williamson County Republican Party respects the rights of all individuals and we stand united by the Republican Party platform as a big tent where all are welcome, we do grant our members the platitude to decide for themselves what offends them,” the Williamson County GOP chairwoman opined.