The Winnebago County Republican Party has removed a racist meme from its official Facebook page after drawing hundreds of critical comments.
The meme, posted on Monday, shows a picture of a white man above a list of seven “warning signs of WHITE SUPREMACY.” They include things like full time employment, literacy, auto insurance, good credit rating and no criminal record.
While some Facebook users appeared to agree with the post, other comments, including from some-self identified Republicans, called it disgusting and inappropriate.
An unnamed administrator of the Winnebago County Republican Party page pushed back, claiming the post highlighted critical race theory “that has invaded our universities and now our local school.”
In another response, the administrator stated they heard speakers talking about critical race theory at the annual Wisconsin Republican Party convention in Wisconsin Dells Saturday and, after further research, posted the meme to draw attention to it.
Critical race theory, an academic approach looking at the history of race and racism in American institutions, has been around in academia for decades. But in recent months, it has become a hot-button issue among conservative politicians, activists and media outlets who claim it is being used to indoctrinate students of all ages.
While the meme was posted anonymously on the Winnebago County GOP Facebook page, Ed Hudak, the county party chair, posted it on his personal Facebook page the day before.
Hudak and other members of the county Republican Party didn’t respond to requests for comment for this story. Wisconsin Republican Party communications director Anna Kelly said in an email that the meme didn’t originate at its convention.
State Rep. Lee Snodgrass, D-Appleton, said she was taken aback by such an overtly racist post on an official Facebook page.
“I think that the suggestion that white people alone are law-abiding, successful people is inherently racist and disgusting,” said Snodgrass. “And I think that post is very much suggesting that people of white descent are superior to others because of a number of things that are obviously not linked to the color of anybody’s skin.”
Even if the post was aimed at raising awareness about critical race theory, Snodgrass said it missed the mark.
“I think any time you’re weaponizing racism in a way to try to draw attention to an issue, you’re already losing,” said Snodgrass. “And again, I think this was a disgusting way to get some attention if that was what they were talking about.”